Published on Friday 13 December 2013 00:15
Ten Second Review
The distinctive chromed nose of the Peugeot 4007 stands out amongst the growing cluster of compact 4x4 models. Offering seven seats, Mitsubishi-developed off-road ability and hi-tech Peugeot diesel power, it's an appealing package as long as you get the right price and you're not a hard core mud-plugger. If you're tired of MPVs and want to run the family about in something with a little more attitude, then a 4007 could fit the bill.
It took Peugeot rather a long time to get around to bringing us a compact 4x4 but at least now we've a credible one to consider. Having no prior experience in this market, the French company sensibly turned to Mitsubishi, a brand who had. The result has brought us a common design badged variously as the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Citroen C-Crosser and in this case, the Peugeot 4007. The car was launched in 2007 and since then, it's done reasonable business for Peugeot, but it's prospects have been somewhat blighted by the lack of an automatic gearbox option. That's now been put right - and very thoroughly too.
Buyers of the Auto DCS (Dual Clutch System) model that will henceforth account for the majority of sales get a refined 6-speed electronic DCS gearbox that perfectly suits Peugeot's powerful 2.2HDi 16V 156hp DPFS engine. This transmission provides both Automatic and Manual driving modes, with paddles behind the steering wheel. Thanks to the dual clutch design, smooth and efficient gear shifts are made without interrupting power delivery, with the engine applying torque to one clutch the instant it disconnects from the other. A 'Sport' mode can also be selected for even more responsive performance.
All Peugeot 4007 models come with this same diesel engine - and the six-speed manual gearbox version remains for those who want it. This unit will generate 156bhp and 380Nm of torque and is even capable of running on a 30 per cent mixture of diesel biofuel without resort to modification. The engine has been modified from that found in the 407 saloon range to offer additional lugging power but much of the basic architecture is the same - which is no bad thing. Optimised for on-road use, the all-wheel drive system on the 4007 is enough to maximise traction on slippery roads and muddy tracks, although those looking to tackle more arduous terrain would be best served looking for a vehicle with a proper low-range transfer case and a little more in the way of overall ground clearance.
The 4007's 'on-demand' 4WD system enables the driver to select three modes of drive, while on the move. First is 'Permanent 2WD', intended for normal tarmac use, with all power directed to the front wheels. In 'Automatic 4WD', engine torque is delivered automatically to wheels that require the most traction at any time. Should you find yourself in a sticky situation however, you might need to select 'Permanent 4WD'. This set-up splits torque 50:50 between front and rear wheels. The idea of all this technology is to give the 4007 what Peugeot call 'the best of both worlds', enabling it to tackle reasonably rough terrain, yet still provide acceptable on-road dynamic behaviour and competitive fuel economy.
Design and Build
Given the need to stand out, not only from its design stablemates but also a marketplace clogged with compact 4x4s, it's not surprising that Peugeot's stylists at the company's Velizy studios insisted on a bold look for this car. Certainly, this is a front end you'd see coming from the white cliffs of Dover without having to put 20p in the telescope. There's no mistaking, in other words, that the 4007 has presence and it's not a car you'll overlook in a sea of lookalike 4x4s in the Waitrose car park.
Though there's enough chrome on the front end to make a Maybach feel under-endowed, it's actually a look that grows on you - and certainly one that can make other motorists scurry for cover, the front air intake and bumper detailing being things you probably wouldn't want to main beam while approaching on a country lane. The roof is interestingly finished too with ribbed detailing, while the back end features a brushed aluminium trim that runs between the translucent rear light clusters. The rear pillars are neatly canted back and the wheelarches are sharply defined in an industrial almost Audi-style manner.
Peugeot's penchant for functionality and innovation is clearly visible in the 4007, with its flexible 5+2 seating configuration. For ease of use when exiting the third row seats, or when reconfiguring the boot layout, the second row seats can be electronically folded forwards using the buttons located internally next to the rear wheel arches. The two occasional use seats in the rear can be simply folded away under the floor, while the second row of seating also slides and reclines for greater comfort.
The 4007 also offers plenty of stowage space throughout, with over 20 individual storage compartments. All five rear seats can be folded away easily to provide a flat floor and vast load space of up to 1,686 litres, while the boot capacity is 510 litres when the second row of seats are in use. To help loading items into the huge boot space, there's a split two-piece tailgate. Folded down, the lower section drops the sill by 64mm allowing heavy goods to be easily loaded, while doubling as a handy bench, capable of supporting up to 200kg.
Market and Model
List prices suggest that you're likely to pay somewhere between £25,000 and £27,500 for your 4007, depending on the spec you choose. In reality, Peugeot dealers general willingness to sharpen their pencils should mean that you can pick one of these up for not much more than a conventional five-seat compact 4x4 like a Honda CR-V or a Nissan X-TRAIL. Aside from the Citroen C-Crosser and Mitsubishi Outlander (which are priced comparably), affordable 7-seat compact 4x4 alternatives include Chevrolet's Captiva and Hyundai's Santa Fe.
And equipment levels? Well, as well as the electronic 'on-demand' four-wheel drive system and the usual ABS and ESP set-ups, you can expect to find roof bars, automatic air conditioning with climate control, pollen and dust filters, six airbags (front, side, and curtain), an ultrasonic alarm and remote control central locking with deadlocks, alloy wheels, a trip computer, front fog lights and a radio/ CD player with MP3 compatibility.
Cost of Ownership
The 2.2-litre HDI engine does an admirable job of allaying the fears prospective 4007 buyers may harbour concerning their environmental impact. This substantial seven-seat 4x4 is never going to tread as lightly on the earth as a tiny citycar but 39mpg and 191g/km carbon dioxide emissions means that at least owners will be able to hold their heads up reasonably high at the Greenpeace AGM. Insurance groupings range between 12 and 13.
Depreciation? Well, it should be slightly better than Far Eastern alternatives and what you lose against the posh brands should be recouped by the discount you'll be needing to ask from your friendly dealer upfront.
In so many ways, having absolutely no pedigree in this market can count for quite a bit. Buy a Jeep or a Land Rover and you're a proper 4x4 customer but in this day and age, that's not always the most popular thing to be. Buy a Peugeot 4007 and you've shifted the philosophical goalposts a small and crucial amount and bought a car with SUV benefits but real world usability.
It comes with no historical baggage and with its diesel particulate filter system and thrifty engine, it's got a leg up in the environmental stakes. As a 4x4 that's really hard to victimise, the 4007 has a lot to be said for it. Let's just say it's fashionably late to the party.