||Peugeot 607 3.0 V6 SE
22nd - 30th May 2003.
Roadtested by Neil.
In the words of the driver who delivered the 607 3.0 V6 SE to my house 'this car will make you lazy'. The 607 is a misunderstood beast, almost universally dismissed by the press and labelled as an also ran. However every car deserves a chance and so here we are with a gleaming onyx black 607.|
The 607s shape is somewhat of a puzzle to me in that I am not sure if I like it or not. The 607's looks shrink the car when viewed from the front and rear but the side profile does not work for me. The car is bigger than it's predecessor, however the 605 did not look too big mainly as it was very similarly styled to the smaller 405. From a distance the front of the car looks very like the smaller Peugeot hot hatches. The rear is quite novel and is part of my source of confusion as the boot is curve in from the edge.
Locking and Unlocking the car with key fob has the effect of folding in and out the side mirrors of the car. This is quite satisfying.
Inside, the 607 is pretty luxurious, in terms of options there is really only electric sunroof that is an optional extra. This particular car has rather fetching dark red leather electric seats. Door trimming is also in the same red leather. I can't deny the effect is pretty classy. The steering wheel is trimmed in black leather. The detailing on the facia uses a carbon fibre look, which is not that in keeping with style of car. In my mind a black maple might look more appropriate. The overall cabin does look good though. The dash is very clear with chrome edged white dials with black writing.
The steering wheel has four stalks one for wipers, lights, cruise control and radio. I must admit I prefer the later two to be on the steering wheel. Four stalks is quite confusing or at least it was for me. The car gets air conditioning as standard as well as an integrated phone system.
Satellite navigation is also standard, although it is not as sexy as Vauxhall system and did throw up some odd instructions a couple of times during the week. The cars menu system is quite good with nice little graphics. The onboard computer screens are also quite attractive and have enhanced trip computer information.
An Interesting and useful feature of the car was a S-video input in the glovebox. This is paired with a fan also in the glovebox to allow videos, cameras or games consoles to be used in conjunction with the dashboard display.
Under hard braking the hazard warning lights automatically come on. And whilst there is merit in this behaviour it did seem to be a little eager. A couple of times I was a little embarrassed at traffic lights when I applied a little more brake than normal and ended up sitting with the hazard warning lights flashing.
Headlights are also automatic and come on when light levels drop. The windscreen washers are also automatic - and respond well to rain, which lets face it is useful in this country.
Legroom is good both front and rear. (Drivers seat position for 6ft 1in driver).
Boot is huge (601ltrs) and has useful features such as cargo net.
There are nine settings on the suspension, although only two are available manually. This either selects the sports setting or returns control of the decision to the car (auto mode). The suspension adapts to the road conditions, speed etc.
The four-speed auto box has two manual overrides to affect it's auto behaviour: Sports - this mode hangs onto gears as long as possible - and Winter, which alters the gearbox behaviour to help traction. In general you feel that the autobox dulls the power of the engine due to its long legged gears. The 3.0litre (2946cc) engine produces 210bhp(213PS/157KW) @ 6000rpm and 214lb ft (290NM) @ 3750rpm - not insignificant numbers. But due to the gearbox this only results in a 0-60 time of 9.7secs. (9.9secs to 62mph). A standing KM is reach in 30.5secs. (for reference 0.4 seconds slower than a ZT190).
In pure auto mode (non-sports mode) the gearbox suits lazy acceleration changing up around ¾ revs. The change is smooth but not that quick. The effect is you feel a slight pause in the proceedings. In sports mode, the 607, hangs onto the gears right up to the redline - this does assist acceleration through the gears but the gear change itself is not noticeably faster.
The autobox also features a tiptronic style manual override, a system developed by Porsche. This is achieved by sliding the gear lever to the left. Pushing it forward selects the higher gear, pulling back selects the lower gear. With only four gears to choose from and the fact most of the time first is not selectable it narrows down how much you need to use the system.
The 607 has probably the neatest engine I've seen. Not only is the engine shrouded but also the surrounding space too. The engine sounds good too - with a great V6 roar.
On the Move
Ride and general feel of the car is like an old Mercedes (that's not necessarily a bad thing). The car's suspension is set for comfort and even in sports mode, things only slightly firm up, and not at the expense of ride. When you hustle the car down a B-road you feel pretty safe, handling tends to understeer (as you'd expect from a front-wheel drive car), grip from the tyres (225/50) is good and whilst I did not get chance to test out the car in wet conditions (global warming probably to blame) I am sure the car will remain reasonably neutral.
There is no doubt that the 607 is a luxury car, the cabin ambience and setup of the car is suited for unrushed comfort. It can be rushed and it will deliver as much as its gearbox will allow. However this is not really what it sets out to do. In fact my last drive in the car with sports suspension on and the gearbox in normal auto mode resulting in a really satisfying B-road dash.
That being said the 607s price (30k) put it slap bang in a very competitive segment. And this is in reality why most magazines will not rate the car - in its own right it is not exceptional, but in the company its price keeps it is not really a contender. That said when you factor in the level of kit that comes as standard it's main rivals will need a further £5k at least spent on them to match it. The final issue is depreciation and that is the killer I am afraid, no luxury saloon holds its value that well but the Peugeot is bottom of the class in this area.
Thanks to Peugeot for the loan of the car.