Peugeot 406 (1999 – 2004) Review

Peugeot 406 (1999 – 2004) At A Glance


+Powerful, frugal diesels. The estates are practical and some have seven seats. All models ride and handle extremely well. 2.0HDI can last 450,000 miles.

-Electrical and mechanical problems. Build quality not as solid as it should be.

For those in the know, the Peugeot 406 has proved something of an under the radar classic workhorse. No, it’s not as desirable (or as good) as its premium rivals – but it is in an excellent driver from Peugeot’s recent ‘golden age’ that can provide it’s fair share of B-road thrills.

Launched in 1996, the 405 replacement was facelifted in 1999 with angular lights and a revised interior, which gave it a more premium feel. And, electrics aside, it’s generally proved itself a reliable motor.

A variety of engines were available, including 160bhp 2.2-litre petrol badged found in the SRi-badged cars as well as the 3.0-litre V6 that also appeared in the Peugeot 406 Coupe.

For those who need to focus on practicality over performance, then check out the estate – at more than 4.7 metres long it was one of the longest cars in its class… but also the heaviest, so don’t expect the driving dynamics of the saloon.

That said, all 406s have a splendid ride – minimal roll, soft but still dynamic – and make a great daily driver today.

Ask Honest John

ULEZ-compliant substitute for my Peugeot 406 estate?

"I have a 1999 Peugeot 406 diesel estate. It has 160k miles on the clock and I bought it for £2000 12 years ago. The expansion of the London ULEZ means that I have to change it, I really don't want to, but the daily ULEZ fees would be unsustainable. Can anyone please suggest any car that can match the cabin roominess and comfort, load space, durability and longevity of my beloved 406? I have a budget of £2000. "
If you can find one, a petrol Toyota Avensis estate sounds like the ideal option. It'll be spacious, comfortable and should prove to be very reliable. It'll be thirstier than your 406 and 700 miles from a tank won't be realistic - but you're not going to get a sub-£2k ULEZ-compliant car that can do that, unfortunately. A Ford Mondeo could be a good alternative - there are more about so you can be picky about finding one in good condition and with evidence of regular servicing. Also consider a Volvo V70 - they're very comfortable and spacious, but not particularly economical and might be more expensive to run.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Will my car fail the MoT if there's a warning light on?

"The ABS warning light is on in my 2006 Peugeot 406. Will it fail the MoT?"
If the ABS warning light is stuck on then it will suggest a system malfunction, which will result in a Major defect and MoT failure.
Answered by Dan Powell
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