Not so good review of 407
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  1. #1
    nJm
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    Default Not so good review of 407

    This is from the London Independant newspaper.

    HEADLINE: MOTORING: A SITTING DUCK-BILLED PLATYPUS;
    *NOT SINCE THE FORD EDSEL HAS A CAR HAD A FACE THIS DISTURBING, SAYS

    BYLINE: MICHAEL BOOTH All the reflections inside make you feel like you're driving a glitter ball?; The gate is so tight that you risk slotting from first to fourth when changing gear; What is Peugeot aiming for with the face of its 407? A wolfish grin?

    BODY:
    Having moaned last week about the new Audi A6's aggressive face it seems churlish to criticise Peugeot for trying something different, but not since the Edsel has a car had a face this disturbing. What is Peugeot aiming for? A wolfish grin? A deranged clown's leer? A basking shark trawling for krill? Mothers hurriedly gathered their children in off their front step as I drove down my street in one the other morning. Milk curdled in the bottles. Flowers wilted in window boxes.

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    There is no angle from which this car looks good. Front-on, you fear for your life; side-on, the preposterous front overhang is revealed in all its glory; from the rear three-quarters position, it just looks unhappy; and the rear could be any repmobile from a Vectra to a Mondeo. And looks count, even when you are selling cars to stationery salesmen. Remember when the Ford Sierra was launched? Wives were rejecting them out of hand in the showrooms before their husbands had even taken a test drive (this was the early 1980s, I hasten to add; these days my wife does all our test driving while I just fiddle with the stereo). Already Peugeot dealers are reporting a similar reaction to the 407.

    Quick, let's get in so we don't have to look at it any more! This isn't so bad. The seats are wonderfully firm and supportive, which is a first for a French car. (I drive a Citroen and my chiropractor is contemplating early retirement he has done so well out of it.) That outsized, MPV-style sloping windscreen creates a spacious, airy feel. The dash is a stylish two-tone tan and black, and there is an impressive air of quality.

    That's where the positive experience ends, however. Usually I try to put as many miles as I can on a car while it is in my custody (although, secretly, I make my mind up after just a few). With the 407 it took about three miles to realise that, though it has a great chassis and unusually agile suspension, I hate the thing. I gave up after 30 miles. I realise this may sound like a dereliction of duty but the chronic windscreen reflections from that dash were giving me a migraine. Clearly the doofus who styled the 407's face also picked the colour scheme inside. Did he never stop to ask himself why every single car ever made in the history of car making, ever, has a black dash? It's the reflections, stoopid.

    Everywhere you look on the 407 you find yourself asking, "Why did they do it that way?" and hazarding guesses. Why did they make a car with so many reflections inside you feel like you are driving a glitter ball? Disco fever? Why is there a red "SOS" button to the left of the stereo? Is it so you can scream for mercy when you have had enough of the appalling gearbox? (I pressed it, nothing happened.) I didn't think they made gearboxes this bad any more - the gate is far too tight so that I was forever slotting from first to fourth. Do I speak funny, or is the voice-recognition system deaf? And, why have they made it so that the indicator noise imitates that awful 1970s synthesiser song "Popcorn"? Is it because the French hate us? If so, this car more than makes up for Agincourt and Waterloo.

    With the Ford Sierra it took at least 18 months before people began to accept that the jelly mould was here to stay. As for the 407, let us hope it is an evolutionary aberration, like the duck-billed platypus, rather than the shape of things to come. n

    Peugeot 407 SV Hdi 2.0litre

    Would suit the French David Brent

    Price pounds 17,450

    Maximum speed 129mph, 0-60 in 9.6 seconds

    Combined fuel consumption 47.9mpg

    Maximum power 136bhp

    Rivals Honda Accord, Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Vectra, Volvo V50
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts TroyO's Avatar
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    I think the article can summarised as follows

    "Damn is this thing ugly? Totally, incomprehensibly ugly. I cannot believe how ugly this car is!

    It does have nice seats, chassis and suspension. I also get migraines whereever there is light.

    Did I also mention this car is UGLY!"

    That is a pretty ugly review.

    Troy.

  3. #3
    rek
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    Uh oh, look out. Yet another British car journo is trying to write like Jeremy Clarkson (and failing dismally at it)
    Peter
    2008 Saab 9-3 1.9 TiD Sportcombi
    2011 Volvo C30 DRIVe 1.6D

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
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    Quick, let's get in so we don't have to look at it any more! This isn't so bad. The seats are wonderfully firm and supportive, which is a first for a French car. (I drive a Citroen and my chiropractor is contemplating early retirement he has done so well out of it.)
    Thats an interesting statement! I'm yet to sit in a French car which's seats don't impress me for support and comfort!

    Not much of a review, take out any sentence relating to the car being unattractive and you'd be left with about 2 lines.

    Nick

  5. #5
    Member pase's Avatar
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    no, my back is now shaped like a pretzel thanks to unfriendly ergonomics

  6. #6
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Ahhh... a frank and open discussion about a car review. At last. Ahhhh...

    /me waits for the new age sensitive and paronoid 407owner to rock up and start having a go at Fords for having a blue logo.

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    MICHAEL BOOTH......

    [email protected]#*ead..........Hell....the 407...may not be the prettiest thing on the planet...but I just hate this kind of journalism....Man should be fired and never allowed to drive another car again.....Bloody triehard....Stupid #*#enkr....


    cheers


    dino


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nchandler
    Thats an interesting statement! I'm yet to sit in a French car which's seats don't impress me for support and comfort!

    Not much of a review, take out any sentence relating to the car being unattractive and you'd be left with about 2 lines.

    Nick
    Try the back seat of a 406. The most uncomfortable dog of a car I have ever had the misfortune to ride in. It was a 5 hour trip, and I wanted to get out and walk after 90 minutes.
    95 MI16
    71 404 U10 ute
    66 404 coupe
    55 203C (gently warmed) gone... sold...

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