< Peugeot 4007 Review
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Peugeot 4007
Handsome, Practical SUV

Mitsubishi Derived 4x4 Joins Overcrowded SUV Field
Politicians Hate SUVs, People Love Them–Clash Of The Titans Looms
**** out of 5

I must be missing something. Every other day on the news, I hear about how the car is killing the climate, led by the evil-incarnate Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). And every other vehicle that is launched these days seems to be an SUV.

Clearly, the big car manufacturers believe the public will buy these alleged climate destroyers, and yet the prints are full of stories about new regulations to curb SUVs, or tax the irresponsible owners until the pips squeak. If you drive an SUV into central London, or any town where Sandelistas and Guardianistas gather, you are likely to find a childish, ill-informed note attached to your windscreen pointing out your supposed selfish contribution to climate destruction. (CO2 doesn’t change climate – see: Global Warming Boondoggle An Excuse To Enslave Tax). Or maybe they’ll slash your tyres if they’ve been on the steroids.

Band wagon
It’s not just car makers updating their SUV model ranges. It’s every manufacturer jumping on the band wagon to make sure their range includes an SUV, even if it really is only a mild attempt at off-road capability with a so-called cute-ute or soft-roader.

SUV sales in the U.S. have peaked as higher oil prices make buyers reassess their spending priorities. Sales were slow in Europe, but have accelerated from 3.5 per cent of the market in 2000 to 7.1 per cent in 2006.  Judging by the avalanche of new SUVs announced recently, the manufacturers expect this to gather pace. Recent new SUVs include the Chevrolet Captiva, Jeep Compass/Patriot, Mazda CX-7 and Dodge Nitro. Nissan has updated its X-Trail. The Opel/Vauxhall Antara, Renault Koleos, VW Tiguan and Mercedes GLK are close to the launch pad, while Peugeot is now unveiling the 4007.

The 4007 is Peugeot’s first SUV and has been developed with its sister company Citroen which calls its version the C-Crosser. Nissan has demonstrated with its Qashqai that a good car will sell despite a silly name, so Citroen must be keeping its fingers crossed. Both vehicles are really Mitsubishi Outlanders in disguise, no bad thing given that for all its recent financial troubles, Mitsubishi undoubtedly builds quality vehicles.

“Just exactly how does driving my 4x4 change the climate?”
The 4007 won’t claim your affections by its looks, although its handsome enough. The bodywork says standard SUV, although the mouth at the front end is eye-catching to say the least. The rear design suggests 1007, the little Peugeot which has powered sliding doors. Inside, the design is practical and effective, with a commanding driving position as you’d expect.

Sensibly, Peugeot has expended most effort on making the most use of the interior. It is after all supposed to be a load lugger as well as a people carrier. The 4007 can accommodate up to seven people, thanks to a third row of seats which retract into the floor of the boot. These two additional, essentially occasional, seats for kids can be deployed easily with three straps, one for unlocking, one for deployment and one for folding.  The middle row of seats can split 40/60 and slide 80 mm and when stowed the load volume reaches 1,686 dm3, in other words, rather a lot. The rear luggage area has a split opening tailgate, making loading easier. The lower part of the tailgate which protrudes away from the boot area can take a load of 200 kg/440 lbs. There are more cubbies and storage spaces than you can shake a stick at. The problem might be finding stuff that you’ve stowed. One glove box is refrigerated.

There is only one engine choice – a 2.2 litre HDi diesel producing 156 bhp. The motor moves this heavy vehicle easily and smoothly, although it gets a little noisy under pressure. There’s no automatic, which means it falls from my personal choice list. The Dodge Nitro currently leads my personal SUV order of merit (cheap, handsome, diesel, automatic, since you ask).

“Just exactly how and when will my sacrifice make it rain more/less or make the climate warmer/colder?”
There are two trim levels – SE (£22,970-€33,500) and GT (£25,490-€37,500), and both are generously equipped. The SE has 16 inch wheels, electronic “on-demand” 4x4, cruise control, roof bars, electronically controlled folding door mirrors, ESP, radio/CD with MP3. The GT has 18 inch wheels, leather, CD autochanger, rear parking sensors, tinted rear windows, xenon headlights and electrically operated driver’s seat.

On the road, the 4007 handles impeccably and smoothly. Peugeot claims high fuel economy to, an average 39.2 mpg-7.2 l/kms. That would be impressive if attainable outside the testing lab. Oh yes, and it performs adequately off-road, as if you cared.

The C-Crosser has similar pricing, so those bothered by embarrass genes because of the dopey name might gravitate to the 4007. The Outlander has cheaper prices, but doesn’t have an automatic either.

“If I have to get on the bus, exactly how will this stop the sea levels rising in Bora Bora?”
So are all these SUV embracing manufacturers heading for a fall when politicians demand that in the name of the environment they cease and desist?

I think not.

Talk is cheap and it is easy to sound off about how much you love the environment, as if the rest of us don’t. But when politicians try and take this to the next level where action is required, the message might be not received so cordially. When politicians start asking the public to make changes to its life style, whether it’s in the form  of higher taxes or life style changes like swapping your big, safe, roomy 4x4 for some dangerous little puddle jumper, the reaction might not be so constructive.

If sacrifices are demanded, the public will start asking some serious and pointed questions like – “Just exactly how does driving my 4x4 change the climate?” “Just exactly how and when will my sacrifice make it rain more/less or make the climate warmer/colder?” “If I have to get on the bus, exactly how will this stop the sea levels rising in Bora Bora?”

Collapse of stout party, I think.

Neil Winton – August 12, 2007

Peugeot 4007 GT
2.2 litre, 4-cylinder diesel
156 bhp
6-speed manual
all wheels
0-62-100 km/h 9.9 seconds
Top Speed:
124 mph-200 km/h
Fuel Consumption:
claimed combined – 39.2 mpg-7.2 l/kms
CO2 Emissions:
191 g/km
4,635 mm
Weight: 1,825 kg/4,023 lb
McPherson/multi arm
Warranty: 2 years unlimited
Service Intervals: 2 years/12,000 miles
Mazda CX-7, Toyota Rav4, Nissan X-Trail, Honda CR-V, Land Rover Freelander, BMW X3, Peugeot 4007, Citroen C-Crosser, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander, Jeep Patriot/Compass, Dodge Nitro
Would I buy one?
I’m convinced by the Dodge Nitro
**** out of 5
Insurance group: 13E/28E
solid, smart looking, well designed, good all rounder

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