By Chris Manning
THINK SUV and a few familiar brands will crop up, but up until now has been one of them.
Playing safe, Peugeot have collaborated with Citroen and Mitsubishi which has resulted in a trio of mid-sized 4x4s, and in Peugeot guise it wears a 4007 badge. It’s also recognisably a Peugeot with the now familiar giant lion badge emblazoned above the wide-mouthed grille. It’s a big looking vehicle and from the side in particular it looks sleek and modern and is bound to hit the right note with the new SUV crowd.
It also provides the kind of SUV experience that most people are looking for. Rather than serious four-wheel drive hardware with strange, scary devices like differential locks and low range gearboxes, the 4007 comes with a simple rotary control. Leave it in two-wheel drive for ordinary driving, switch to automatic 4WD and let the electronics divert the power when necessary, or turn to permanent 4WD for a trip on the rough stuff.
With its aforementioned 4WD capabilities, I put it to the test towing my caravan to the Le Mans 24 hour race, where Peugeot were competing with their trio of 908 HDi FAP diesel-powered racing car.
Being 4WD it has a towing capacity of 2000kg, even though its kerb weight is only 1825kg, but the stability that all four wheel drive vehicle offers mean they can, as they say, “punch above their weight.’’
With its 2.2-litre diesel engine producing 156 bhp and 285 lb ft of torque it certainly makes a good towing vehicle. On the 350 mile run down to the French circuit it returned an overall mpg figure of 27.5, which when compared to the solo figure of 38.7 mpg is a pretty good return.
Driving solo it’s also reassuringly car-like to drive: even with the extra height and loftier driving position there is little body roll to speak of, and the suspension is controlled on compliant.
The interior although well laid out with comfortable seats and clear dials, lacks a bit of sparkle and could do with a bit more bright work to liven it up. With the split tail gate at the rear, a detachable tow bar is essential as when lowering it it clashes with the towball and Peugeot have had to add an extra protective plate to it just in case you forget.
My only gripe was that the doors needed a firm shut to make them close properly. You could not be casual and close the door while walking away from the vehicle as they would ‘bounce back’ and only partially close and prevent the central locking from working leaving the car unlocked.
All in all the 4007 brings car-like performance and refinement along with the practicality and useful frugality that are highly desirable. You might need the 4WD all the time, but it is damn handy to have on board, especially if after you caravan holiday you have to remove it from a muddy field.