Russ SmithSee other Advice articles filed in ‘Used tow car buyer’ written by Russ Smith
These days, when a firm like Peugeot – best known for its small hatchbacks – feels the need to break into a completely new market sector like 4x4s, there are two options: years of research and development and billions of euros, or do a deal with another maker who already builds them. A few new outer panels and a handful of badges and you’ve got a new model. In this case it’s the Peugeot 4007, which is heavily based on the excellent Mitsubishi Outlander. Citroën also did a version – the C-Crosser – but the 4007’s front-end restyle is arguably better looking and more in keeping with 4x4 chunkiness.
Peugeot’s biggest contribution to the project was fitting its own diesel engine, and oil-burners are something the company does have a great reputation for building; so this looks like an excellent combination. What we need to know, though, is how well they are hanging together up to eight years down the road.
Classed as a ‘crossover’ car – somewhere between an estate and a full-on 4x4 – the 4007 is a seven-seater, even if those rear two seats are really just for kids. Though other European countries were also offered a 2.4 petrol engine, all UK-market 4007s came with the same 2.2-litre turbodiesel that had 153bhp and a very towing-friendly 285lb ft of torque. There’s also an electronically controlled ‘On Demand’ four-wheel-drive system with three modes: Permanent 2WD, where all power goes to the front wheels, for regular road use; Automatic 4WD, where torque is automatically delivered to whichever wheel needs it most at any given moment; and Permanent 4WD, which splits torque 50:50 between front and rear wheels to deal with really tough going.
At first the only gearbox available was a six-speed manual, but from September 2009 Peugeot introduced a clever DCS (dual-clutch system) automatic ’box. This is still a manual gearbox but with gear changes automated via an ECU, with one clutch working odd-numbered gears and the other the even ones. It’s easier to use than to understand.
At first there were two trim levels: SE and GT. Neither will leave you short-changed because even the lowlier SE comes with stability control, brake-force distribution, climate control, a trip computer, roof bars, six airbags and an MP3-compatible radio/CD. All GT really adds is 18in rather than 16in alloys, leather seats, rear parking sensors, Xenon headlamps and tinted rear windows. From April 2009 there was also Sport XS, which sat between the other two and kept the leather and big wheels, but it’s the one model that only had five seats.
Though otherwise brilliant, these engines can suffer from leaking rear crankshaft seals. That’s bad enough in itself, but it also tends to contaminate the clutch. So you need to look underneath the engine for drips and general oiliness where it joins the gearbox. On the test drive, feel for any clutch slip, especially in the lower gears.
If there is any it will quickly get worse if you try to tow with the car, so avoid. Repairs can run into thousands because so much has to be stripped down to replace the seal, and inevitably you’ll need a new clutch.
On a similar subject, any juddering or jerking when you let the clutch out points to a failing dual-mass flywheel. The bill to replace this will be somewhere north of £1000 – that’s fine if the car is being sold cheap enough to account for it, but otherwise walk away.
The reservoir bag for the EOLYS fluid used for Diesel Particulate Filter regeneration is mounted low down by one of the rear suspension wishbones. It’s prone to both damage from road debris and to rubbing on its own housing, so look in this area for signs of leakage – splashes of brown fluid. A new bag, including fitting, is around £550. Check that the ABS light comes on with the ignition, then extinguishes when the engine starts. The unscrupulous might disable this to hide a problem with the ABS control module – especially as repairs can cost more than £1500.
But what we haven’t covered yet is what good value the Peugeot is. Perhaps because of badge snobbery, a five-year-old 4007 can be bought for around £1000-£2000 less than an equivalent Mitsubishi Outlander, never mind that they may have both been built on the same production line in Holland. Now that sounds like a good deal.
What you need to know
As we mentioned, 2007-2012 Peugeot 4007 models offer great value, so you can expect to pay between £4250 and £12,000.
The lower end of our price scale covers the stuff you probably won’t want; for a 2007 car with full history, and less than 100k on the clock, the starting price is more like £5500. That’s for an SE; you can expect to pay £300-£500 more for a GT of that age, and up to £1000 more for a newer model – they cost an extra £2800 when new.
Sport XSs still fall between the other two in price. Though they cost an extra £1300 when new, the DCS autos don’t command much of a premium over manual cars, probably because of fears about their complexity as they age.
Our pick would be the 4007 Sport XS. It has all the best bits of the GT, along with a bit more blingy chrome, but for a couple of hundred pounds less – which will pay for the next service.
It’s unfair to pick on any one model to avoid, but the villains of this piece are any 4007s with leaky crank seals – they’re about to cost a lot of money.
Here are some useful figures (for a 2009 Peugeot 4007 2.2 HDi SE):
- Kerbweight 1825kg
- Towing limit 2000kg
- Noseweight limit 100kg
- 85% match 1551kg
You will need to fit a towbar before heading off in your Peugeot 4007 on your caravan holidays. According to quotes we received from PF Jones, a Bosal detachable towbar costs £198.30; while a Witter detachable flange towbar costs £214.56 – fitting costs extra. We've also received approximate servicing quotes from Servicing Stop: an interim service comes in at £166.67 and a full service is £244.44.