With a unique drivetrain, and distinctive Peugeot 'face', the 4007 is not 'badge engineering' quite as we might remember it (who remembers the Holden Nova, Nissan Ute and Toyota Lexcen?), but its Mitsubishi origins are evident.
That has both pluses and minuses for Peugeot's capable and versatile seven-seater.
The 4007 comes with a unique set of wheels, different lights and bumpers but, put a blanket over the Peugeot nose, and the essential body shape is all Outlander.
What is different however is the strong 2.2 litre HDi diesel engine, which is a Peugeot-Citroën creation.
The transmission too is a Getrag six-speed dual-clutch box in place of a regular automatic.
What’s the appeal?
For the time being this is Peugeot’s sole SUV with all-wheel-drive (the smaller 3008 being exclusively front-wheel-drive). It also packs in seating for seven and a sophisticated drivetrain.
But more to the point, it provides SUV capability for a very loyal Peugeot customer-base that has previously had to look elsewhere for AWD security and family-friendly versatility.
What features does it have?
The 4007’s equipment list sees standard inclusions such as auto-on Xenon low-beam headlamps, automatic windscreen wipers, climate-control air-conditioning, privacy glass and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Inside there’s leather seat trim as well as accompanying highlights on the steering wheel and dashboard. Middle row seating is electrically folded and can be activated from the boot.
Cruise control, a trip computer and a split tailgate are also included and a six disc, MP3 compatible CD player with steering wheel mounted controls rounds out the comfort and convenience items.
What’s under the bonnet?
The Peugeot 4007 comes with just one engine option, but it's a good one: a 2.2 litre turbo-diesel engine, equipped with a particulate filter. Adding urge is common-rail direct-injection and a variable geometry turbocharger.
Unlike much of the 4007 package, the engine and gearbox combo is unique to Peugeot (and Citroën’s European only C-Crosser). The 4007’s switchable all-wheel-drive system however is a carry over from the donor Outlander.
A rotary dial in the centre console allows the drive mode to be switched between 2WD, driving only the front wheels, 4WD which automatically monitors conditions and sends drive to the rear axle, or LOCK, which splits drive to the front and rear axles equally.
Engine output is rated at 115kW of power at 4000rpm with 380Nm of torque on hand from just 2000rpm. Performance as a result runs about middle of the SUV pack and brisk enough to hustle when needed.
How does it drive?
The diesel engine humming away under the bonnet isn’t one of Peugeots quietest, yet there is only the slightest hint of diesel clatter.
The let-down of the mechanical package might be the 4007's Dual Clutch System gearbox, at least when left in automatic 'drive' mode.
While thankfully devoid of the low-speed shunting that blighted earlier dual clutch boxes (from a number of manufacturers), we feel that the transmission holds onto gears until a little too high in the rev-range.
It makes for a punchier drive, but a thirstier one. On a quick back-to-back test over an urban circuit (using the trip computer for verification), leaving the transmission in drive saw heavier fuel consumption.
Using the gearbox manually, with little to no loss of driveability, proved more economical to the tune of around three litres per 100km.
Other aspects of the drive experience however proved well up to scratch.
Ride around town is well sorted, a little 'rolly' through bends but otherwise surprisingly refined and barely troubled by speed-humps, tarmac joints and poorly paved suburban streets.
For highway jaunts the 2.2 litre diesel delivers ample torque for sailing over hills and overtaking and happily settles into a quiet and effortless long-legged lope.
On rough tarmac and corrugated gravel roads the 4007 rode well, both empty and loaded, providing a comfortable ride without pogo-ing over irregularities (which can trouble some SUVs).
The 4007's superior ride is a real strength. Steering however is not so good. Although light and well-suited to city work, it lacks feel and feedback.
Brakes too, while up to the task don’t particularly excel. Stopping power is acceptable, but also lacking in feedback through the pedal.
With the 2WD mode selected, the 2.2 HDi engine’s strong torque can be felt tugging at the steering wheel at times, but cancelled when switched to automatic mode and with power diverted to the rear wheels.
On gravel tracks the all-wheel-drive system also had the smarts to send grip to the wheels that needed it without too much delay.
The light steering works against it feeling totally secure, but the 4007 certainly holds on tight in loose and slippery conditions.
The SV also gets third row seating, although these are strictly for occasional use" class="small img-responsive"/>The SV also gets third row seating, although these are strictly for occasional useWhat did our passengers think?
Because the 4007 doesn’t carry the high-beltline common to many of the newer SUV-brigade, passengers (particularly the shorter ones relegated to the middle-row) were pretty pleased with the view out.
Third row passengers didn’t so much like the accommodation, with cramped access to the rear row and knees-up seating taking the shine off the 4007’s seven seat capacity.
Consider it emergency seating for kids though and the rear row makes more sense.
Driver and front passenger are treated to all the space they could need. With electrically-adjustable heated seats, there is no trouble finding a comfortable mode for long hauls.
Interior quality and feel?
While the fit and finish of the 4007 is good, it doesn’t quite match the luxurious feel or elegant design of others in Peugeot’s range.
Those Mitsubishi origins are hard to avoid inside the car.
While the interior is good, and is certainly of reasonable quality, it isn’t quite the fare of a car priced in the low $50,000 range.
This is particularly so when compared to the Outlander VR-X, which boasts more standard equipment yet costs just over $50,000 (and remembering the Outlander range starts from just $32,990).
In five-seat configuration, Peugeot's 4007 yields 589 litres of cargo volume; with the centre-row of seats stowed, space grows to 1691 litres.
That means plenty of room for five passengers and their carry-ons, or, thanks to the electric folding centre-row, more cargo space at the push of a button.
Throughout the cabin there’s room aplenty too, with wide door-pockets up front and dual glove-boxes of generous capacity. There’s also a more modest centre console and an un-lidded bin in the centre stack.
How safe is it?
Both Euro NCAP and Australia’s ANCAP test organisations are without test results for the 4007.
However standard safety features include three-point seat belts in all positions, high adjustable front belts with pretensioners, dual front, side and curtain-airbags, ABS brakes and ESP electronic stability control.
Fuel consumption and Green Rating
Fuel consumption is officially rated at 7.3 l/100km, however on test we returned 8.2 l/100km, a result that seemed mostly the result of the 4007’s poor city driving economy.
That said, highway numbers flashing up on the trip-computer display looked more in line with the officially reported figures however.
How does it compare?
If seating for seven, diesel power and all-wheel-drive are what you’re after then the 4007 keeps some rare company. It isn’t alone in the marketplace but there are only a few options.
As an added bonus the Hyundai and Kia offerings share a more powerful engine and only trail the 4007 by 0.1 l/100km for official combined fuel consumption.
Also worth noting, the pair from Korea boast longer warranty periods and more comprehensive dealer networks, should you be considering heading off the beaten track.
Mitsubishi’s Outlander also rears its head – being the donor vehicle for the 4007, the comparison is inevitable.
If you can live without the 4007's diesel engine and dual-clutch gearbox, despite their strengths, the Outlander has a more generous standard equipment list and a powerful V6 for just $1800 more.
But that Peugeot badge with its strong resale values is not to be sneezed at, nor the superior on-road dynamics of the 4007.
Peugeot’s passenger vehicle range is covered by a three-year/100,000km warranty. The bodywork is also covered by a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Warranty coverage also ensures that if a vehicle is immobilised and requires a replacement part, it will be shipped overnight to ensure fast vehicle repairs.
Exterior finishes include Pilbara grey, Antarctic white, Arctic silver, Mangaro brown, Garrigue green, Muzzano blue, Barkhame bronze and Pearl black. All exterior finishes are matched to black leather trim.
Thanks to a recent price drop, the range topping Peugeot 4007 SV lists at $50,190 before on-road costs. The 4007 range kicks off with the five-seat manual ST from $44,490 (plus ORC).
As a package, Peugeot's 4007 is easy to like. It's the right size for families, without being too big and cumbersome, and is very easy to enjoy on the road. It is also, being a Peugeot, a little out of the ordinary.
If individuality and style counts, the strong and smooth 4007 is well-worth a look.
The same goes for the gearbox, it is good at what it does with buttery-smooth gear changes, but needs to be mapped for better economy – particularly for highway work.
In Europe, where the 4007 is priced a little closer to less-premium opponents, the 4007 sells strongly. For Australia, the premium pricing dents its appeal.
In this segment, there are better buys at the price. While there is not a lot of choice in the seven-seat diesel SUV category, it is certainly well-served by the value-laden offerings from Hyundai and Kia.