French Connection.

I may or may not have hinted at it, but -finally- I am on the road again. And in keeping with my reputation as a slightly insane person, I went for something that on paper sounds like the worst idea possible, a french car built by italians.

My family has a bit of a history with french cars. Way back in the 1970s my Grandfather drove a Renault 16, a large hatchback thing with different wheelbases left and right. Him being an engineer he obviously buys his cars based on their gimmicks. My dad would later continue the trend with not one but two Citroens. The first car I ever rode in was in fact his beloved Xantia Break.

To my knowledge the only suriving photograph of the legend that is STD-K8343
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And, because french cars are way more reliable than their reputation it survived 530,ooo km (330,000 miles) until it was ultimately killed off by a prematurely failed timing belt. This means the Xantia was a constant entity during the first ten years or so of my life. After a short break from french engineering we bought a certain 2008 Renault Espace...

But you obviously didn’t come here to read about cars that no longer exist, you came to see the completion of the Circle. I bought a Peugeot.

So fresh she’s still rocking them temp plates

Those aware of fellow Oppo user Duurtlang will immediately recognize this as a Peugeot 406 Coupé, styled and built in Italy by Pininfarina, but built on the same underpinnings as the humble 406 Sedan and Citroen Xantia. This particular is a Series one, but it already has the newer 2.0L EW10 RFR code engine usually found in facelifted 406 and the Citroen C5. Americans, brace youselves, because this car has all of 135hp on tap to move 1460kg (3200lbs) of Car. The close ratio 5-speed manual transmission does what it can to keep it from being slow, but it doesn’t take long to realize the other engine options (a 2.2L Petrol with 158hp, a 131hp 2.2L Turbodiesel and a 207hp 3.0L V6) are far better suited to its weight.

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Lets get things out of the way, this isn’t a sports car. Its front wheel drive, its equipped with leather upholstery, electric heated seats, air conditioning, cruise control, a CD/Cassette Stereo system and a full size spare tire. It is for all intents and purposes a european take on the Personal Luxury Car. Which is fine. How does it drive? Like a european take on the personal luxury car. Which is to say comfortable but not overtly soft. It has no issues keeping up with traffic, no issues overtaking Trucks on two lane country roads.

So how is it on the financial side? In short, not too bad. The reputation of french cars does wonders to their resale value. €2,100 for a very well equipped, attractive and slightly unusual car with reasonable mileage is a rather fair price. Sure, it has a few small areas that need attention but this is to be expected. Fuel economy appears to be reasonable, got it up to 38mpg highway already. Impressive for a heavy car with short gear ratios and only 5 gears. No exotic mechanicals keep repair cost reasonable, but I haven’t had to fix anything yet as every piece of equipment is currently working flawless.

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Flying Buttresses!
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Hat tip to our resident Peugeot expert Duurtlang for advising me on the purchase.

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