Given the need to stand out, not only from its design stablemates but also in a marketplace clogged with compact 4x4s, it's not surprising that Peugeot's stylists at the company's Velizy studios insisted on a bold look for this car. Certainly, it has a front end you'd see coming from the white cliffs of Dover without having to put 20p in the telescope. There's no mistaking, in other words, that the 4007 has presence and it's not a car you'll overlook in a sea of lookalike 4x4s in the Waitrose car park.
Peugeot's penchant for functionality and innovation is clearly visible in the 4007, with its flexible 5+2 seating configuration. For ease of use when exiting the third row seats, or when reconfiguring the boot layout, the second row seats can be electronically folded forwards using the buttons located internally next to the rear wheel arches. The two occasional use seats in the rear can be simply folded away under the floor, while the second row of seating also slides and reclines for greater comfort.
The 4007 offers plenty of stowage space throughout, with over 20 individual storage compartments. When all five rear seats are folded away to provide a flat floor, a vast load space of 1,686 litres becomes available, while the boot capacity is 510 litres when the second row seats are in use. To help loading items into the huge boot space, there's a split two-piece tailgate. Folded down, the lower section drops the sill by 64mm allowing heavy goods to be easily loaded, while doubling as a handy bench capable of supporting up to 200kg.
And equipment levels? Well, as well as the electronic 'on-demand' four-wheel drive system and the usual ABS and ESP set-ups, you can expect to find roof bars, automatic air conditioning with climate control, pollen and dust filters, six airbags (front, side, and curtain), an ultrasonic alarm and remote control central locking with deadlocks, alloy wheels, a trip computer, front fog lights and a radio/ CD player with MP3 compatibility.
Although it will cope with moderate off-road driving, the 4007 isn't designed as a hardcore off-road tool and examples that have been used as such should be avoided. Check for telltale scuffed wheels, and have a good look underneath to ensure there's no impact damage. Otherwise, with the mechanicals being supplied by Mitsubishi, it's reasonable to expect strong reliability from Peugeot's 4x4.
(Based on a 2007 SE) A replacement exhaust (front to the catalyst) will set you back roughly £285, while a new clutch will be around £215. A replacement alternator should be around £175 and a starter motor about the same. A new wing mirror is in the region of £165, while a headlamp is an eye watering £240.
All Peugeot 4007 models come powered by the same 2.2-litre HDi diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. This unit will generate 156bhp and 380Nm of torque and is even capable of running on a 30 per cent mixture of diesel biofuel without resort to modification. The engine has been modified from that found in the 407 saloon range to offer additional lugging power but much of the basic architecture is the same - which is no bad thing.
Optimised for on-road use, the all-wheel drive system on the 4007 is enough to maximise traction on slippery roads and muddy tracks, although those looking to tackle more arduous terrain would be best served looking for a vehicle with a proper low-range transfer case and a little more in the way of overall ground clearance. The 4007's 'on-demand' 4WD system enables the driver to select three modes of drive, while on the move. First is 'Permanent 2WD', intended for normal tarmac use, with all power directed to the front wheels. In 'Automatic 4WD', engine torque is delivered automatically to wheels that require the most traction at any time.
Should you find yourself in a sticky situation however, you might need to select 'Permanent 4WD'. This set-up splits torque 50:50 between front and rear wheels. The idea of all this technology is to give the 4007 what Peugeot call 'the best of both worlds', enabling it to tackle reasonably rough terrain, yet still provide acceptable on-road dynamic behaviour and competitive fuel economy.
The 2.2-litre HDI engine does an admirable job of allaying the fears prospective 4007 buyers may harbour concerning their environmental impact. This substantial seven-seat 4x4 is never going to tread as lightly on the earth as a tiny citycar but 39mpg and 191g/km carbon dioxide emissions mean that at least owners will be able to hold their heads up reasonably high at the Greenpeace AGM.
The 4007 arrived on the scene at a time when the compact 4x4 market was booming with numerous unlikely manufacturers rushing to get in on the act. Few were more unlikely than Peugeot but with a little help from its friends at Mitsubishi, the French marque managed to pull off a competitive product.
The 4007 is composed on the road and as capable off it as most owners will need it to be. The interior is toughly built and feels more like that of a Mitsubishi than a Peugeot while practicality is a definite strong suit. The styling will divide opinion but in general, the 4007 is a commendable first attempt at an SUV from Peugeot.