6 January 2020

More than an old car #128: Peugeot 405

Firstly, I would like to wish all readers a happy new year and a good start to 2020! So many changes have happened in the last decade and while we do not know what is going to come for this new one, I hope that you'll get to realise your dreams and aspirations along the way. Let me start this year with this somewhat unconventional 1994 Peugeot 405 GR!

The Peugeot 405 was first introduced in 1987 where it succeeded the 305. At that time, it was the French manufacturer's first attempt at a front-wheel drive mid-size car. It quickly became very popular in Europe, where it was awarded the European Car of the Year in 1988, due to its superb chassis and reliable engines. Initially released as a sedan, an estate/station wagon version appeared in 1989. It had a relatively low drag coefficient of 0.30, making it very aerodynamic, and earned rave reviews for ride quality and transmission. It underwent a facelift in 1992, with modifications notably done to the rear.

The 405 was available with various engines and trim levels, of which the GR was the intermediate level. Local units were sold with the 1580 cc XU5 M i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 168 km/h with an acceleration of 16.2 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It was 4408 mm long and weighed 1080 kg, with a fuel consumption of 8.7 litres/100 km.

Production in Europe ended in 1997, where it was replaced by the 406. However, it is technically still made as of today in Iran and Azerbaijan. For some reason, Iranians love Peugeots a lot, probably because the cars are locally manufactured and affordable. Yet, it was recently announced that the 405 would cease production in mid-2020. To date, production figures are estimated to be about 5 million.

In Singapore, the 405 was sold from 1988 by Advance Automobiles: Peugeot did not have an official showroom unlike today. In 1992, the GR (GLi for this car) was made available in automatic transmission at a price of S$85,980 [S$127,840 in today's money], which was not really cheap. This should be one of the last units left here as most of them succumbed to the COE monster, but it seems that the owner intends to keep it for the long term.

This is a quintessential 90s car, with the boxy styling and cloth seats, although it may not look sophisticated nor classic at first glance. Even as we progress into a new decade, it is fascinating to continue seeing such interesting cars on the road. As such, this has spurred me to continue keeping this blog up for as long as I can!

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