|Production||1995–2004 (France, United Kingdom) 1995–2008 (Egypt) 1996–2003 (Italy) (Coupé)|
|Class||Large family car|
|Body style||2-door coupé 4-door sedan 5-door station wagon|
|Engine||1.6L I4 1.8L I4 2.0L I4 2.0L I4 Turbocharged 2.2L I4 2.9L V6 1.9L I4 Turbodiesel 2.0L I4 HDi 2.1L I4 Turbodiesel 2.2L I4 HDi|
|Length||4,555 mm (179 in) (4-door)|
|Width||1,764 mm (69 in) (4-door)|
|Height||1,396 mm (55 in) (4-door)|
|Designer(s)||Laurent Rossi (Sedan) Davide Arcangeli & Lorenzo Ramciotti at Pininfarina (Coupé)|
The styling of the 406 is heavily influenced by its predecessor, the 405, which remained on sale for a year in most Western markets while stocks were exhausted. The 405 estate even remained in production for over a year after the 406 went on sale.
Initially, the car was available with 1.8 L and 2.0 L petrol and 1.9 L turbodiesel engines, followed by a 110 bhp 2.1 L turbodiesel, turbocharged 2.0 L and 2.9 L petrol (2946cc) V6 engines. The diesel versions were very popular, and the 406 became one of Europe's best-selling diesel-powered cars.
The 2-door coupé was both designed and manufactured by Italian design studio Pininfarina, with choices of a 2.0 L 4-cylinder engine or a 2.9 L V6, and from 2001, a 2.2 L HDi diesel engine. Major assembly was undertaken by Pininfarina, with final assembly, including trim and engines, being undertaken by Peugeot in France. On later models, a 2.2 L petrol engine was available.
For its final year on sale in the United Kingdom, the model was simply called the Peugeot Coupé, with the 406 branding being dropped from the name.
The 406 was notably successful in the United Kingdom having broken into the key UK fleet sales market with a high percentage of units becoming company cars and taxis.
In 2002, a Peugeot 406 HDi set the world record for the longest distance driven on a single tank of fuel. The car travelled across Australia between Melbourne to Rockhampton, with a total distance of 2,348 km.
Knock-down kit versions of the car were also built at the Yontrakit Industrial Factory in Lad Krabang, Bangkok, Thailand.
The facelifted 406 sedan was introduced in 1999 and safety, strength and speed enhancements resulted in improved Euro NCAP performance. Where the old 406 had one star and a struck off star, the post facelift models gained 3 stars The changes included the new and improved EW/DW Engine Family HDI with greater power, torque and fuel efficiency along with increased refinement, making it comparatively quiet for a diesel. A downside was an increase in the car's insurance bracket from 9 to 12 Other amended parts included the transmission (ratio in fifth increased from 25 to 28 mph/1000 rpm), wheels, suspension and brakes.
The exterior look was amended as the 406 featured more pronounced ribs, clear glass headlights and a new honeycomb grill. The rear lights were finished in red with a strip of the car's paint colour across the centre.
The interior was also redesigned to improve comfort and space. New equipment included automated digital climate control/air conditioning on most models except the most basic and a digital display for warning messages, trip computer, radio and external temperature. There was a more extensive use of wooden trim, better quality plastics, including soft touch plastics, and in addition most models received electrically folding mirrors, with automatic headlights and wipers. The top-of-the-range Executive model was specified a 10 speaker JBL sound system, electrically adjusted and heated leather seats, a memory position for the seats and mirrors, headlight washer jets, a rear sun blind, thicker carpeting, lights in the sun visors, and ambient lighting.
406 ended production in 2004.
The 406 saloon was featured in the French Taxi movie series. In Taxi the 406 has a modified 3.0 V6 capable of tremendous speed and a pop-out front and rear spoiler. Taxi 2 featured the facelifted 406 which also had pop-out spoiler but with a different front bumper,and wings to aid aerial movement, such as when the car "jumps" over French army tanks trying to block its escape. In the movie it is capable of reaching a top speed of 306 km/h (190 mph). In Taxi 3, the 406 is further upgraded to be able to travel in icy terrain. The fourth movie Taxi 4 features a 407 instead. More gadgets and pop-out spoilers were added.
A Peugeot 406 also featured heavily in the 1998 action film Ronin, which is noted for its car chase scenes. The car was driven in the final car chase throughout the streets of Paris by the main protagonists, Robert De Niro and Jean Reno
The 406 coupe featured in the French movie Le Boulet (2002), in which the coupé is the main vehicle in a police chase through Paris.