What Car? magazine is arguably the leading authority on testing and reviewing cars. The team there know what they’re doing, and as such, they put new and used cars through the wringer in the name of finding out all the truths, all the niggles, all the highs and all the lows. If you’re buying a car, it’s a resource you honestly need. The thing is, almost every car within the What Car? pages is way above our meagre £2,000 budget. That is, until, now.
Say hello to What Car?’s 1996 Peugeot 406 1.8 LX. The same car it crowned ‘Car of the Year’ in 1996. Well, the same model. It’s not this actual car. Obviously.
Is that a peach or what? It looks remarkably clean and tidy, though What Car?’s used cars editor, Alex Robbins, did confess that it’s been subjected to a weekend of vigorous cleaning. It’s certainly done the trick, as the French saloon looks bang on the money.
Speaking of money, that’s what brings it here. It cost the magazine a paltry £450, nestling it well within the N2G cross-hairs. This is the kind of car we are keen to represent. For a magazine as big as What Car? to be dipping its toe into the shallowest end of the budgetary pool is a big deal, especially during a time when big companies are pushing drivers to abandon these cars.
There’s no doubt that the 67k, 1.8LX 406 will be used properly. It’s not a novelty for What Car?, it will be subjected to the same tests as every other long-termer it has on the fleet. The 406 is going to have to work hard to earn its keep over its six month run with the magazine, there’s no doubt about that.
Where will it go? We don’t know. But that’s what makes this so interesting. We have high hopes for the 406, and we also hope it will be a deserving ambassador for those of us who don’t have the means to buy expensive motors. Given our knowledge of old, cheap cars, we have every confidence that this exciting project will be an eye-opener for many.