Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

1.8 engine struggles to heave the large body around; the ordinary 2.0 16v is a bit noisy when pushed hard – so go for the zippier 2.0i Turbo if funds permit; of the older turbo-diesels, the 2.1 is a better choice than the rather sluggish 1.9; new generation ‘common rail’ HDi diesels are both nippier and more economical; the latest 2.2 HDi is lively; 3.0 V6 is a delight – it’s potent and refined.

Never less than a great drive, with good grip and a well-controlled ride. Despite its size, 406 feels agile and is enjoyably fluent. Sophisticated suspension soaks up bumps and holes in the road and is well honed to motorway cruising.