Thursday, August 4, 2011

Car Of The Day: August 4, 2011

Today's car of the day is Novacar's 1989 Peugeot 605.

The Peugeot 605 is an executive car produced by the French manufacturer Peugeot between 1989 and 1999, with a facelift in 1995.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Peugeot 605

Instead of tampoing the "605" on the side of this model, the two tampo hits should have gone to giving this model detailed front and rear fascias.  The plain white plastic looks sadly incomplete and photographs poorly...

The 605 was a saloon/sedan built on the same platform as the Citroën XM, and was successor to the unsuccessful Peugeot 604 which went out of production 4 years earlier. The popular Peugeot 505 model was thus replaced by two cars - the large family car 405, and the executive car 605.
High equipment levels, a luxurious interior, a smooth ride, and exceptional handling were strong points for the 605. But Peugeot has always struggled to succeed with large cars outside France, and the 605 was no different. It was too similar in design and appearance to the smaller Peugeot 405 to command a price premium, while its dashboard also drew criticism for its uninspired design.

Also like the XM, 605 suffered from grave build quality issues that resulted in a large number of breakdowns or malfunctions (particularly with the ambitious electrics), which severely damaged the car's reputation. It took Peugeot three years to improve these disappointing levels of quality. In 1995, Peugeot tried to solve the problems by unveiling an extensively revamped 605 (known as the "Phase 2" model); it received a facelift which looked modern at its time, but also the interior was vastly improved by giving it more ergonomic controls and a refreshed look. Performance and handling were improved as well and many of the reliability issues were solved. Technological advances were made, most remarkably the side airbags.

PSA Peugeot Citroën like Vauxhall/Opel has not been able to address the "luxury-brand" issue effectively - the automobile market rewards such segmentation, by brands from one factory - like Lexus/Toyota, Acura/Honda, and Audi/Volkswagen. Consumers demand a certain exclusivity from luxury cars that commodity producers cannot provide.

After the launch of the well-received Peugeot 406 (that was larger than the 405 it replaced) in 1995, 605 sales dropped to near-insignificant levels, and the 605 was quietly dropped in 1999. Cars built after 1992 generally have good build quality and are often surprisingly good bargains on the second-hand market because the model's poor reputation keeps prices down.

The 605's successor, the Peugeot 607, went into production in late 1999 and has been slightly more successful on the domestic and export markets.

The end of 605 production spelled the end of "05" generation Peugeots in Europe after more than twenty years; this generation had started back in 1977 (UK market 1978) with the 305.


  1. I have an special relation with this particular casting. I love it as a child, as Novacar were sold in Chile and I had this and the Renault Espace ambulance.

    I had a soft spot for Peugeot as our family car was a red 305, and therefore my favourite toy car was the 405 from Majorette in the same colour. But this one was high in my rankings too, until I lost it.

    Happily, I got a replacement last year for very little money. I see they had to put 605 tampos on it because otherwise not many would have known what car it was.

  2. I had a few Novacars purchased at a now defunct retailer known as Ames, and I've been slowly filling in the gaps. This was one of the major gaps and thankfully this one came my way in a recent purchase. The price was definitely right- while not common, it's also not as desirable as some other models.