The Peugeot 605 is an executive car produced by the French manufacturer Peugeot between 1989 and 1999, with a facelift in 1995.
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.
Design and styling
Its appearance resembles that of the Alfa Romeo 164, launched the 7 February 1987 before, and also styled by Pininfarina. It also bears a strong visual resemblance to the smaller Peugeot 405.
Eight petrol engines were offered during the 605's lifetime:
- 2.0-liter 8-valve carbureted inline-4, 84 kW (114 PS; 113 bhp)
- 2.0-liter 8-valve fuel-injected inline-4, 79 kW (107 PS; 106 bhp)
- 2.0-litre 8-valve fuel-injected inline-4, 89 kW (121 PS; 119 bhp)
- 2.0-litre 8-valve fuel-injected turbocharged inline-4, 108 kW (147 PS; 145 bhp)
- 2.0-litre 16-valve fuel-injected inline-4, 97 kW (132 PS; 130 bhp)
- 3.0-liter 12-valve fuel-injected V6, 123 kW (167 PS; 165 bhp)
- 3.0-liter 24-valve fuel-injected V6, 147 kW (200 PS; 197 bhp)
- 2.9-liter 24-valve fuel-injected V6, 142 kW (193 PS; 190 bhp)
As well as three diesel engines:
- 2.1-liter 12-valve normally aspirated inline-4, indirect injection, 60 kW (82 PS; 80 bhp)
- 2.1-liter 12-valve turbocharged inline-4, indirect injection, 80 kW (109 PS; 107 bhp)
- 2.5-liter 12-valve turbocharged inline-4, indirect injection, 95 kW (129 PS; 127 bhp)
The base 4-cylinder petrol engine and the normally aspirated diesel, though reliable, were generally considered to be simply over matched by the car's weight. The fuel-injected inline-4 was better received though it was criticised for lacking low- and mid-range punch, whereas the 170 hp (127 kW) V6 suffered from criticisms over poor fuel economy (mostly due to its design essentially dating from the late 1960s). The same issue affected the top-of-the range V6-24 version in spite of its all-new 24-valve cylinder head, though a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph) made poor fuel economy more acceptable to generally well-heeled customers. The 2.1 turbo-diesel was widely regarded as a good powertrain but was outclassed by the new direct-injection engines introduced in 1988 by Audi.
A 2.0-liter (8-valve) turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine (150 bhp) was added in 1991 and provided good performance but proved unreliable. Later, a 2.5 turbodiesel (130 bhp) completed the diesel lineup. In 1997, the antiquated 3.0-liter engine was replaced at long last by an all-new 2.9-liter, 24-valve, 194 bhp (145 kW) V6, finally giving the car a powertrain worthy of its exceptional road holding.