Many of our valued readers have probably already read the "Do you remember?" series. There we present cars from the past that are now almost forgotten. But what about the models that are still on the road in large numbers? The types that everyone knows, that have been on the road for well over 20 years, or in some cases much less.

Will they become classic cars one day? This is a source of controversy and we want to present some of these models in our "Classic of the future?" series.

Gallery: Peugeot 605 (1989-1999)

Hardly anyone still has them on their radar, not even their own press department. Decades later, what happened to the Peugeot 605 during its lifetime outside France is continuing which is only moderate interest in the brand's flagship. An insider tip then?

Premiere 35 years ago

In July 1989, Peugeot presented the 605 as the successor to the 604, which had already disappeared from the programme in 1986. At the same time, the 4.72 metre long 605 was also to replace the 505. Either way, the 6 as the first digit indicates the model's claim to be at the top of the range.

As a classic notchback saloon typical of Peugeot, the 605 was originally to be designed by Pininfarina, but the appearance of the facelifted Renault 25 forced Peugeot to bring its top model to market sooner than planned, and so the collaboration was abandoned. However, there is a hint of Pininfarina in the side lines of the bodywork, which is very similar to that of the Pininfarina-designed Alfa Romeo 164.

Peugeot 605 (1989-1999)

Peugeot 605 (1989-1999)

Influences can also be seen from the Peugeot 405 (also a Pininfarina design), the front section is similar to the Oxia study from 1988. The 605 shares the platform with the Citroën XM.

Problems with quality

As so often, Peugeot prioritised comfort and ride quality in the 605, with the 605's conventional chassis being praised by the press. However, Peugeot soon ruined its good reputation itself. In its first few months, the 605 had major reliability problems, particularly with its electrical functions (problems also experienced by the Citroën XM). With its complete equipment (advanced variable power steering, heated electric seats, controlled suspension, OBD, etc.), the 605 set a record for the length of wiring harnesses and cabling.

The great Peugeot's good sales start went down the drain and its manufacturing shortcomings did not make a good impression on customers in a conservative market dominated by the Germans. Peugeot endeavoured to rectify the situation, but too late. The label of the problem car stuck firmly to the 605, which ultimately did not sell very well. However, its excellent platform was largely carried over to its successor, the 607

Peugeot 605 (1989-1999)

Peugeot 605 (1989-1999)

In mid-1994, airbags, seatbelt tensioners and side impact protection were introduced as standard. At the beginning of 1995, Peugeot redesigned the front and rear of the 605. This gave the vehicle larger-looking headlights and darkened rear lights.

Europe V6, prototype with V8 and President 605

The most powerful version of the 605 had a V6 engine with a capacity of 3.0 litres, 24 valves and 200 PS under the bonnet. The so-called "Europa-V6" PRV engine was developed together with Renault and Volvo. This engine is also available in a version with 12 valves and 167 PS. The SV24 lettering at the rear and special 16-inch wheels are clearly recognisable features of the top model.

From 1997, both engines were replaced by a newer 3.0 V6 with timing belt, which only produced 190 PS. The 605 also featured a turbocharged 2.1-litre swirl chamber diesel with intercooling, which produced 109 PS, and later a 2.5-litre turbodiesel with 129 PS. Other engines include a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 147 PS and the naturally aspirated petrol engine with the same displacement and 121 PS.

Peugeot 605 (1989-1999)

What did the contemporary press say? In 1990, ADAC, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V., Europe's largest automobile club based in Munich, praised the spaciousness and functional cockpit, as well as the 605 SV 3.0's smooth-running six-cylinder engine, while the fuel consumption of 12.9 litres was not yet worthy of criticism at the time. However, the bodywork, which was unclear towards the rear, and the sports setting of the shock absorber tuning, which could be adjusted at the touch of a button, were not. The car was priced at DM 42,890, while a more modestly equipped BMW 520i with 150 PS cost DM 42,600. More than three decades later, an SV 3.0 in good condition was listed at just under €6,000.

In 1991, the 605 with a 4.0-litre V8 and 380 PS remained just a prototype. In the same year, the Elysée Palace acquired a Peugeot 605, which was extended and armoured by the Breton company Labbé, which later became Centigon. The presidential 605 is equipped with a 167 PS V6 engine and features high-strength steel armouring and windows made of a mix of bulletproof glass and polycarbonate.

This is reflected in the weight: 2,500 kg, which is 1,000 kg more than the standard 605 V6 model. The saloon is mainly used by heads of state visiting France, such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Hosni Mubarak and Pope John Paul II.

In September 1999, Peugeot ceases production of the 605 after exactly 254,461 units. Its successor model is launched in spring 2000 under the name 607.