My car (Peugeot 406 1.8 16V) has an old-fashioned radiator without a separate coolant overflow tank. It is an integrated unit. The manual only shows the newer models equipped with overflow tanks. There are six lines. I marked the minimum (lowest) and maximum (highest) lines in the picture.
Line A = Min
Line B = Max
I believe the max line means the coolant must be there when the engine is hot and running (has reached its operating temperature). In other words, coolant level must not be there when the engine is stone cold. I also believe that somewhere between A & B (maybe between 3rd & 4th lines) is the correct level when the engine is cold.
But I might be wrong!