If you are a looking for a zippy city runabout, the Peugeot 207 could just be the car for you. It oozes French charm and more than a little je ne sais quoi, with its distinctive Peugeot styling and plenty of space.
This popular model from the trusted French manufacturer comes in a range of formats, including the enduringly popular three-door and five-door hatchback, five-door station wagon, and cabrio coupe (cc). Whichever you choose, it is hard not to be impressed by the amount of interior space Peugeot has managed to create with what is essentially a small, compact city car. The extended station wagon is particularly roomy while the 207 cc is the perfect entry-level soft top, but the three- and five-door hatches rule when it comes to used Peugeot sales.
The 207 draws on the legacy that was left by the supremely popular Peugeot 205, which was considered something of a modern classic and changed the way many people view runabout vehicles. It may not be perfect, but it does not come with a Mercedes or Jaguar price tag. For a good, honest motor to get you around town in a jiffy without compromising on comfort, the 207 is an excellent choice.
The Peugeot 207 is available with several different engine options. Choose from the three- or five-door XR with 1.4L engine and manual transmission; five-door 1.6L XT with 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission; a five-door HDi XT with 1.6L diesel engine and 5-speed manual transmission; and a sporty three-door GT/GTi model with 1.6L turbo engine and 5-speed manual gearbox.
The 1.6L engine is surprisingly poky, even in its diesel incarnation. Peugeot has a long legacy in diesel engine technology, and the 207 reaps all the benefits. Despite giving only 80kW of power, the HDi has plenty of torque, especially with the benefit of an ‘over-boost’ function, which lifts it temporarily from a perfectly respectable 240Nm to an even more powerful 260Nm. There is no lack of acceleration in each of the diesel’s 5 manual gears. It achieves 0-100km/h in 10.1 seconds, which, while not the fastest, certainly feels effortless, with plenty more to give. Top speeds are around 193km/h, and the drive is smooth and quiet.
Like its larger sibling the 307, the 207 handles well. It is responsive and sturdy on the bends and suitably light when you want to just sit back and let it go. Electronic stability control and traction control, which come as standard on the XE and GT variants, add still further to the stability and overall handling.
There are a number of options available for the Peugeot 207 so, depending on which model and manufacturing date you are considering, it may include panoramic glass roof with sunshade and video and audio rear parking assistance, which although not strictly necessary in a car of this size, is certainly a welcome luxury for avoiding kids’ scooters, hidden bollards, and other random debris. A speed limiter and cruise control are also available as extras along with 16-inch alloy wheels.
Models such as the HDi come with a sports trim to the interior, with smartly trimmed (and comfortable) sports seats, and chrome finishes to the gear stick, steering wheel, and dash. Other nice touches are one-touch power windows with anti-pinch facility, electric and heated door mirror (standard to all but the base model), automatic door and boot locking, air-conditioning with pollen filter (dual zone climate control in the XE and GT models), and cooled glove box for those hot summer days.
Safety is high on the agenda for the 207, with plenty of airbags as standard, including dual-generator bags to the front to minimise airbag injury while maximising safety, and seat belt warning systems are perfect for notifying parents if their offspring have failed to strap themselves in at the back.
For a long time Peugeot held a reputation as being a brand from which one graduated, say, to a BMW or a Volkswagen. To some extent that is still true, but needlessly so. The Peugeot 207 holds its own very much in its class, with many drivers simply choosing to trade in their 207 for the newer 208 or indeed, for the slightly larger 307 or 308. For those looking for a touch of German engineering, the VW Polo is certainly an alternative contender, while other competition comes in the form of the Mini Cooper, Fiat Punto, and smaller Citroens.