Peugeot adds to its dynasty
The Peugeot 207 is the newest member of the legendary 2 series dynasty, which has seen 13.2 million cars produced since the launch of the 201 in 1929. When Peugeot 206 replaced the legendary 205, nobody would have known what a success it was going to be. With over 5.5 million cars produced it has become the bestselling Peugeot ever.
The next chapter in the Peugeot 2 series is now here with the new 207, and it continues to build on the three main strengths of the previous models: visual appeal, strong personality and fantastic road handling. Currently there are four models with four petrol and one diesel engine to choose from. The petrol engines are a joint development between PSA and BMW, an engine that will also be found in the new Mini, out later this year. The 207 is bigger, wider and higher than the 206 and is available in both three and five-door. The model range will be boosted around July with the addition of the GTI and Cabrio models.
We had the pleasure of driving the GT and XT HDI from the model range. The first was the two-door 207 GT, a five-speed manual with a 1.6L bi-turbo engine, displacing the equivalent power of a 2L naturally aspirated engine but with an amazing fuel economy, a combined cycle of 7.0L per 100km and low CO2 emission of 166g/km. This engine outputs 110kw of power and 240Nm of torque at only 1,400 rpm. At 1,000 rpm you get an amazing 150Nm allowing you to accelerate quickly at low speeds even in fifth gear.
The second was the 207 XT HDI, a five-speed manual with a 1.6L turbo diesel, outputting 90kW of power and 240Nm of torque. The combined cycle fuel economy is a miserly 4.8L per 100km. The highway cycle is a mere 4.1L per 100km, giving you a range of over 1,200km on its 50-litre tank.
One of my biggest beefs with the old 206 was that the pedals on the manual where at an angle and at a distance from each other in such a way that, when I drove, my foot would slide off the clutch and wedge itself in between the clutch and the brake pedal, more than a little dangerous. I am glad to say that this is not the case with the new 207, and the driving position is comfortable and fully adjustable.
The list of standard features in each of these models is extensive, including six airbags, auto lights and wipers and air-con, just to name a few. The GT also comes standard with a glass panoramic roof, rear parking sensors and a groovy lighting system that illuminates the inside of a corner at 30°, all which is activated automatically when the car senses the need for “side lighting” of the up and coming corner. If you want the car to continue smelling nice the GT also comes with a standard fragrance diffuser, but it can only be used with factory product. It’s a shame that one standard feature missing is cruise control, which is still available but a $250 option.
Peugeot has done well to come up with a package that remains affordable as well and remaining funky, fuel efficient, environmentally friendly and safe. If you are in the market for a small car, make sure you have the 207 on your list.
Engines: 1.4L 55Kw, 1.4L 65Kw, 1.6L and 1.6L twin turbo petrol, 1.6L turbo diesel
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed Triptronic auto