Now its age is starting to show: the driving position is nothing short of peculiar, there are questions over its build quality and it’s very cramped inside. Rivals can match – or beat – its status as a fashion accessory and many have copied its metal folding roof. But there are more 206CCs around than other small roadsters, so there’s plenty of choice.
Original trim levels were S and SE. S had electric front and rear windows, ABS with EBD, PAS, driver and front passenger airbags, air-con and remote central locking. 2.0 SE adds climate control, 16in alloys, side airbags and GTi-style sports bumper and wings. Allure (from 2003) has a JBL hi-fi, leather interior, ESP and aluminium pedals. S and SE were dropped in 2005, with Zest and Sport replacing them.
Driving and performance
206CC was designed more for posing than driving enthusiastically. With the roof up, it drives more-or-less like the hatchback on which it’s based.
The steering is light, but lacks feedback and precision, the brakes are so-so and the gearchange can be vague. But it’s acceptable and fine to drive in town or on the motorway.
Lower the roof and the handling suffers considerably. The body is less rigid and flexes, especially when cornering. The ride is a little hard compared to other small French hatches, but still quite compliant.
A noisy car at most speeds, even with the roof up –engine tyre and wind noise are all apparent, and it only gets worse with the roof down. The rear seats are only acceptable for the smallest of children or shopping bags; there’s very little legroom and the sloping roof means there’s almost no headroom.
The two petrols were offered from launch in 2001. The 1.6 has 110bhp and a 0-60 mph time of 10.4sec. It’s better suited to summertime cruising rather than full-out performance. The 138bhp 2.0-litre gets to 60mph in 8.6 seconds and feels much zippier all-round. A diesel is a rare, but not unique, addition to this class. The 1.6 HDi, launched in 2005, has a slower 0-62 mph time than the 1.6 petrol, but feels strong, is great for overtaking and returns nearly 60mpg on the combined cycle.
The 1.6 only has two airbags compared to the 2.0’s four, but it achieved a good four star Euro NCAP crash rating as a hatchback. The hard roof provides extra security, and there’s also an alarm, immobilizer and remote central locking.