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Driven: Peugeot 207 GT – on sale now

Peugeot

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Review

The in-house design team at Peugeot has done a great job with the 207. It’s an attractive triangular shape with hints of Eighties’ wedge about it, especially with the sports styling front end.

The front of the 207 can be specified in the softer ‘classic’ style, or with a lower front panel incorporating front fogs for the ‘sport’. The latter also makes a show of its chrome-plated exhaust.

The two cars tested were the THP 150bhp and the HDi 110bhp. The petrol 1.6-litre 150bhp unit is part of the PSA Peugeot-Citroën and BMW partnership, and features high-pressure direct petrol injection. Torque is excellent and lies in a range that is usually the domain of diesel engines (177lb ft @ 1,400rpm).

The 1.6-litre HDi with 110bhp is the range-topper of the diesel range. It features a variable geometry turbocharger for a quick response and is fitted with a diesel particulate filter.

Both units are coupled to a five-speed manual gearbox, and the gear ratios are well suited to both throughout the whole range.

The 207, in both guises, offers an appealing drive. It’s nimble and fun, while being easy to manoeuvre for city driving. It will appeal to pretty much everyone, from youngsters wanting a fun car, through the school run period, to retired folk who want a smaller vehicle that they can feel secure in.

I’ve avoided all comparisons to the 206 so far; however… Peugeot says that the 207 “is not a replacement for the 206” and both models will be sold side-by-side.

I can’t help wonder if dealers are finding this to be the case. Public perception seems to be that the 207 is the new 206. Sales of the 206 hatchback in 2005 were 55,243; last year it sold just 24,467 with 207, which went on sale in July, selling 27,114.

Price: Three-door THP 150: £17,465 including options Five-door HDi 110: £18,215 inc options
Engine: THP 150: 1.6-litre petrol, 150bhp @ 5,800rpm, 177lb ft @ 1,400rpm.
HDi 110: 1.6-litre diesel, 110bhp @ 4,000rpm, 177lb ft @ 1,750rpm
Performance THP: 0-62mph 8.1sec, top speed 131mph.
HDi: 0-62mph 11.1sec, top speed 120mph
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Efficiency: THP: 40.3mpg (combined), 166g/km CO2 HDi: 58.8mpg (combined), 126g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: THP: £5,275 (37%) HDi: £5,450 (36%)
Rivals: Renault Clio, Mini Cooper, Ford Fiesta ST
Strengths: Good handling and fuel consumption
Weaknesses: No hardcore driving version to tempt young money
Opportunity: Becoming the new Peugeot ‘must have’
Threat: More dramatic-looking competition
USP: Offers genuine appeal to all ages and family commitments

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