Recently, one of our cars was involved in a crash and to cut a very long and drawn out story short, we ended up with a rental car. Not only did we get given a car that wasn’t like for like, but it was a Peugeot 207. I don’t often come into contact with Peugeot’s ever-growing fleet of misshapen vehicles but on this occasion it could not be avoided. So, for once I’ve not just examined a car for half an hour but instead, had to live with it for a typical working week.
To begin with, Britain’s been having a bit of a cold snap lately. Unfortunately, the cold didn’t seem to agree with the 207, which on more than one occasion refused to start, quite a shocking attribute for a car only manufactured in 2011. Naturally, that caused much inconvenience.
As you can probably see from the picture, the Peugeot 207 is also not the most attractive car, in fact it’s rather unsightly. It seems to me that Peugeot have set out to make a car that looks quite big on the outside but in reality, is disappointingly small on the inside. From certain angles, the 207 doesn’t look too bad, in fact it has some pretty attractive curves designed to reduce the drag coefficient. It’s only when the front end of the car comes into view that everything else is spoiled entirely and the prospect of ever buying one of these goes down the drain.
It’s also clear to me that this car has been manufactured with a very small budget, and for small French cars, that is always a factor. So, I tried my hardest not to be disappointed by the interior. The plastics aren’t really up to scratch, andthe base model doesn’t even have Air Conditioning or Electric Windows. I also felt that the dashboard of the car was mounted too high up, making life much harder for shorter drivers – a clear inadequacy in a car targeting young women. Another quite small but nonetheless important downfall is the silver plastic design on the dashboard which reflects on the windscreen causing a constant and unsafe distraction for the driver.
Now, another bone to pick. I tend always to look for a good radio and Sound System in a car, and I’m not usually disappointed with the modern systems being fitted to the cars of today. But, what I found in the Peugeot left me feeling very cold indeed. Firstly, the radio is impossible to set up. Even for a teenager, it was like trying to hack into MI6. Secondly, the radio prefers to listen to AM frequencies, so every time the engine switches off, it sets itself back from FM to AM leaving the fraught driver to once again, struggle to find some decent music. Finally, when you do get the radio working, even when the volume is turned up, sitting in the front of the car is like being whispered to, and because Peugeot don’t fit the car with any more than 2 front speakers, being in the back is like being in Limbo. At this point, you’re lucky if you’ve not pulled out your hair.
On the positive, when it gets onto the road, the Peugeot drives with a very smooth ride leaving passengers feeling relatively comfortable, responding well to any driver input, although this may just be down to the age of the car we were given. Generally, it seemed to chug along quite nicely with its modest 1.4l Petrol Engine. I am unaware of whether or not a used 207 would be as tight to drive as our fairly new rental – you can see our advice with regards to buying used cars here. I suggest that you thoroughly check this out if you’re interested in buying a 207 or any used car, dealer approved or not.
So, to make the ultimate decision, we look at the specifications for the base model 5-door hatchback:
Engine Size: 1.4l Petrol
Top Speed: 106mph
Acceleration from 0-62mph: 15.7 seconds
CO2 Emissions: 145g/km
Fuel Economy: 45mpg
VED Band: F (£130)
It’s clearly not a rocket, and it’s not even that economical, but for a brand new car, this is a very low price. I’d like to see some improvements made when the rumored 208 finally comes to fruition, but if you’re a student in need of a runaround and you’ve got £10,000 to spare for a new car, it mightn’t be a bad idea. Although DM will tell you otherwise, I’d opt for a used Mercedes Benz A-Class – it has a good reputation, excellent build quality and most importantly, a German badge.
So, my apologies go out to the Peugeot 207, but it’s only a 4 out of 10 from me.