A history lesson…
Replacing the legendary Peugeot 206 was a tough gig, and one that Peugeot themselves weren’t prepared to even attempt. As a result, we were given the 207 as a new car – and not a replacement for the 206 – as they decided to continue production of the 206 for a few years more. It was a clever move, because, well, the 207 never really took off like the 206 did.
Oh, the sales were good, but it never received the critical praise like its Dad did; with the GTi version being shockingly unsuccessful! Coming into production in 2006, the 207 represented a new change for Peugeot, as they would now concentrate on making fairly ugly cars for the next few years. Their designs would be governed mostly by the safety men, as the French marque was interested in making their cars some of the safest for pedestrians on the road.
Bang for your buck
The 207 was a considerably bigger car than the 207; longer, wider and bigger inside, you got a lot more steel. But all that driving ability you got in the 206 was gone and all you were left with as quite a heavy car with the same engines the 206 had. It just didn’t work.
It’s not a bad driving car, nor is it unequipped, but there’s no spark, no passion. Peugeot gave you a lovely entertainment screen for sat-nav, but also gave you an in-car perfume smelly, meaning you were forced to smell what the Frenchies want you to smell.
The usual host of airbags, air-con, power-steering and a cloth interior are present, while an 180bhp GTi version is also available for those who want a warm-hatch.
What you’ll pay
Due to the sales success of the 207, there’s a hell of a lot of models and variations you can choose from. 2006 models with a 1.4-litre petrol engine will set you back around £3,000. The diesels are probably the pick of the bunch, as Peugeot do know how to make a good diesel lump.
What to check
Everything. It’s a harsh reality we live in, but a lot of us still aren’t convinced that French cars are made properly. Because a lot of French hatchbacks have lots of plastic in them, a lot of people think they will fall apart, so just make sure that everything is working and that it drives as it should.
A clutch assembly is around £125, while front brakepads are around £55, rear brake shoes around £40 and a new Peugeot starter motor around £130.
How it drives
None of the 207s are fast, even the GTi version. It was remarkable for a car with 180bhp to be so underwhelming on the road; it was panned almost universally as one of the worst hot-hatches ever made. So unless you want a 207 that has been critically panned, we’d say avoid the GTi.
There is a lot of the petrol 207s that are fitted with super old-school petrol engines. The 1.4 8v, for example, has been around since Mary was giving birth to Jesus. As a result, emissions, economy and power are all very disappointing compared to the ultra-modern VVT engines we see these days.
We’d pick a diesel, as Peugeot’s HDi technology is very impressive. No 207 is going to thrill you on the road, but they’re a reliable, successful hatchback that should hold up for a few years at least.