The refreshing choice
The key I currently have in my pocket will grant access to a Peugeot 207 of sorts with, umm… This manufacturer is rather stingy with their badges so that’s all I know for now. I’m unsure what engine it has but can report about the presence of five doors and a solid roof so it’s neither the GTi nor the flip-top CC.
A short consultation with the Peugeot South Africa website yielded the following results. You may buy the pretty 207 with five doors in three variations. The entry-level Urban trim will cost you N$161 493, Active requires N$174 683, while a top-spec Dynamic model retails for N$205 625.
Last-named vehicle also comes with front fog lights which matches the cheeky number on my driveway. Hence, what you are reading about now appears to be a Peugeot 207 5-door Dynamic. It’s also available in HDi turbo-diesel for N$219 300 but my tester idles quietly and is capable of over 6,000rpm so no, a Diesel it ain’t.
By the power of deduction that means the sleek Pug outside is powered by a 1.6L petrol engine with maximum power of 88kW (120hp) or torque to the tune of 160Nm. It requires an average of 6.1L unleaded per 100km and should only expel about 141g of C02 per km.
Peugeot’s website didn’t list the vehicle’s acceleration or maximum speed figures, rather dotting them as standard equipment. How obvious. Then again, it also introduced the consumption figures with something called “Consommation”. Sounds naughty.
Another website alleges a 207 1.6 petrol top speed of 190km/h and our GPS clocked the standing 100km/h sprint in 10.7 seconds. It may only have average power outputs but the 207 petrol provides pleasing grunt and decent torque for everyday conditions.
A sixth gear would benefit cruising and consommation, pardõn, consumption, but the engine registers only 3,500rpm at 120km/h in fifth and all preceding gears are nicely spaced. It’s quite responsive and revs freely but will become incredibly boomy (intrusively loud) beyond 4 500rpm.
The 207’s pedals are also eager to please and the lightly-sprung clutch teams up with incredibly fluffy steering to make this small Peugeot easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to drive and park. Fanatical motorists and boy racers will dislike this effortless operation and probably bemoan the lack of steering feedback.
But, as a parental unit was quick to point out, that isn’t the point of this sleek little number. Its strength lies in zipping around the Boland with minimal fuss; highway manners are commendable but the emphasis here is on town commuting.
Being of a French disposition, the Peugeot also delivers what so many others have plainly ignored or forgotten: style. I know it’s clichéd, but the 207 graces a street-side Stellenbosch café with the same flair as a Parisian waiter.
Some people won’t even notice, a few won’t care and others might even take offence to the foreigner, but a select few will appreciate and embrace the Frenchy with both arms extended. I’m a bit of a fence-sitter when it comes to this, except for the 207’s interior.
Mon Dieu, the cabin layout and decoration will make other interiors feel like they were carved from stone in a disinterested fashion. Ergonomics and controls can be somewhat complicated and finicky but as we know, familiarity will breed content.
Flowing plastic surfaces and silver accents meet delicate dials, dainty red needles over red ’n white facias, chrome rings, stylish fabrics, weird cubby holes and ten thousand stalks on the steering column. Their initially daunting operation is quickly learnt and will be sorely missed when commanding a competing product.
Driving position and seating comfort is admirable, underlined by the Pug’s comfortable and predictable handling characteristics. It effortlessly changes direction, devours most uneven surfaces with grace and breaches its astonishing grip levels with soft ESP interference.
The superb ABS, EBD and EBA assisted brakes are joined by ESP and traction control to head up the 207’s safety arsenal which also includes emergency hazards, six airbags, side impact bars, child locks, ISOFIX mountings, central locking with auto-locking doors and alarm.
Comfort and entertainment is dealt with by power steering, climate control, auto lights, auto wipers, radio/CD/mp3/Bluetooth/USB radio, cruise control, electric windows and mirrors, speed limiter with override kick-down button, trip computer, adjustable steering wheel, split rear seats and a chilly glove box.
Adults will find the rear seats slightly cramped; the boot isn’t exactly massive but hides a full-size spare wheel. The rear bench also folds flat to offer more cargo capacity which will be partially hidden by slightly tinted rear windows.
The Peugeot 207 is sold with a 3-year 100 000km warranty and a 4-year 60 000km service plan. It looks good, drives almost effortlessly, is nippy and economical, vehemently sticks to the road and is refreshingly different inside.
Climate Overcast, slight wind
Road Dry tarmac, level
Occupants Driver, no passengers
Fuel level 1/2
Mileage 4 650km