Monday, 3 September 2012 9:40 AM
Driving the Peugeot 207CC with the metal roof down has re-introduced me to aromas of the past.
I wasn’t expecting it but memories of my late grandma came flooding back as I drove through the New Forest in Hampshire. Although I love plants and flowers I couldn’t tell you what scents tickled my nostrils but I hadn’t smelt them for almost 30 years when my gran used to do her flower arranging. There are so many unusual fragrances early in the morning when the world is waking up and you only really notice them when walking or the next best thing, driving with the top down.
I suffer from hay fever and was concerned that driving with the roof down would cause a sneezing fit but fortunately pollen doesn’t hang around long enough when the 207 cuts through it.
While this two-door has four seats, the rear is only really suitable for small children – my daughter’s baby seat only fits when my wife’s seat is far forward, making it uncomfortable for her. This Peugeot is ideal for the young and care free and should really do away with the rear seats altogether.
Driving the little French number is an invigorating experience. The 1.6-litre petrol is punchy and the six-speed box is clunky and decisive. Its cruise control is simple to operate and there is also the option of limiting the speed travelled so that no matter how hard the accelerator is pushed it will not exceed the speed set.
A good quality leather interior and tough black plastic dashboard easily cope with anything the elements might throw at it.
The test takes place immediately after I return a Lexus IS250CC costing almost £46,000. It is interesting to note that you could in fact purchase two 207CCs and have nearly £6,000 remaining for the price of the Lexus.
You might think that the Lexus would have tainted my view and that it would win the contest hands down. Sure the Lexus is uber-luxurious and has room for four adults.
But it had a dinky boot where my briefcase and laptop just about fitted, albeit rather awkwardly. The 207’s boot is larger and better designed as you can see by watching the video at testdrives.biz.
As long as the cover is pulled over the luggage the user-friendly roof will retract. It goes down in 25 seconds compared to 21 seconds on the Lexus. But it’s the driving where the little Pug wins because of its smaller size and handling. It’ll also return around 38mpg, which for a 156bhp petrol engine is pretty reasonable.
Parkers, the car experts, say: “The 207 CC is a stylish and well equipped small convertible that won’t leave you cold in the winter. It uses a fully automatic metal folding roof with no levers or catches to release ,so at the push of a button it’s a convertible 25 seconds later. Its predecessor, the 206 CC, was plagued with roof problems on early models and lacked refinement. Luckily, these shortcomings have been addressed and this Peugeot feels well made. It’s also good to drive, fun and has decent luggage space.”
Peugeot 207 CC 1.6 THP Allure GT
New price range: £16,645 – £20,145
Used price range: £5,196 – £14,326
6 speed manual
Top speed: 130mph
Fuel capacity: 50 litres
By Tim Saunders