Test drive: Peugeot 107 Sportium

Test drive: Peugeot 107 Sportium

The TotallyMotor Verdict


With 83,000 UK sales totted up as of 2010, you’ve probably seen a Peugeot 107 city car or two around a city near you; it’s “friendly robot’s face” complete with wide, exclaiming “mouth” and frugal ways more than welcome in these tough times.

107 has been with us since the summer of 2005, had a mild styling refresh in early 2009 and, with its Euro 5 compliant 1-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine thruming merrily under its mere whiff of a bonnet, she’s as ready as ever to bring more frugal-focused motoring to the masses. A quoted 62.7mpg is on the eco-cards and tiny (£0 first year, £20 thereafter) road tax and 3E insurance group ratings all help keep the wallet in the pocket. 

Test drive: Peugeot 107 Sportium

First impressions:
The Peugeot 107 is about the smallest of practical car packages that you can get. Sure, there are even smaller cars, but they won’t take 2 + 2 like the little Peugeot, and while the 107’s boot is small; it’s there and it’s useable, and that short rear-end makes squeezing the 107 in and out of very tight spaces a painless task. As does the tight turning circle. 

Think of the 107 as a real car scaled-down-for-the-town, with everything you really need, especially in this range-topping Sportium trim that brings air-conditioning with it. The hard, cold blast was especially useful during the damp drive to work this morning. 

Seen here in a rather handsome Electra Blue metallic paint finish – a £440 option on any trim level – and subtle 14-inch, 5-spoke alloys wheels – standard only on the Sportium – and we’ve got a real-world–equipped city car that comes in at £10,735 (inc. the paint at £440). Cute, a little cheeky and certainly small – but not so small and lightweight-looking to be threatened by a rouge gust of strong wind!

Into the interior:
For the very least expensive Peugeot 107, choose the 3-door; priced from £8,695. But, the 5-door car we’re TotallyMotor testing today – with base models coming in at £9,545 – is the most practical option. And while the rear door handles quietly give the game away, the 5-door 107 looks like a 3-door at first glance. 

The driver’s door is light and easy to pull open, but still closes with a satisfying “thunk”, and the interior revealed is modern and light-hearted with a funky pattern on the soft cloth and white highlights peppered throughout the inner space, setting the Sportium out above the lower trims.

107 is a small city car with all the eco-benefits and practicality that a small footprint and light-weight attract, so don’t expect to lug five large adults. But there is space aplenty for an average family, plus a bit of gear. 

At well over 6-feet tall I was surprised to feel comfy and not cramped, even during a rather hellish 2-hour snail-pace commute to work. 107 is so easy to drive that that in itself adds relaxation to the journey.

My only complaints would be the need (for me) for some slide adjustment to the steering wheel – although the tilt adjustment is there, and the steering wheel-centred horn controls that were all too easy to press accidently when resting the palm, resulting in other road users getting “beeps” they didn’t deserve. 

The driving position is quite high (for a small car) and upright, resulting in a decent view of the road ahead, and the controls felt rightly solid for the price of the car. Profit margins are very tight at the lower end of the new car market, so bells and whistles with the Peugeot 107 there ain’t, but you get what you need. 

The drive:
For me, 107’s most endearing feature is its engine; a 1-litre, 3-cylinder petrol unit that makes 68bhp at 6000rpm, and 93Nm of torque at 3600rpm. 

The 62.7mpg little sipper makes an appealing “thrum” from under the hood and, coupled with a easy-going 5-speed manual gearbox and gently progressive clutch, completes a drivetrain package that’s instantly easy to drive and likeable. 

She’ll hit 30mph in first gear, 60mph in second gear and motorway speeds in third. Of course, to keep those fuel consumptions figures as frugal as possible – and the torquey motor doesn’t mind it – you should be snicking into fifth gear as soon as possible. But, if you need to, you can wind the 107 up to a reasonable pace in a reasonable time to slot yourself into that fast-moving motorway traffic. 

Peugeot quote a 62mph sprint time of 14.2secs, but the 107 feels quicker; backed up with a gruff – but not unrefined – engine soundtrack and those long-legged gear ratios. Top speed is 100mph, but I found motorway speeds and not too much more to be the most comfortable cruise for the 107. And at 70mph I wasn’t overly bothered by wind or engine noise. 

Handling-wise, the lightweight 107 is quick to steer and goes into almost any gap, so in that respect it makes perfect sense around town. Ride is on the firm side; keeping any body roll in check, but I didn’t feel overly inclined go for the bends with tons of gusto, as small wheels and relatively slender tyres aren’t your ideal high-grip combination. I found the 107 more at home nipping around town than slaying apexes, which, to be fair, is its intended purpose. Test drive the Peugeot RCZ coupe if you want to feel a Peugeot that’s really rapid on the rails.

Ten second sum up:
The Peugeot 107 fits the city car bill with style and accomplishment. It’s ultra-practical around town, maximises its interior space and comfort well, and with its appealing styling and endearing engine it quickly gets under the skin. Understandably a best-seller. 

Prices and availability:
The Peugeot 107 3-door range starts at £8,695 OTR, the 5-door cars start at £9,545. Price as tested, £10,735, for the 107 Sportium 5-door, including optional extra Electra Blue metallic paint at £440. Available now. 


Words & pics: Daniel Anslow

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