The new 207 is the confirmation that Peugeot is as good as it gets when we are talking small cars. As a descendant of the best-seller 206, the new car offers lots of room (for this segment), an unprecedented level of equipped, attractive styling and a solid technical platform with robust petrol and diesel engines. At this time, the only available bodies are the three and five-door hatchbacks, but an estate and a coupe-cabriolet will be available soon. Offering 3 other super minis, the 107, 1007 and 206 (still available on certain markets), Peugeot can provide a small car for any taste and budget.
At its launch, the 205 created a whole new wave for Peugeot. Fifteen years later this wave seems to be changing into a veritable tsunami which is about to hit the small cars market. The 205 got to embody the dreams of several generations of hot hatches enthusiasts. Afterwards, starting with 1998, the permanently marked the small car segment and become one of the few small cars still in production after more than eight years. Offered as a three or five door hatchbacks, station wagon and coupe cabriolet it sold in more than 5,000,000 units over the last years. Used as a second car by most of its buyers, the 206 has quickly become a cult vehicle with a very solid image.
Daring to be a different car, the Peugeot 206 created the new tendency of continuously increasing expectations amid small car owners. Those were asking for a strong and stylish vehicle able to showcase their personality, a roomy but compact car, a vehicle that likes serving its owner.
The 207 is here to continue the path of its predecessor and take it to en entirely new level. By mixing the three key elements of aesthetic appeal, character and mechanical ability, the 207, will succeed in this task even it does not get to replace the 206, but continue with it side by side. With an extraordinary charisma that will leave no one indifferent, the new Peugeot is able to turn the basic need for mobility into authentic driving pleasure.
The small car segment has grown all over the world with more than 2% between 1998 and 2005 and is expected to increase by the same amount over the next five years. In that interval, thanks to the highly successful 206, Peugeot has raised its car sales in the B segment by 85 %. The modern society is changing; the number of people living alone, the number of young, single people at work and living with their parents, the number of active older citizens as a result of a lower retirement age is increasing. All of these changes make the purchase of a small car more and more desired. The widened range of vehicles available and the extensive body styles offered reflect these changes.
The Peugeot ‘2’ series has its roots all the way to 1929, with the initial launch of the 201. The ‘2’ series has continued with the 202, 203 and 204 that have marked the 20th century. In 1983, the 205, ‘hallowed number’ emerged and got replicated 5,278,054 times in not less than fifteen years. It got to be a three and five door hatchback, CTi (convertible), GTi and the Turbo 16 (winner in both the World Rally Championship and the Paris-Dakar long-distance rally). Afterwards, the 206 continued this ‘saga’ and since the 1998 launch it became the most successful ‘2’ series of all: offered as three and five door hatchback, a practical SW an innovative Coupe Cabriolet and the WRC, triple champion in the world of rallying. With more than 5,300,000 units already built, the production of the 206 is now extended to numerous production sites around the world, enabling the car to continue its incredible career. Recently it was unveiled with its sixth body type, the 206 sedan, which will begin its international career this year.
Peugeot 206 RC
The car for the new generation, the 207 gets to follow the 206, not as a replacement, but more like an alternative.
Body & chassis
The 207 was designed by the Peugeot Style Centre and follows the latest design tendencies of the brand. Unfortunately, it does not have the unique and unmistakable lines of the 206, the only Peugeot to be styled by Turkish designer Gunat Murak.
The fascia of the 207 mirrors Peugeot’s new visual identity with a single air intake framed by large sleek high-tech headlights, the whole cars looks like a smaller face-lift 307. The front bumper is available in two different styles, and can be used with two styles of front fog lights, creating two distinctive looks: ‘Classic’ and ‘Sport’.
The ‘Classic’ creates a more elegant appearance, with the lower front panel accommodating the integral front fog lights. The more dynamic appearance of the ‘Sport’ styling is combined with circular fog lights mounted in chrome surrounds.
The 207s dynamic triangular profile has a very low waistline, sculpted wheel arches and flag type door mirrors with direction indicators built into their base, leaving the large wheels to accentuate the car’s overall elegance.
Helping to tell the styles apart, the rear exhaust pipe is shielded by the rear bumper skirt on the «Classic» versions, and is visible and chrome-plated on the «Sport» versions.
The 207 is designed on PSA Peugeot Citroën’s number «1» platform, which has undergone a number of modifications to ensure it meets the 207’s objectives of comfort, dynamic performance and safety.
The structural design of the 207 has been designed to withstand impact levels even more severe than those applied in regulatory tests.
The 207 borrows from the 407 the use of two impact absorption structures, which absorb and distribute impact energy more efficiently in the event of a collision and also enhance reparability and pedestrian impact protection. This technology is not normally found in B segment vehicles.
Sitting behind the wheel, you benefit from an excellent driving position with an easily adjustable driver’s seat and a steering wheel adjustable for both height and distance. The new attractive indicators are clear and easy-to-read. However, although better than those of the 206, the pedals are still too close together. It is obvious that a lot of attention was paid to the design of the instrument panel, which has dials circled by chrome rings and resemble to those of a motorcycle. The all-round visibility is great and offers a lovely and roomy feel - that can be further increased with the optional extra-large ’Panoramic’ roof.
There is a known thing that Peugeot pays a lot of attention to their cars ride. The 207 makes no exception as it proves to be extremely agile. A very useful gadget is the electric power steering that self adapts, being light at low speed, but weighting itself up as the traveling speed increases.
The 207 offers competent, safe handling and a smooth ride, but it is not a fun car. It feels stable and safe at all times, but offers no thrill or enjoyment. The body roll is fairly present for such a vehicle and the ride is quite good on most surfaces. An ESP is standard optional on all the trims, except for the GT, where it comes at standard. A con would be the five-speed gearbox, which is as easy to use as we would like it to be.
What the 207 1.6 S fails to offer is much fun on the open road. It has precise steering and extremely safe handling, but is not involving and thrilling as the 206 used to be, although it is still more fun to than the equivalent new Renault Clio.
The 1.6 liter 16 valves TU5JP4 engine is combined with a manual 5-speed and gives the 207 a level of performance that emphasizes its dynamic road holding ability. With a capacity of 1 587 cm3, the TU5JP4 develops a maximum power of 107 bhp at 5,750 rpm and a maximum torque of 108 lbft at 4,000 rpm. Equipped with double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, it provides 85 % of the maximum torque from an engine speed of only 2,000 rpm, and 95 % of the maximum torque, or 108 lbft, from 3,000 to 5,000 rpm.
Before the end of 2006, two other engines developed as part of the partnership between PSA Peugeot Citroën and the BMW Group will make their appearance.
The first of these will be a 4-cylinder 1,598 cm3 engine with a low pressure Twin-Scroll turbocharger (0.8 bar). With double overhead camshafts and sixteen valves, it will feature high-pressure direct petrol injection (120 bars). It will develop a maximum power of 110 kW (approx. 150 bhp) and a maximum torque of 240 Nm.
With the same capacity but without a turbocharger, the second engine will also have double overhead camshafts and sixteen valves; however, this engine will be fitted with continuously variable valve timing for the inlet and exhaust valves. As on the other engine, a switchable water pump and controlled oil pump help optimize fuel consumption. The maximum power will be approx. 115 bhp.
Engine Code TU5JP4
Engine location Front
Engine alignment Transverse
Engine type S-4, Wet sumped, DOHC, 16 valves, 4 per cylinder
The suspension, features a lot of developments compared to that of the standard platform «1» vehicle, to ensure the dynamic performance and is characterized by its balance between road holding and comfort.
The widening of the front and rear tracks allows the rigidity of the body to provide greater stability in many different dynamic situations. The McPherson type front suspension has been redesigned to increase the caster angle and improve the steering action and accuracy.
Other key changes include new wishbones that improve rigidity and steering response, increased anti-roll bar control, and a sub-frame that incorporates a new deformable impact structure with a lower pedestrian impact beam.
The rear suspension with a deformable cross member is entirely new to ensure the dynamic objectives of the 207 can be achieved and to accommodate the physical characteristics of the design.
It is characterized by its compact design, which saves weight, but also by the increased rigidity for better vibration and body control.
The fitment of vertically mounted shock absorbers and larger flexible mountings ensures a good compromise between driving pleasure, passive safety and vibration/noise suppression.
Braking has been refined in terms of stopping distance, durability and brake pedal feel.
In this respect, all 207s have large brake calipers at the front matched with ventilated discs with a diameter ranging from 266 to 283 mm.
Depending on version, the rear brakes are either 9’’ drums or 10” solid brake discs.
In addition, all 207 S are equipped with an ABS system that prevents wheel lock up, as well as electronic brake force distribution (EBFD), which allows the full braking potential to be used by delivering the maximum possible braking force to each wheel.
Emergency braking assistance (EBA) and automatic illumination of hazard warning lights in the event of sharp deceleration are additional standard features.
The latest-generation ESP (Electronic Stability Program) is available as an option or as standard depending on version. This includes traction control (ASR) acting on the engine management and on the brakes, and stability control (CDS) which, by means of a steering wheel angle sensor, yaw speed sensor and lateral acceleration sensor, can detect any incipient under or oversteer.
The ESP can be de-activated to improve traction when driving away on slippery surfaces but automatically re-activates once the vehicle reaches a speed of 50 km/h.
Optimized brushless electric power steering enhances the 207’s versatility both in town and on the open road.
This technology makes it possible to modulate the power steering continuously and independently of engine speed, ensuring a smoother transition from high assistance at low speed to reduced assistance at high speed.
It also makes it possible to improve centering around the straight ahead or zero position thanks to its low response time and optimized electronic management.
Tires & wheels
The car can be fitted with 185/65R15, 195/55R16 and 205/45R17 tires mounted on 15", Spa 16" or Hockenheim 17" alloy wheels.
An under-inflation tire detection system is available as standard or as an option according to version. The tire detection sensor identifies any loss of pressure or a puncture and sends the information to the multifunction display. Location of the defective tire is also indicated on the screen, coupled with the illumination of a pictogram in the instrument panel and an audible warning.
The elegant fascia panel, contemporary and appealing, traces a long, smooth arc that follows the panoramic front windscreen and the front quarter windows with their triangular shaped glass.
Concealing the passenger air bag, its various surfaces inspire quality: a black geometrical patterned material (Gabin) on the entry model or a soft textured material, reminiscent of a textile mesh (Flamine), available in black or dark beige on the other models.
The original design of the instrument panel, mirrors those normally found on motorbikes, it features three individual circular dials, covered by their own non-reflecting glass covers.
At the centre of the fascia, a recessed multifunction display is located, as well as two central air vents able to diffuse one of seven fragrances (according to version). The shape of the recess guides the eye to the streamlined, «high-tech» centre console flanked by two vertical trims featuring the same surface finish.
The door panels accentuate the overall feel and the low waist line with their plunging profile guiding the eye towards the incoming light from the fixed front quarter light windows.
Comfortable with their padded armrest, richly upholstered and featuring a practical storage pocket (two on the 3-door version), the door panels add to the personality and refinement of the passenger compartment.
Welcoming and luxurious as if intended for a higher segment vehicle, the front seats are constructed on a new, elegantly streamlined frame, which makes them particularly rigid and resistant to impact. Their generous foam padding contributes to the car’s comfort or dynamic styling and, in the latter configuration, offers support that is more pronounced for the occupant. The seats have multiple settings that are particularly easy to operate and are equipped with non-collapsing head restraints. The latter offer dual-mode adjustment from the Trendy level and are enhanced by chrome supports from the Executive or Sport level.
Echoing the generous interior space, the boot offers excellent capacity thanks to its regular parallelepiped shape and can accommodate two large suitcases. The available volume of 270 dm3 VDA under the rear parcel shelf is 25 dm3 more than the 206 and corresponds to a volume «by water» of 310 dm3.
The 207 is equipped with a split, folding rear bench seat (the seat squabs can, however, be raised and removed, and the seat backs folded). Perfect alignment between the boot floor and folded seat backs facilitates the loading of bulky and/or long objects.
Two adaptive front air bags with a dual-generator function that can adapt the airbag pressure to the severity of an impact. The driver’s side air bag has a capacity of 60 liters and the passenger side air bag a capacity of 90 liters.
The passenger air bag can be de-activated by means of an ignition key operated switch in the glove box, allowing the installation of a rear-facing child seat. Two side air bags each with a volume of 11 liters, located in the sides of the front seats, protect the chest, abdomen and pelvis of the front occupants. Two curtain air bags each with a volume of 23 liters located along the roof arch and «working» in conjunction with front chest side air bags. Their central positioning helps to protect the chest and upper body of the front and rear passengers. They are available as standard or as an option according to version and destination.
At the front, two height-adjustable pre-tensioning inertia reel seat belts with force limiters set at 450 daN.
At the rear, two outer inertia reel seat belts with force limiters set at 600 daN and one inertia reel seat belt integrated into the centre seat back to make it easier to locate and therefore provide a greater incentive to use it.
All 207s are equipped with two 3-point Isofix mountings on the rear outer seats, each of which can accommodate a child’s Isofix car safety seat. The seat belts of the passenger seats are, however, long enough to accommodate a traditional child seat, both at the front and in all three rear seats.
A pretty car, but that unfortunately hasn’t inherited the immortality factor of its predecessor. The 206 is a car to tell your grandchildren about… The 207 is a modern looking… same-thing-as-307-only-smaller, easy to forget vehicle. But as we really are car-maniacs we even put some thought into tuning this dull vehicle. As it lacks the fun part we went funko-sporty with it and fit some 17” RC wheels with really low tires. Lowered side skirts and lowered front spoiler bring the little bug closer to the road. A dark tint for the front lights makes the car a little bit more aggressive. And that would be it, because there is no point in performing highly expensive modifications on such a cheap car. Unless it would be some really iconic car (like the 205 or 206), but this is not the case…