Driven - Peugeot 207 XT HDi Touring Wagon
Peugeot's new, more extreme look, with gaping mouth grille and stretched lights is ever more evident on their newest models. Recently launched in Australia is the wagon version of their small 207 series. This car is a little bigger than the very popular 206 it replaced, and this works well in the case of the wagon.
The car we tested featured the 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine, which is extremely popular in the model in Europe. A petrol version is also offered. Australians have been awakening to the benefits of diesels in recent times, and for a small unit, this one won't disappoint. It's no rocketship, but offers decent acceleration, especially mid-range where the strong torque can work to its benefit. The 5-speed manual is a fine box and once you're used to the characteristics of the car, it's quite good fun to drive.
Initially the very light (electric) power steering seems over sensitive, but with familiarization, it only feels so light at parking speeds - which is fine.
For Australia the 207 HDi Touring is very well kitted-out, with features including a fabulous full-size panoramic glass roof (with electrically retractable internal blind), separate opening rear hatch glass, automatic wipers, dual zone climate-control air conditioning and little items such as remote controls for the sound system mounted on the leather-bound steering wheel.
An improvement on previous small Peugeot wagons, the rear seat-back flips easily down to provide a flat load space. The front seats are exceptionally comfortable - in the best French car tradition.
The biggest criticism I had was that the air conditioning struggled in very hot weather. It's a long time since I've driven a new car with this problem.
Peugeot offers a big range of 207s in Australia, including 3-door and 5-door hatches and the retractable hardtop 2-door CC model. These are certainly very likeable cars as a drive will prove.
Engine type: 1560cc 4-cylinder, turbo diesel (petrol also available)
Transmission: 5-speed manual tested, auto available with petrol engine
Performance: 0-100km/h 10.3 seconds
Price: $29,790 at time of review
Photos & text - Paul Blank (copyright)