Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Still a Favourite Choice

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Still a Favourite Choice

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN SCANTLEBURY

YOU have only to glance around you to grasp the popularity of Peugeot's supermini - in its various guises, the 207 is ever ywhere.

And it is easy to understand its long-term appeal. At more than four metres in length, it is one of the bigger little ones, providing spaciousness without sacrificing nimbleness, it is solidly built, with a five-star crash rating, feels good to drive and, following last summer's refresher, is easy on the eye, too.

The makeover saw the introduction of a more appealing face with nice, soft, flowing lines, while extra chrome detailing and more body-coloured items added a touch of quality.

Good marks for cosmetics then but, in the end, it is the solid basic engineering that will win over drivers. The 1.4 16-valve 95bhp VTi engine in this particular car is a good example. It generates up to 102lb/ft of pull and is smooth, bright and willing - capable of taking the car to 115mph.

Certainly, it feels livelier than the official sprint time of 12.8 seconds would seem to indicate, and it combines this spirit with good economics, returning nearly 60mpg on the open road and with CO2 emissions of a creditable 140g/km.

Thus the 207 1.4 bowls along cheerfully, slightly softish in ride as you expect from French cars but, nevertheless, with good grip and little of the roll you would expect given the car's aboveaverage height, and back roads and motorways are taken with equal conviction.

The crisp five-speed manual gearbox is nicely judged and a pleasure to use, however, the electric steering system is somewhat dull, although variable weighting and a 10.6m (35ft) turning circle are helpful in town.

That absorbent ride is teamed with good seating comfort and excellent sound-proofing so that the cabin experience is a quality one from the start. …

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