Quite the package
Thanks to its long-distance rallying successes in the 1950s Peugeot once enjoyed a great reputation in this land, then it dropped off the radar of all but rusted-on Francophiles.
The brand doesn’t rank high on most Australian shopping lists despite some decent models in the past few years, among them the small 207.
Larger than the model it replaced, the pretty 207 had a surprisingly roomy cabin for its compact external dimensions. Its boot was also of a decent size, and it could be made even larger by folding the rear seats down.
There was quite a choice of body styles in the range, including a three-door hatch, a five-door hatch and a wagon. There were also a couple of hot hatches, and a convertible and a CC coupe/convertible, but the hatches and the wagon as the most popular models are the focus here.
The model range at launch kicked off with the XR and climbed through the XT and XE. A later update brought the Sportium hatch and Outdoor wagon variants.
As might be expected from Peugeot, the 207 had petrol and turbo diesel engine options, with a choice of outputs to suit economy or performance.
Two 1.4-litre petrol fours produced 55kW (tuned towards economy) and 65kW (for more zip). There was also a 1.6-litre four with 88kW that powered the hatches and wagons.
The popular turbo diesel option was a 1.6-litre four, which was high on torque for a smooth driving experience. It began with 80kW/240 Nm but was updated to 82kW/270Nm.
The transmission choices in the front-drive 207 were five and six-speed manuals and four-speed auto.
Typically, given its French antecedents, the 207 was a comfortable and refined car to ride in, the cabin was roomy enough for two adults to travel in comfortable seats with space to spare and the suspension sufficiently soaked up bumps to make the trip a pleasant one. It was perhaps not quite the same for those in the rear, which was really best suited to kids.
The 207, being generally well built, gives little trouble. There are no major problems to be concerned about and secondhand buyers can approach it with reasonable confidence of getting a decent run out of their purchase.
A couple of the owners we spoke to reported issues with the manual gearbox. One said the shift was notchy and not as smooth as some other 207s they’d driven.
More concerning is the other owner’s reporting that the gearbox regularly jumped out of gear while driving along. It happened often, and more worrying, the dealer didn’t appear able to fix it, and they simply took it as a fact of their driving life. That’s unacceptable.
With that knowledge it’s important to closely watch the operation of the gearbox in the hope of detecting anything that might seem a problem. A notchy shift could mean a worn clutch.
The four-speed automatic is a regular torque converter job and not a potentially troublesome dual-clutch ’box.
All owners are unanimous in praise of the 207’s economy, whether petrol or turbo diesel.
A regular complaint, however, is the cost of servicing. It’s the same with all European brands and overall it’s best to find a mechanic who specialises in the brand. These mechanics can be worth their weight in gold, as they know the brand intimately and are usually able to get hold of cheaper parts, either new or used, than a dealer’s workshop.
Robert Ashley My wife has had a 207 for almost four years and it has been a good car. The biggest problem is that it jumps out of gear at 60-80 km/h. A message saying there is a problem comes up when it happens, we do not know what it is, and it slips back into gear OK, so you do not need to stop. The bang when it pops out of gear is frightening. We were told it’s an electrical fault and fixed, but it still acts the same almost every time you drive it. It only happens once per trip but their fix never worked. It’s out of warranty, so we put up with it, as the car has not done 40,000km yet. Everything else works well. Disappointed they have not fixed it. Grant I have a 207 HDi and previously had a 207 LeMans HDi. The fuel economy is the biggest plus for the 207, I get better than 5.0L/100km on the open road. The only minor complaint is with the gearbox in the current car, which is not nearly as smooth changing as the LeMans. Reliability has never been a problem. Travis Cook I had a 207 for a couple of years and only had to replace wipers, brake pads and a few globes. There was a minor oil leak issue but no other headaches. The main complaint is the cost of service, which is higher than Japanese brands. Laura Jackson I’ve had my 207
for five years and it’s been reliable. It performs well and is economical. I couldn’t be happier. Leigh Tippett My nine-year-old diesel has been fantastic. It’s surprisingly roomy, the economy is great and it drives beautifully. The only thing I’m not so happy about is the cost of servicing.
Smooth, refined, comfortable and generally reliable. Worthy of consideration.