31 July 2014
The cabriolet king is back, in the 207 CC, Peugeot offer a master class in how to produce a classy convertible supermini. Restyled in July 2009, the 207 CC makes the open air option affordable, practical and yet still ooze style. As the top selling coupe cabriolet in Europe, the 207 CC sets a high standard that has yet to see other rise to the challenge.
The Peugeot 207CC attempts to blow the cobwebs of the myth that small coupe cabriolets are the domain of women-and here it succeeds. Built on the back of the success of the more effeminate 206CC which was the best-selling convertible car in the UK for three consecutive years, the 207CC offers a manlier, rough and ready drive. The most powerful model the GT THP, as test drove here is capable of sprinting 0-62 in 8.6 seconds and gallops up to 126mph. Not compromised on low-down torque either the pacy little 207CC is unfazed by the additional weight of its mechanical roof and delivers a respectable 150 bhp and 180 lb of torque at just 1400rpm. The range-topping turbo petrol engine, developed by BMW, is the most fun and puts the Peugeot 207 CC in the direct competition of sporty roadsters like the Mazda MX-5. Power is delivered smoothly and effortlessly in acceleration although the engine is not keen at being strained when left in a high gear at low speed. This will unsettle an otherwise fun drive.
The quality of the ride here is beyond what you would expect for the price bracket in which the 207 CC sits; there is something sophisticated about the movement of this vehicle. That said, the steering here is the biggest let down, too light to be instantly likeable, although once you adjust to its nervous, skate-like action it makes for a fun ride. Throw it into a corner or too and the response can be pleasing. Body roll is not an issue here thanks to its low-centre of gravity and the ride feels flowing. Road bumps and lumps are ironed out with grace and ease, only the biggest register as a dull audible thud, but little vibration is actually communicated into the cabin. The 207 CC makes for very pleasant ride, while seating position is low, the CC has enough road presence to ensure you never feel crowded or boxed in.
Launched in 2007, to replace the hugely popular 206 CC and restyled earlier this year, the 207 looks and feels better than ever. Benefitting from a generous level of basic kit, including alloy wheels, air con, trip computer, chrome finishing touches and electric windows, radio/CD with MP3 compatibility and electric operated and heated door mirrors, Peugeot don’t skimp on the quality. The interior is beautifully laid out, although there is a dazzling array of buttons that are not instantly easy to know what they do. Be prepared to play around in it for a bit to work it out. Thankfully the GT models come with automatic headlights, so one less thing to find. The ‘softer’ design and restyled chrome-touch front grille introduced in the model revision in the summer of 2009 afforded the 207 CC a more upmarket feel. With a greater use of body colour coding and the introduction of circular foglights located at the edges of the lower front panel, the 207 CC looks altogether better coordinated. Wind noise is not a problem, neither is vibration, adding to the sense of quality. Visibility however, particularly at the front, is typically not great, thanks to the low ride. Peugeot were the first to bring automatic folding hardtops to the masses, and in the latest 207 CC they remain true to form, offering affordable luxury. For me personally, a hardtop is the way to go open air, not just for security and safety but for climatic reasons too.
Peugeot has been quick to reassure potential buyers that every possible safety precaution has been taken in the 207 CC. While cabriolets always represent a certain threat should they be tumbled with the roof down, no-one could question Peugeot’s thoroughness in making its CC as safe as possible. With strengthened side sill assemblies, reinforced central ‘transmission tunnel’, reinforced A-Pillars and reinforced doors combined with ECU activated rear rollover protection bars, the 207 CC is well and truly fortressed in event of a frontal or side impact or indeed, a vehicle rollover and compensates adequately for the absence of a rigid roof structure. Combine this with the standard equipment also found on the 207 hatchback, such as the controlled deformation of the chassis legs, double frontal impact absorption, a whole host of airbags, foam padding and collapsible steering column, Euro NCAP understandable rated this car as five stars for adult protection. Security wise, the 207 CC comes with remote control central locking with deadlocks and lockable glove box as standard with an alarm as a £200 option on the lower spec Sport models, included as standard on the GT models.
The rear seats are near pointless, the only way you would ever use them was if you were intent on kidnapping someone, when the 207 CC would come in handy, ensuring that your prisoner could never escape thanks to their legs becoming permanently entangled around the back of their head. But to be fair to Peugeot this is not a car you buy for space, so the rear seats become a handy place to rest your handbag or small dog. That is it though; even small children would wonder what they had done wrong if you attempted to shoehorn them in. The boot though is actually quite spacious when the roof is up, not deep but long to accommodate the folding hardtop roof when necessary. If you want to fit a week’s shopping in, you should find no problem with that, as long as you are happy to make use of the air-con rather than take the open air option. If the roof is down, you might need to ask you hostage in the rear seats to hold a couple of Sainsbury’s bags for you. The driver and front passengers should find ample room between them and height adjustable seats mean that the driver can maximise the somewhat limited visibility granted to them by the sweeping A-pillars and low cabin. However bear in mind that the low line of the roof will make it feel cramped for taller passengers.
Cabriolets by their very nature a prone to a seasonal wax and wane in demand and as such you would be well advised to be careful when you decide to part with your 207 CC as the price you get will likely vary. That said there is no reason to think that the 207 CC will particularly suffer from depreciation. With a starting price of £16,695, the 207 CC compares favourably with competitors such Mazda MX-5. Although the MX-5 just undercuts the 207 CC, starting from £16,345, for this you lose a lot of space and everyday practicality. As a true roadster, the MX-5 outclasses the 207 CC on performance, so choosing between the two really comes to want you really need from your car. If you want something fun yet functional, opt for the 207 CC. Elsewhere in the market, the likes of the Ford Focus CC and Vauxhall Astra TwinTop sit well above the 207 CC, costing around £20,000 each so here there is just no comparison. The 207 CC is a sensible choice. The basic sport models sit in insurance group eight, rising to nine for the GT models and an eye-watering 12 for the GT THP as test drove here. The diesel variants offer the best fuel efficiency, at 56.4 miles to the gallon (combined) and CO2 of 130g/km meaning they sit in tax band C at £120 a year road tax. The GT THP is much less efficient thanks to its powerful petrol engine, returning just 39.2 miles to the gallon and pumping out 171g/km of CO2. This means it is in tax band H at £175. If you don’t want to be constantly disappointed at how little you get to the gallon, I would opt for a diesel model, you won’t lose out too much in the power stakes, but you will find it keeps its value well and won’t make your eyes smart every time you visit the pump.
Submitted: 16/11/2009 15:55:50
The 1.6 direct injection turbo charged used in the model we test drove, is designed to supply both torque and power within the higher rev range. With the added weight that comes with a cabriolet model, the performance is hampered by the fair bit of weight over and above the standard 207 chassis. The coupe cabriolet models have to cope with the added weight needed to operate the electronically retrievable roof and the stiffened chassis essential for a cabriolet, therefore the engines need to work that bit harder. We test drove the most powerful engine available in the new 207 CC range and whilst it supplied decent amounts of power it wasn’t exactly lightning quick. It would be more accurate to describe the car as ‘willing and spirited’ rather than out and out quick. That said there are no coupe carbiolets outside of the absolute premium sector that do provide exceptional performance, all suffer with the same equation of added weight and reduced performance. There is an HDi diesel alternative to the petrol that delivers 110 BHP and bit more low down torque.
The 207 CC is actually a pretty rigid car. Peugeot has clearly gone to great lengths to ensure that whilst the roof is lost, there is no reduction in the ability of the car to handle well. The ride is fairly firm although the seats in our GT model did go some way to helping comfort levels stay high even though the larger 17 inch alloys on this model are less than forgiving over imperfections in the road surface. Peugeot, after all, has a legendary reputation in providing a comfortable ride without sacrificing a focused driving experience. The CC models in the Peugeot range provide the engineers with their sternest test in this regard and yet they appear to have just about pulled it off.
There have been many occasions throughout the last 10 years, when owners of coupe cabriolet models that fall outside the premium sector, have had cause to complain about electronic faults with the roof mechanism or other serious malfunctions. You only have to look through this website to see some of them. It is hard to say whether they have pulled it off here although the build quality feels very good and we had no problems on our test.
Airbags are provided for side impacts and the driver’s knee along with the usual front passenger and driver airbags. There are two chrome plated rear roll hops should the worst happen and the 207 CC comes with ABS, Electronic brake force distribution and EBA as standard. If a crash does occur then I would not fancy being seated in the rear of the car, although those in the front should be very well protected. An alarm also comes as standard on the GT models and as a £200 option on the lower spec Sport models.
As I mentioned briefly in the last section, space is a difficult thing to provide in a vehicle which is designed to offer style. The rear seats of the 207 CC are not really seats unless you have the physical build of Paul Daniels and a relaxed attitude to comfort and safety. The car is effectively a 2 seater. The boot provided however is superior to the 206 CC and you can fit a couple of suitcases and a bag of golf clubs with relative ease. Should you wish to take the roof down you need to bear in mind that you will be sacrificing some boot space as that is exactly where the roof sits. In terms of head and leg room, space for the front passenger and driver is actually quite generous.
At £18,145 for the top of the range GT model, the Peugeot 207 CC is competitively priced and residuals should be OK. We would predict that the diesel model would fair better than the petrol model in this respect. You get a lot of style for your money with this car!
Submitted: 16/11/2009 15:44:49
The Peugeot 207 CC is the successor to the hugely successful 206 CC, which was the first affordable car to include an electronically-folding metal hard-top roof, and was unbelievably successful. In short, the 207 CC has some sizable shoes to fill. It is available in 1.6 petrol and diesel versions, and either the Sport or GT level specifications. I test drove the higher spec GT model with the petrol engine, which produces 150bhp. Acceleration was smooth (though slightly unimpressive) right through the range, though it did seem to be a little lacking in torque. However, it does get from 0 – 62 MPH in 8.6 seconds, and will take you right up to 129mph, so it certainly is a nippy little motor. The 1.6 GT THP as tested here, gives you 150 bhp at 5,800 rpm, which one could be led to believe is fairly good for its class. I was not convinced, but then it is some time since I’ve driven a 1.6 of any description, so perhaps I’m being a touch unfair.
I have always found Peugeot cars to weigh a little on the light side, and the 207 CC is no exception. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I like to feel the car on the road – there is something reassuring about the resistance from the tarmac being translated into a bit of weight in the steering wheel. My experience with this Peugeot-as with other models- is that it handled like driving through a giant marshmallow. If the floaty feel is what you like, then you’ll love the 207 CC. It is actually even lighter than any other Peugeot I’ve driven, which certainly is an achievement. The advantage of this is that it handles like a dream. You can take right-angular corners at breakneck speed and the car does grip the road with surprising solidarity. I think the ideal driving experience in this car would be a British summer afternoon, with the top down, enjoying the national speed limit on a few country lanes, before stopping at a quaint pub for a glass of Pimms.
Having received a restyle in July 2009, only time can really tell how good the build quality of the 207 CC really is. Yet by looks alone it seems meaner and more solid than the 206, with a new front grill and headlight shape. The roof action is reassuringly firm, and it fully opens in less than 30 seconds. The interior is very plastic, which was a shame as the on-board computer is one of the best I’ve ever used. Positioned right next to a very cheap looking set of dials, and a giant wall of plastic, you would perhaps never know until you try it for yourself.
The 207 CC scored a maximum 5 out of 5 for adult occupant protection in the NCAP safety tests, though a less impressive 2 out of 4 for pedestrian safety. So in short, if you’re going to be involved in a bump with this car, make sure you’re the one driving, not the one it’s driving into! It has all the security features you’d expect, including remote central locking and an immobiliser.
If anyone at Peugeot is reading this, please let me know: what on earth are those back seats all about?! Only the tiniest of midgets would even consider trying to sit on that, and even then you’d feel for the little guy trying to squeeze his legs in. The front seats are fine though, and the roof is just about high enough not to touch my head, though the first time I tried to close the roof was a scary experience! The boot is surprisingly spacious, and certainly can hold quite a bit more than you would expect from a car in this class.
The residual values for 207 CC models are not quite as strong as you might hope. However, this is a fairly cheap car to run. The GT THP we test drove emits just 171 grams of CO2 per kilometre and will return 39.2 miles per gallon on a combined cycle, which is very good for a sporty petrol car. Choose one of the diesel models though and you will get 56.4 miles to the gallon.
Submitted: 16/11/2009 15:51:59
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