Peugeot 107 | CARkeys

14 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Peugeot 107 | CARkeys
Peugeot 107

Peugeot 107

review

Since three versions of the same car are being introduced to the UK market at roughly the same time by three different manufacturers . it seemed appropriate to respond by giving three writers the job of reviewing them all. Personal opinions can be different yet equally valid; so, while what follows represents my own view of the Peugeot 107, I would also direct you to Mike Grundon’s assessment of the Toyota Aygo and David Morgan’s article on the Citroen C1 .

A few styling details apart, what really distinguishes each of these cars is the way the manufacturers are marketing them. Peugeot does not believe that a really cheap version will sell well in the UK, so its entry-level three-door model is, at £6995, more expensive than the equivalent Aygo or C1. The company is also keeping customer choice to a minimum – you can spend £7345 for the five-door, and add £500 to the price of either car if you want the 2-Tronic clutchless gearbox, but that’s it.

The Urban trim level is the only one there is.

Furthermore, Peugeot does not believe that diesel is the way to go in this sector, so it is offering only the 998c petrol engine. There’s a quaint irony – not that it really matters, but we like quaint ironies round here – in the fact that the diesel is the French engine, while the petrol unit is a Toyota design.

The petrol engine is powerful enough to make the 107 amusingly rapid on country roads, where it also proves to be very well sorted. It soaks up large bumps exceptionally well, turns in to corners smartly and is more than capable of taking every bit of the available 68bhp. As a sporty little hatchback, it’s surprisingly successful.

But even though Peugeot estimates the average age of 107 buyers as being a youthful 23, it seems unlikely that anyone will buy it as a fun car first and foremost.

This is surely an urban car above all else, yet it has its problems in urban environments.

For instance, the suspension, which copes so effectively with large bumps, has more difficulty absorbing the smaller ones you’ll find on a badly-surfaced back street. And road noise, hidden by the sound of the three-cylinder engine when it’s working hard, becomes intrusive in town.

The controls are light enough to make manoeuvring a simple task, though it was made more difficult in the car I was driving by the dreadful gearchange which was both rubbery and crunchy (not an easy trick to achieve, you might think). David Morgan has driven another 107 which had a much better change, so perhaps this varies from car to car.

What can’t vary, among the three-door versions at least, is the large blind spot at the rear. Thinking that a significant number of learner drivers may spend time practising in a 107, I tried the usual driving test exercises. The emergency stop isn’t a problem – you can stand the car on its nose with only medium attack on the middle pedal – but reversing round corners is something else again.

Near the corner I chose, a young mother was pushing her child along the pavement in a buggy. I stopped the car and looked round to see where they were, but they were completely hidden by the blind spot. If I hadn’t spotted them beforehand, I would have started the manoeuvre without being aware of their existence.

Here, not for the first time, is a car whose attractive window design is of questionable help when you’re trying to see out.

Peugeot 107

Another glass-related problem will affect taller drivers only. The windscreen is steeply raked, and the top of it comes very close to my eyeline. At a certain point it’s close enough to distort the view.

I found that I could make oncoming cars appear to compress to two-thirds of their height simply by lifting my head an inch.

I don’t think the effect is dangerous, but it’s annoying, and it makes driving the 107 (and I presume the Aygo and C1) more tiring than it should be.

For such a small car, the 107 has a decent amount of interior room. It can transport either two large adults or four petite ones without difficulty. Luggage space is limited, and you’d have to fold down either part or all of the rear seat in order to carry a full week’s shopping, but that’s the case with any car in this class.

Other cars, however, do not require you to lift the shopping quite so high off the ground. Instead of a proper hatch, the 107 has a large rear window, which you open to reach the luggage – very easy because it’s lighter than a full-sized tailgate.

The problem then is that you have to haul your bags of cereal and washing-up liquid over the rest of the bodywork. I haven’t checked, but I would not be at all surprised to find that the sill height is much greater than on any other city car. And since this is meant to be the most advanced city car in production, I can’t help wondering why this should be.

This issue sums up my feelings about the 107/Aygo/C1. There’s a lot of ingenuity in the design, and in some circumstances the car is a lot of fun. But it is at its least clever and most irritating in exactly the environment for which it was created.

A better city car may not exist, if some press reports are to be believed, but a significantly better one is undoubtedly possible.

Peugeot 107
Peugeot 107
Peugeot 107
Peugeot 107
Peugeot 107
Peugeot 107
Peugeot 107
Peugeot 107
Peugeot 107
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