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Car reviews - Peugeot - 207 - CC 1.6 convertible

Our Opinion

We like
Fully automatic folding roof works well, improved looks over predecessor, torquey engine, value for money
Room for improvement
No automatic for turbo, slight body softness with roof down, minimal bootspace when roof folded, cramped rear seats, some creaking with roof up

Peugeot logo28 Sep 2007

By JAMES STANFORD

THERE are two types of convertibles. Eye-watering sportsters like the Honda S2000 and Mazda MX-5 and the more comfortable cruisers like the Volkswagen Eos and Holden Astra drop-top.

The Peugeot 207CC sits firmly in the latter class, although it could also be put into a sub-class of affordable cruiser convertibles.

In fact, the base 207CC is one of the cheapest cars that can drop its top at $34,990. Only the Colt cabrio is cheaper at $32,990 and the Mitsubishi is a fair way behind the Peugeot in almost every aspect.

The GoAuto test car is a 207CC Turbo, which pushes the price up to $39,990. Fitted with leather seats, that rises to $42,740. It’s no longer a cheap car, but is pretty good value when you look at what you get for the money.

Like its awkward-looking predecessor, the 206CC, the 207CC uses a folding metal hard-top that lives in the boot when retracted.

This is activated by the driver simply pressing a button.

It is an impressive design feature and a dramatic improvement over the fabric lids of the past.

While there were some issues with some of the early 206CC models and lids that could sometimes give-up halfway down, years of experience with the technology should mean the gremlins have been deported.

The use of the metal roof also means the 207CC doesn’t look too bad with the roof up. Okay, I still think it looks a bit strange from side, with the way the roof arches down to a flat boot, but much of that is down to the design requirements for the roof to enable it to fold and slide into the boot.

The boot room almost completely disappears when the roof is folded, leaving a very shallow cargo area.

You could probably still fit a few bags of shopping in, as long as you laid everything flat or perhaps only bought things like frozen pizzas and pita bread.

The flipside is that the boot room when the roof is up is not far off the cargo space you get in any car of this size.

The folding roof is especially good when it comes to limiting wind noise and the roar or buffeting associated with old rag tops is nowhere to be heard.

GoAuto’s test car was generally quiet in the cabin with the roof up, the only problem being some creaking when going over suburban streets, with their bumps and pot-holes, at lower speeds.

The 207CC is also reasonably quiet with the roof down. As long as you keep the windows up, the cabin is not too affected by the wind.

With the roof on, the 207CC drives well and its handling is very competent.

Dropping the metal roof reveals that it does indeed provide some structural rigidity when in place.

With the roof off, the body does show signs of movement, with some slight wiggling and vibrations. It is not bad enough to spoil the drive and is significantly better than the wobbling body of the Colt when its roof is removed, but it will bother some drivers.

The engine is nice and smooth is has good supply of torque.

It is a turbocharged engine, but it is no way a sporty powerplant.

The boosting allows a relatively small engine like the 207CC’s 1.6 to have the pulling power of a much larger engine.

It has more than enough urge than will be needed by most people likely to buy this car, but also has enough in reserve for a bit fun if the driver is feeling spritely.

Not having driven the naturally aspirated CC, means we can’t say how much the turbo improves the driving experience and whether it is worth the extra money.

Fuel economy for the test car came in at 9.1 litres per 100km/h which is okay, rather than great.

The non-turbo model is available with a manual or automatic, but the turbo model is manual-only. That’s a shame because this is the type of car is suited to an auto.

For the record, the five-speed manual in the test car does the job quite well.

The 207CC handles quite well and the ride is a compromise between comfort and sportiness.

It is a touch softer than the 207 GTi, which means it absorbs a lot of the bumps and ruts more easily than the sporty hatch.

The 207CC’s interior is well laid out looks like it belongs in a prestige car.

Things like the chrome rings for the instrument cluster look good and all the controls are easy to use except for the fiddly cruise control.

Not that we should complain, the very fact that it has cruise control is appreciated.

The seats are reasonably supportive and the dark leather trim of the optional seats looks nice, as does the leather lining of the doors.

There is enough headroom for the driver and the front passenger, but the same can’t be said for the rear seats.

They are not suitable for anyone except small children. Adults simply don’t fit when the roof is up and have to fold themselves up in order to sit back there when the roof is removed.

The two rear seats are better than nothing, but they are more likely to be used for storage of things that don’t fit in the boot when the roof is down.

Overall, the Peugeot 207CC is a competent convertible at a reasonable price which is practical enough with the roof up for every day driving and good fun when the sun comes out and the lid goes down.

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