French car maker\'s chic drop-top has style but not a lot of verve.
The Peugeot 207CC is a chic drop-top version of the now-discontinued 207 city car.
Around since 2007, the now-ageing 207CC may not have a successor based on the new 208.
It’s one the few smaller convertibles on sale with a metal folding hardtop, with rivals such as the Citroen DS3 Cabrio and less spacious Fiat 500C using slide-back cloth roofs to muddy the water between convertible and sunroof.
The Peugeot 207CC is available in just one trim level in Australia, priced from $33,490 and powered by an 88kW/160Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder.
The 207CC took the place of the 206CC in the Peugeot line-up and is a vast improvement over its predecessor in terms of quality, driving experience and comfort.
It’s larger than the 206, with a longer wheelbase and wider tracks giving it a much more substantial presence on the road. The front is dominated by the Peugeot family grille, which swallows up the road and is flanked by angular headlamps that give the Peugeot 207CC a distinctive face.
There’s quite a high waistline, which helps in terms of occupant protection in the event of an accident as well as meeting the sloping roofline to give the 207CC a poised, sporty appearance.
The 207CC rides on 16-inch alloys, which look a little too small.
There’s quality detailing and good fit and finish throughout, with much improved build quality, too.
The jump in quality is noticeable as soon as you open the 207CC’s front door. The interior surfaces are textured and soft to touch, while there’s chrome and silver highlights on the gear lever, around the air-vents and of course there’s a chrome lion proudly adoring the three-spoke leather-wrap steering wheel.
The standard features list for the Peugeot 207CC includes four airbags, self-deploying rollover bars, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, leather trim and stability control.
While the front seats are good, the rear seats aren’t big enough for adults so don’t consider the 207CC a genuine four-seater. Peugeot may have been better off sacrificing some of the 449 litres of boot space, which is class-leading, for improved rear legroom and comfort.
Drop the top on the 207CC, which takes around 25 seconds, and the boot space is quickly taken up by the metal roof. While it adds weight, complexity and cost – which is why cheaper rivals such as the VW Golf have a soft-top – it allows significantly better refinement and rigidity with it up.
This helps not only comfort, but also ride quality, which is a marked improvement over the 206. That’s because of the larger overall footprint, which aids stability, while the engines are further improved to be more efficient and smoother than before.
A flagship 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 115kW and 240Nm - the same engine used in the Citroen DS3 and the Mini Cooper S – is available in other markets but this punchy and refined unit misses out locally.
Instead there’s the naturally aspirated version on this engine, but it feels underpowered and takes as long as 12.6 seconds to reach 100km/h, which is slower than many eco-hatches on sale.
The lower-powered 207CC also misses out on the turbo’s six-speed manual, using a five-speed instead. If you prefer an automatic, there’s a dated four-speed version of the base model, which is the least enjoyable of the range to drive.
The Peugeot 207CC isn’t designed to be a genuine sports car, but an enjoyable fashionable convertible that’s at home in Bondi or St Kilda.
It offers a comfortable ride but manages bumps well, with little crash-through, but is still firm enough for good body control and handling. It’s not as good to drive as the two-seat rear-wheel drive Mazda MX-5 and VW Golf cabriolet for handling, but it’s a more luxurious affair than either.
Its strongest competitor is the popular VW Eos, which also has four seats and a folding metal roof, but it’s more expensive than the Peugeot.