2007 Peugeot 207CC Road Test
Recommended Retail Price: $39,990 - 5sp Manual.
- by Alborz Fallah
The French have long been the masters of coupe cabriolets (CC), during the 1930s Peugeot made a name for itself as the world’s number one producer of CCs - but that was nearly 80 years ago.
The 206CC started life back in 2001 and went on to become one of the best selling convertibles in Australia while reaching a worldwide sales figure of 360,000 units to date. History aside, this year marked the arrival of an all-new cabriolet. The 207 CC.
I have to admit, I was a little worried that my week in this Peugeot convertible was going to be a little, well, delicate. After all, as much as I can call myself a metrosexual, there was something initially unsettling about being seen in this.
Think of it how you want, but Peugeot are known for producing some of the most striking cars in the world, and this is yet another. Drive this anywhere and heads will turn. The massive headlights blend beautifully into the sweeping bonnet while 17" alloys and stylish foglights remind you this is more than just another CC.
Unfortunately for us guys, this car has the stigma of being a chick's car, but if this is a chick's car, then guys we better watch out! Because it goes!
Peugeot were kind enough to give me the 1.6-litre turbo variant with 110kWs and 240Nm mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The engine is sourced from the new 207 GT and uses 7.2 litres of fuel per 100kms.
After collecting the car, my partner and I set off for the sunshine coast through as many winding roads as possible. There is something a little odd about having the roof down and relentlessly blasting through corner after corner, but if topless enthusiastic motoring is what you're after, the 207CC is made for you.
Although not as poised as the 207 GTi which landed in my garage the week after, there is no other convertible this side of 40k that will give you the same levels of performance and handling.
Around the twisty bends and hairpin corners of Mt Glorious, the 207 CC never set a foot wrong. Drive it hard into a corner and the car begs for more, but the more you give, the more it can take. Apart from a bit of expected understeer here and there, the 207CC is comparable to the BMW Z3 for cornering speed. Okay, so then I turned off the ESP.
Then I turned off the ESP again... and again..., oh wait, it already was off... but how can that be, it still handles just as good, a credit to the car's impeccable chassis.
From the lights, a 3,500 RPM launch will see the car reach 100km/h in about 8.2 seconds (official figures 8.6 secs). If only the 1.6-litre turbo unit was sourced from the 207 GTi (bigger turbo, different tune), the CC would be a rocket.
There is noticeable turbo-lag in first and second gears, and power delivery is not as smooth as one would hope. However the gearbox and clutch make up for that with seamless gearshifts and perfect pedal position for double-clutching or heel-toeing down.
Okay, lets get back to reality, chances are you are never going to double-clutch in this (not that you need to), and the automatic folding-roof is the only reason you are considering the 207CC, so let me tell you, it won't disappoint.
With a completely automated operation, the new roof system is a big improvement over the 206 CC which required the use of manual release handles. Hold down one button and the windows come down and the roof folds away silently, the entire operation takes 25 seconds, but if the windows are already down, you can save another 5 seconds.
The roof only operates when the car is standing still or going below 10km/h, which is a little unfortunate as going below 10km/h is near impossible. Go over 10km/h and a little warning light tells you the roof operation has failed.
There is nothing like an automatic roof to turn heads at a trendy cafe, but Peugeot have forgotten to include a "To avoid embarrassment, operate roof only when stationary" sticker.
Although obviously a safety feature, holding down a button for 25 seconds can get a little annoying, it would be so much more convenient if you could just press it once and it would do the rest, but unlike ESP which can be disabled, this nanny control is unfortunately built in.
All the little annoying safety things aside, the folding roof is a work of art, and as one onlooker said, "I'd like to meet the poor soul who spent his life figuring out how to make that work".
The roof folds neatly into the boot, but don't panic, there is still heaps of room and even with the roof folded away and the safety net deployed, you can fit nearly everything without too much hassle.
From the inside, the 207CC delivers a good package for its price tag. With comfortable seats and a well laid out instrument cluster and dashboard, for the most the part, the CC is very user-friendly (but don't attempt the Cruise Control without checking your blood pressure first!).
Annoyingly, the stereo is linked up to the central display unit which controls all other operations, but even at speeds reaching 200km/h, and the roof off, you can easily hear your favourite tunes.
I noticed the press car had a few scratches on the driver's door, and initially I thought this was a case of neglect, but I quickly found out the 207CC has one rather heavy and large problem, as much you'll love driving it, at some point you'd want to exit the car, but you can't, because the doors won't let you out!
This might be a small car that is extremely easy to park, but trying to get out of it in a tight car park is a nightmare, not only are the doors extremely long and heavy, but unless you have a good 60-70CMs of clearance to open them, they will push back against you, making a rather unpleasant exit.
As with most European cars, the 207CC manages to deliver a satisfying interior without the tackiness that you find in similarly priced Asian cars. Although I have to say, with such outstanding exterior styling, the interior is a little dull in comparison.
As for the rear seats, they are best reserved for a child (or a midget at best), the seats provide just enough space to transport two extra people a few short KMs. I forced some friends to endure a 15 minute trip in the back and I ended up paying for dinner. Unless you're 150CM tall or don't value blood circulation, the rear seats are a no no.
Moving on to safety, Peugeot had to go back to the drawing board to specifically design two new airbags for the 207 CC, the car comes standard with four airbags, two adaptive front airbags and two ‘head-chest’ side airbags located in the side of the front seats.
Other standard safety features include:
- ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution,
- Emergency Brake Assist
- Electronic Stability Program
There are also two active roll bars (they rise) to protect you in the event of a rollover.
Peugeot have equipped the CC with a whole list of standard features:
- 17" Alloy Wheels,
- 6 Speaker MP3 capable stereo,
- AirCon Climate Control 2 Zone,
- Central Locking - Speed Activated,
- Cruise Control, Headlamps Automatic (light sensitive),
For $39,990, the Peugeot 207CC turbo might sound a little expensive, but as a package, if you're after a stylish, practical and fun coupe convertible, the little Peugeot provides unbeatable value for money.