Fleet News

Peugeot 206 Eco 2.0 HDi - 1,500 miles



##206HDIB.jpg--right##THERE is nothing worse than an intermittent fault - especially a fault which prevents a car from starting every now and then. Looking back at the last test on our Peugeot 206, deputy editor John Maslen reported the car had failed him and that when he called out an AA man, it had miraculously burst into life, leaving him rather red-faced and apologetic.

Since then, alas, the problem got worse. Two other testers met a similar fate and in the end, the car was laid up at Fleet Towers, awaiting repairs, as no one wanted to risk being stranded. This time there was no miraculous cure and the AA finally traced the fault to a dodgy connection deep in the bowels of the dashboard.

Now a duff connection can happen anywhere and to any piece of machinery, but this problem has left rather a nasty stain on the car's character - probably a bigger stain than it deserves - and all the testers are fighting shy of driving it at present until full trust can be re-established.

But the Fleet NewsNet pecking order being as it is, reporter Keith Moody was bullied by us elders and threatened with many hideous fates until he eventually caved in - it's amazing how the prospect of a five-mile walk home from the office one night will change a young lad's heart!

Since then, I have taken over the keys to the 206, and Peugeot will no doubt be pleased to learn that neither of us have had a bad word to say about it. Stylish? You couldn't pick a better looker in this sector. Roomy? It may be a supermini but there is plenty leg space in the front, although I have experienced problems when trying to cram my two youngsters (aged 20 and 17) in the back. Frugal? This car isn't called the Eco for nothing.

Despite the large 2.0-litre powerplant lurking beneath its bonnet, this common rail diesel motor offers an amazing 62.8mpg on the Euro combined cycle and although we haven't managed to quite hit that lofty target, our consumption of 56.3mpg isn't exactly to be sniffed at.

And this car will really come into its own when the new benefit-in-kind taxation rules come into play next April. Tax then will be based on both list price and CO2 emissions, unlike the list price/business miles travelled system which exists at present.

With a CO2 emission level of 120g/km, the Peugeot will have a tax burden of just 18% of its list price. It would have been 15% if the Government had not, in its infinite wisdom, decided to load an extra 3% on to the tax for diesel cars which do not conform to Euro IV standards.

Our tester's only gripe is one that was highlighted in the last report - the Eco is only available in entry-level Style trim and that means no goodies like air conditioning (or even electric windows) which nowadays is fast becoming a must for busy fleet drivers.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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