Fleet News

Peugeot 206 2.0 HDi Eco



##206HDiB.jpg--right##The only trim level available is the entry-level Style and all indicators point towards the idea that while Eco stands for ecological, it may also stand for something else - economical. And this has both positive and negative meanings.

For starters there's no air conditioning, no CD player and no electric windows. Trivial, I hear you cry. Well no, not really, because these factors contributed to a long and unhappy journey from Manchester Airport back to Fleet Towers on one of the hottest days of the year so far.

For a lad of six feet tall, finding a comfortable driving position isn't exactly easy. And let's be honest - the 206 isn't the most spacious car in the world. Even with the seat right back I'm still cramped and there is very little room behind me, which means that passengers would be even more uncomfortable than I am.

However, I have always been a big fan of the 206. In my opinion, it is the most stylish car in its sector. It is also great fun to drive. Throw it into corners and you come out smiling. The Eco offers drivers a 2.0-litre common-rail diesel powerplant that is not to be sniffed at. Its diesel engine doesn't bat an eyelid at 70mph and it is a real workhorse with plenty of low-end torque.

The manufacturer boasts an impressive 62.8mpg on the Euro combined cycle and I'm not far off that figure with a respectable 61.7mpg.

But where this car really excels is under the new emissions-based benefit-in-kind tax. With a CO2 emission level of just 120g/km, the Peugeot will have an 18% tax burden based on its £9,140 list price — and that includes the Government's 3% diesel penalty for cars failing to meet Euro IV emission standards.

In real terms, a 22% taxpayer will have to pay £361.95 annually under the new April 2002 CO2-based company car tax structure. This means the same driver covering up to 2,499 miles will make an annual saving of £341.83 compared to the current system, while a driver covering between 2,500 and 17,999 business miles will make a saving of £140.75 per year.

A high mileage driver will have to pay an additional £60.33 in company car tax. But to be fair, I wouldn't want to cover more than 18,000 miles in the Eco. After three-years/60,000-miles, CAP Monitor predicts that the car will be worth 41% of its original value - £3,750.

For fleets that put 'green' concerns at the heart of their company car policy, the Peugeot 206 2.0 HDi Eco is a sensible and attractive option.

But for high-mileage drivers the Style trim may be not be the answer to the benefit-in-kind question.

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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