Previous tester Keith Moody dismissed this car as a fleet oddball which was woefully short on standard specification but I'd have to disagree.
I love this car. Driving it is great fun, it's nippy, accelerates happily in fifth and at 70mph, the revs don't go much above 2,000.
For me, its advantages outweigh the disadvantages that my colleague pointed out in our earlier review. This car is economical to run, ecologically friendly and inexpensive to buy.
It's true it is missing many of the fancy gizmos that other more expensive cars feature but having seen the electrical problems experienced with some of the all-singing, all-dancing models that we have at Fleet Towers, I would happily settle for this reliable Peugeot. No problem with electric windows sticking, no problems with inexplicable lights illuminating the dashboard. Everything is clear and compact.
When I first got in the car it was dark and cold but within a few minutes it was warm, radio on, everything to hand - what more could you ask?
It is possible that I could be accused of bias as I was a long-term 205 owner from 1987 to 2000 (same car!). I have always liked the styling of the 205, and the 206 is just as good, only in a third millennium kind of way.
Peugeot has got it just right with sleek looks outside and clear, uncluttered displays inside - far more so than its contemporaries the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa. In my book, the 206 is simply a much better looking car.
So, I have to search around for some criticism and this is it - the pedals are too close together. I have small feet - size 4 - but have still experienced that extremely disconcerting feeling when you depress two of the pedals at once.
And, if you have both front seats pushed back, there's precious little leg room in the rear. Oh yes, and I can't get my dog cage in the boot.
So, there it is. Not the smoothest, slickest car with the highest spec but it does an extremely good job and, with the current accent on the environment and the 2002 CO2-based benefit in kind tax looming - this car has emissions of just 120 g/km - the Peugeot 206 Eco has to be one of the best propositions for a fleet manager looking at the more basic company car.
And just guess which car we all choose when we have to dash into Peterborough city centre at a busy lunch time, where parking spaces are both tight and at a premium? Yes, it's the 206.