New for 2004 is a 16-valve version of the 1.4-litre petrol engine offering 90bhp, while automatic models (the eight-valve 1.4-litre and the 1.6-litre) are now available with a Tiptronic shift system.
The one I was most interested in was the 16-valve 1.4, however, as with two distinct lines in the 206 range (Classic and Sports) it gave me the chance to see what the 206 could offer in the 'warm hatch' sector. The engine offers variable valve timing to improve efficiency and 90% of its maximum torque is available from 2,000rpm.
Cars in the Sports range, like the XSi tested, have deeper mesh grilles below the front bumper and our test car was finished in optional red and black leather.
I have spent several thousand miles behind the wheels of various Peugeot 206 models over the years and still haven't found a driving position I could feel really comfortable with. Either the steering wheel is too far away or my legs are too close to the pedals.
However, the frisky 16-valve motor drew my attention away from my discomfort as I discovered this version of the car is good fun to drive. The exhaust note has a raw edge to it at higher revs and the sharp handling will evoke some memories of the much-loved 205.
There is plenty of grip (Sports line cars have wider tyres than Classic line, hence the higher fuel consumption and CO2 emissions) and the steering allows you to point the car exactly where you want it.
The 206 has a couple of years left to run, but the new engine fills a gap in the range and with SW models also offers more choice for drivers.
Model: Peugeot 206 1.4 16-valve
Engine (cc): 1,360
Max power (bhp/rpm): 90/5,250
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 100/3,250
Max speed (mph): 111
0-62mph (sec): 10.9 (SW: 11.5)
Fuel consumption (mpg): 46.3 (Quiksilver: 43.5)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 145 (155)
Fuel tank capacity (l/gal): 45/9.9
Service interval (miles): 20,000
Transmission: 5-sp man
On sale: Now
Price: From £10,113