I THINK Peugeot could steal a marketing trick from Tomy – the company which produces a series of toys such as My First computer, My First remote controlled car, etc.
With the 207, it seems that Peugeot has got the ideal My First company car in its garage. The 207 may be classed as a supermini, but it’s following the industry trend by bursting out of its segment in size terms.
Bigger all-round than the 206 which it sort of replaces (the old model continues to be sold in a pared down range), the 207 has the room to accommodate a young family and the ability to cover miles without the driving becoming a chore.
The car on test here features the most powerful diesel engine currently available – a 110bhp 1.6-litre HDi unit and is in high-spec Sport trim.
For around £13,000 on-the-road, this car is pitched straight at staff eligible for their first company car.
But far from feeling shortchanged by being offered a small car, drivers will find plenty to be pleased about with their new set of company-funded wheels.
As well as a decent amount of space inside, there’s a long list of standard equipment, including 16-inch alloy wheels, white instruments, leather steering wheel and gearknob and heavily bolstered front seats.
It all looks sporty inside, so it’s a shame the theme doesn’t continue through outside. You’d never guess this car is a Sport as there’s little in the way of visual clues. You have to spend a lot more money for the GT version before your 207 looks truly sporty.
At least the driving experience is improved. The ride and handling are far better than on the 206, and the steering in particular is well-weighted.
This adds up to make the 207 a good car to drive, with a front end which feels planted to the road and steering that gives plenty of feedback.
The HDi diesel engine is also strong, with enough torque to make overtaking a simple affair. It’s fairly refined, too, with little noise intruding into the cabin.
Only the gearbox disappoints as it has that same vague, rubbery action which afflicts all Peugeots. In a regular hatchback, this would be passable but it sticks out in a car which claims to be sporty.
P11D value £12,547
CO2 emissions (g/km) 126
BIK % of P11D in 2006 18%
Graduated VED rate £110
Insurance group 6
Combined mpg 58.8
CAP RV (3yr/60k) £4,125/33%
Monthly lease (3yr/60k) £297
We don’t like
THREE RIVALS TO CONSIDER
THE Fiesta, Clio and Polo are all in top-spec trim, while the 207 is a Sport – two levels below the range-topping GT model, which is too expensive to compare here. All four also feature the most powerful diesel offered – except the Polo as a 130bhp version is also available.
EMISSIONS AND TAX RATES
ALL four cars fall into the lowest benefit-in-kind tax band for diesels. The Fiesta’s lowest P11D price gives it the cheapest company car tax bill – it will cost a 22% taxpayer £40 a month. The 207 will cost £41, the Clio £42 and the Polo, with the highest front-end price, will cost £44.
NONE of these cars will break the bank when it comes to service, maintenance and repair costs. The Fiesta will be the cheapest, costing around £1,900 over three years and 60,000 miles. The Polo will cost £200 more, while the 207 and Clio are evenly matched.
Fiesta 3.20 (ppm) £1,920 (60,000 mile total)
Polo 3.50 £2,100
207 3.77 £2,262
Clio 3.77 £2,262
THE Ford’s TDCi engine is the most fuel efficient here, returning a claimed average of 64.2mpg – translating to a fuel spend of £4,194 over 60,000 miles. The Clio is second, with average economy of 61.4mpg. The 207 returns 58.8mpg and the Polo 55.4.
Fiesta: 6.99ppm £4,194 (60,000 mile total)
Clio 7.31 £4,386
207 7.63 £4,578
Polo 8.10 £4,860
THE Polo has the best residual value prediction, with CAP estimating it will retain 34% of its cost new after three years/60,000 miles, but its higher front-end price counts against it. CAP predicts the 207 will retain 33%, the Fiesta 30% and the Clio 29% of cost new.
207 14.03ppm £8,418 (60,000 mile total)
Fiesta 14.49 £8,694
Polo 14.67 £8,802
Clio 15.22 £9,132
THE Fiesta costs the least to buy new and has the lowest SMR and fuel costs, helping it to a clear victory. It will cost a fleet £14,800 to run over three years/60,000 miles – £450 less than the second-placed 207. The Clio and Polo will cost nearly £1,000 more than the Fiesta.
Fiesta 24.68ppm £14,808 (60,000 mile total)
207 25.43 £15,258
Polo 26.27 £15,762
Clio 26.30 £15,780
WHILE the Fiesta has the best running costs and offers drivers the lowest company car tax bills, it doesn’t win. Its financial advantage over the 207 is small and it can’t compete in terms of newness and space with its Peugeot rival. The Polo and Clio are both further adrift in running costs and they are more expensive for benefit-in-kind tax. As an all-round package, the 207 edges the win over the Ford.