In a year when commercial vehicle launches are few and far between, the arrival of the new Peugeot 207 van is a welcome relief.
Viewed from the front, the 207 could almost be a sports car. Its wide grille and slash cut headlamps give the vehicle a chic, stylish look while inside the black and silver interior echoes the racy exterior.
The sporty pretensions continue with a high-mounted dash and seats which are slung low, with plenty of figure-hugging support.
The new 207 van boasts a range of three different engines – a 1.4-litre HDi common rail diesel with 70bhp, a 1.6-litre HDi offering 90bhp and a 1.4-litre petrol engine with 75bhp. Our test model featured the more powerful diesel unit.
Standard specification is high for a van of this type, with driver, passenger and side airbags, ABS brakes and emergency brake assist (EBA) included in the basic price of between £7,995 and £9,295 ex-VAT.
Meanwhile, ESP traction control, the device which helps correct the vehicle in the event of a sideways skid, is available as an option at £350.
In the cab, standard spec includes electric front windows, adjustable steering column and a good quality radio/CD player, while options include cruise control with speed limiter at £127, air conditioning at £425, a five-disc CD autochanger at £195, full height bulkhead at £85 and a full length load cover at £46 (all prices ex-VAT). An alarm adds a further £170.
In the rear end, the new 207 van will swallow 1.1 cubic metres of cargo, setting it ahead of the rival Ford Fiesta van, with a load volume of 1.0 cubic metres and the new Vauxhall Corsavan, which trails behind at 0.92 cubic metres.
Behind the wheel
Arriving at Fleet News with just 200 miles on the clock, the 207 van cut quite a dash in the car park.
It has bags of legroom and the seats are nice and big, too, with plenty of support under the thighs right down to the back of the knees, along with a excellent lumbar and side support.
In the business end, the rear hatch opens to reveal a good square load bay with six load-lashing eyes and a half-height bulkhead, although there is a sizeable lip at the rear which means loads can’t simply be slid in and out.
The engine may have had only delivery mileage when we tested it but there was none of that classic diesel tightness. It pulled strongly and lustily – so much so that I’d be tempted to opt for the lower-powered variant if I was buying this van for shortish journeys.
What a delight the 207 proves on fast bends – it sticks to the road like glue and can be confidently thrown into corners so long as there’s no load in the back.
By virtue of its size, the 207 is never going to make it big in the van world. But anyone who has need for a vehicle that will carry no more than a few tools or a dog will be delighted with this vehicle’s style and practicality.
GVW (kg): 1,570-1,630
Power (bhp): 75-90
Torque (lb-ft): 89-161
Payload (kg): 450
Load volume (cu m): 1.1
Prices (ex-VAT): £7,995 - £9,295