Its the cheapest car
youll ever buy for
your kids. The good
news is that theres a
version for young-at-
heart grown-ups too!
THE LATEST ADDITION to the Peugeot 107 line-up may only cost just under £87, and it might be the very first car you buy your child but it is unlikely to be the last. As Christmas draws close just four weeks to go the Bank of Mum & Dad Unlimited will be coming under lots of pressure from the Young Ones. In these 'must-have-it-now' days, this starts as early as their first presents and continues right through until their first mortgage, and taking in along the way buying a new and reliable car for their stint at university or starting their first job.
So, let's start at the beginning of the buying chain. The single-seater replica of the chic Peugeot 107 is powered by pedals and, for relatively affluent parents, is set to be the ultimate playground accessory of 2007.
Costing a not unreasonable £86.75, it's an easy buy: all parents need to do is visit their local Peugeot dealer and hand over the money. Rather the same as they will be doing in 15 to 18 years time.
For the record, the Peugeot 107 pedal car is available in one trim level and comes in the same funky citrus yellow colour that is also available on the full-sized 107 models.
The adults-only Peugeot 107 range of three- and five-door models has recently benefited from the introduction of a new entry-level model the 107 Urban Lite, which is available from just £6,895.
With a 1.0-litre engine producing 68bhp this 'nippy' city car is both practical and economical. Safety is also a key feature of the 107 Urban Lite, with smart front and passenger airbags (the front passenger's bag can be de-activated for a rear-facing child seat), ABS and a 4-star NCAP safety rating plus a very low 1E insurance group an attractive financial proposition, not just for teens leaving the family home, but just as appealing for adult drivers wanting a commuting car that's easy to park and cheap to run.
The Peugeot 107 range has attracted 17,000 customers since its launch in the UK in June last year, and you may already know that it is part of the trilogy of city cars built by PSA and Toyota in the Czech Republic marketed as the Peugeot 107, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo. The 107 range is currently the best-selling of the three makes in the UK and although it might not be the cheapest, specification-for-specification. And with those distinctive 'cheeky' looks it is, I believe, the best of the bunch.
I couldn't get my hands on one of the 107 Lite models for a road test as they were a bit 'lite' on the ground at the time! So I tried the next best model. Same engine, same transmission, slightly better specific-ation and, as it happens, the best-selling model in the 107 range
the 107 Urban 3-door. This version is priced at £7,345, but add air conditioning, a rev counter and curtain airbags and the price creeps up to £8,095. This takes you into the price envelope of slightly larger new hatchbacks, such as the Peugeot 207 or Vauxhall Corsa. My advice
is, keep it simple: pay the least possible, haggle a deal. If you want a small car you should, by rights, only pay a small price.
I usually prefer five-door versions of hatchbacks and for an extra £350 you can have the same model with two extra doors. A semi-automatic transmission will add a further £500 but I wouldn't recommend it.
Having a five-door 107 makes real-life motoring easier for carrying the occasional rear seat passengers and putting shopping and coats on back seats. The rear legroom is pretty minimal so it would only see occasional use by passengers. The 107 is a city car, which is its main selling point. It's easy to drive, easy to park and it will cope with the occasional longer run on a motorway, if needed. It is pretty safe too, with a Euro NCAP 4-star impact rating, 2-star for pedestrian and 3-star for child protection, making it tough enough for the urban jungle.
Finished in bright Citrus Yellow, my test car was easy to spot in the car park and it looked a real fun vehicle. I rather like the Peugeot family 'face', which has been scaled down to fit the 107. Others might see it differently but, as I have said, it is the best-selling out of the three different brands which all come off the same production line.
Inside it is modern and of pretty good quality. The front seats are a little small for me, but for short journeys it was okay. On the motor-way, the 107 does get more tiring to drive than a larger hatchback. There is more engine noise at high speeds, the car does not absorb the humps and bumps as well and side winds or passing lorries will cause the car to move about a bit. But to be fair those conditions are 'out of its territory'.
The three-cylinder, 1.0-litre petrol engine is the star of the show. It
is a free-revving, willing worker with a wonderfully gruff engine and exhaust note. Maximum power is 68bhp with 70lb ft of torque available at 3,600rpm, so it needs to be revved pretty hard to get the best from it. The five-speed manual transmission makes light work of in-town driving.
Fuel economy and low emissions are significant plus points for the 107. A combined fuel economy figure of 61.4mpg is achievable, although
this will dip by up to 20mpg if pushed hard on a motorway. Generally, expect around 50mpg and you won't be disappointed. Official fuel consumption figures are 51.3 and 68.8mpg respectively for city and extra urban driving. The low CO2 rating of 109g/km means the VED road tax rating is only £40 a year a major consideration as congest-ion charging seemingly is likely to be extended to more towns and cities and it will be based on engine emissions.
Apart from limited boot space easily overcome by choosing the five-door the 107 has a lot going for it including its 'feel good' image, frisky engine, commuting-friendly size, value for money, safety and low insurance and running costs. You don't have to be youngsters to add the Peugeot 107 to your Christmas present 'wish list'. Just young at heart. David Miles
Peugeot 107 1.0 Urban 3-door | £7,345
Maximum speed: 100mph | 0-62mph: 14.2 seconds
Overall test MPG: 50mpg | Power: 68bhp | 70lb ft