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Peugeot 207 CC GT THP 150

Click to view picture galleryPeugeots ‘refreshed 207 2+2
  Coupe Cabriolet is smarter to
  look at, stylish, relatively well
  equipped and it has a great engine.
  Ideal for taking the sunshine —
  at any time of year...”

THE 207 CC is Europe's best selling coupe cabriolet and since its introduction in March 2007, over 120,000 have been produced and over 15,300 have already been sold in the UK. With the introduction of the new Peugeot 207 CC, Peugeot has built on all the strengths of the current model and also included a number of exterior and interior styling changes. These changes give the car even greater visual appeal as well as improving the comfort levels for the occupants.

The new 207 CC is available in two trim levels — Sport and GT — depending on which engine option is chosen, and it offers a competitively-priced entry level model in the 16,695 Sport 1.6 VTi 120. Also, with this 1.6-litre petrol unit, there is the option (1,000) of an automatic transmission.

Pick of the range is the 1.6-litre THP, high pressure turbocharged petrol unit which has 150bhp of power but, more importantly, 180lb ft torque delivered from only 1,400rpm. This is outstanding for a petrol engine of this size and unless you are a really high mileage driver it does away with the need for a diesel engine. However, if an oil-burner is your choice then the 207 CC range includes a 1.6 HDi 110bhp power unit.

The front of the latest 207 CC now sports a 'softer' one-piece design with a redesigned front grille. There is also greater use of body colour coding and the introduction of circular fog lights located at the edges of the lower front panel that visually help widen the look of the car at the front and give the 207 CC a new personality. In addition, the front grille now benefits from chrome detailing, as do the fog lights and surrounds.

At the tail, the car benefits from new hi-tech rear lights incorporating LED technology — something of a rarity in this market segment. Adding a further touch of distinction, the lower rear bumper panel is now painted in body colour on all GT versions and Sport versions equipped with rear parking sensors.

From the side, the new 207 CC shows a more distinctive profile enhanced by new style alloy wheels: five-spoke 16-inch Canberra alloys on the Sport version; and two-tone, eight-spoke 17-inch Melbourne wheels on the GT.

On Sport versions, the standard black side rubbing strips can be replaced by body coloured rubbing strips with chrome detailing as part of the optional Exclusive Pack.

Customers can choose from a range of eight exterior body colours and four different interior trims, two cloth trims (Xavier black cloth and Salsa grey/black cloth) and two leather options (black and Oran pale grey). An integral leather option is also available on the GT version and this includes a leather-trimmed fascia panel, steering wheel, seats and door panels.

The star of this car is
its power unit. The 1.6-
litre turbocharged petrol
engine is one of the best
smaller units on the
market today
You should be aware that the Sport versions are 'sporty' in name only — the term is used to define the specification which is generally good and includes air conditioning and electrically-operated windows and heated door mirrors but doesn't include electronic stability control. Due to a change in European legislation for car safety requirements, this lack of ESP will soon be a thing of the past. Needless to say the best — and hottest — engine in the range, the 1.6-litre THP 150, is not available with Sport specification but only in GT guise.

The 150bhp GT 1.6 THP reviewed here costs 19,045 (plus options) — a big price for a relatively small 2+2 car. But for those retail customers who want style, performance and the joy of a brilliantly responsive and fairly fuel-frugal engine, this is the one to go for; especially with the Scrappage Scheme's 2,000 allowance in operation and low cost finance from Peugeot (currently no deposit and 5.9%).

The GT specification is comprehensive and gains over the Sport level with electric folding door mirrors, ESP, rear parking sensors (a must because of the high boot lid), directional headlights, dual-zone climate control, alarm, aluminium pedals and leather-bound steering wheel.

However, as a customer I would object to paying an extra 160 for the wind deflector which for a car of this price should be standard. Leather trim and heated seats will add a further 1,600 to the price; metallic paint 400; and a factory-fit navigation system yet another 690.

Apart from the added cost of must-have options, there are other issues that need to be aired. Because the doors are very wide to allow reasonable access to the small rear seats, the width of them causes problems in the shrinking spaces now found in most car parks. In fact, I just couldn't open them wide enough for comfort on getting in or out of the car.

With the roof folded down the bodyshell suffers from high levels of body-shake and the larger wheels do not help this situation. Have the roof up and locked in position, however, and the shakes go away. Generally, ride comfort and handling are good on smooth roads although over poorer road surfaces the ride is harsh.

The star of this car is its power unit. The 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine is one of the best smaller units on the market today. The high pressure turbocharger means that 150bhp of power is on tap for out-and-out performance: top speed is 129mph with 0-62mph taking just 8.6 seconds — which is very good considering the extra weight this topless 207 carries due to the strengthening in its bodyshell.

But it is the 180lb ft of torque — or 'grunt' — from just 1,400rpm that really impresses. This gives better than small diesel engine flexibility at low speeds and the response is brilliant — but not at the expense of fuel economy. The official combined cycle fuel consumption is 39.2mpg, bang-on what I achieved with my test car. Perhaps with a close ratio six-speed gearbox instead of the broad ratio five-speed unit, cruising fuel consumption might be even better and CO2 emissions lower.

In its latest form, the 207 CC is certainly smarter to look at and generally improved. It's not perfect: it's pricey, there's body shake with the roof down and rear seat legroom is very limited. But it is two cars in one — open top cabriolet and metal-roofed coupe. It's also stylish, relatively well equipped and relatively user-friendly for a small folding metal roof drop-top. And it has a great engine. — David Miles

Peugeot 207 CC GT THP 150
| 19,045
Maximum speed: 129mph | 0-62mph: 8.6 seconds | Overall test MPG: 39.2mpg
Power: 150bhp | Torque: 180lb ft | CO2 171g/km | Insurance group 12E