Peugeot 207 SW VTi Sport

Spacious and attractive, Lion is a strong contender

  • Peugeot is very family friendly and has fantastic sound insulation and body control.
  • Interior build quality is lacklustre, stowage space is poor and the driving position isn’t as good as in the MINI.

The SW is arguably the most complete car in the 207 line-up. It has been designed and built with real thought, and is a capable load-lugger. In fact, it’s currently our favourite small estate.

That isn’t courtesy of its appearance, though, as the 207’s gaping grille is rather unappealing. The rear is far more successful, but the SW simply doesn’t look or feel as robust as the MINIs. The door handles don’t operate precisely, the body panels appear flimsy and it doesn’t have the same air of quality.

Plenty of thought has gone into other areas. The boot has tailgate glass that opens separately, plus plastic floor rails and a load sill that’s only 545mm high (both MINIs are at least 100mm taller). What’s more, the rear seatbase lowers as the backrest is flipped down. However, the quality of the execution is a disappointment – the cheap parcel shelf and flimsy tie hooks reveal where corners have been cut.

Far fewer criticisms can be levelled at the space on offer. All of our kit slotted easily into the Peugeot’s 337-litre load bay. But the advantages in the boot aren’t reflected in the back seats. While the SW’s bench is mounted 20mm higher than the hatch’s to improve legroom, and access is superior, head space is no better than in the Cooper D.

The 1.6 VTi engine is certainly smooth, yet despite short gearing (70mph equals 3,300rpm), the 207 never feels as eager as either MINI. And the Peugeot doesn’t try to emulate its rivals’ sporty dynamics, either. As a result, there’s no real sense of fun – although owners are sure to enjoy the car’s near-perfect blend of ride and handling.

But make no mistake, as an all-rounder, the Peugeot gives the Clubman a real run for its money.

Details

Price: £13,275Model tested: Peugeot 207 1.6 VTi SportChart position: 2WHY: The well packaged Peugeot is an impressive small estate with plenty of family friendly features

Economy

Despite using the same engine as the Clubman, the 207 SW trailed its rival by 7mpg, with 32.8mpg economy. And although a bigger petrol tank means a longer range, at 398 miles, annual fuel costs will be £258 higher.

Residuals

It can’t match the sky-high retained values of either MINI model in this test, but the Peugeot’s 44.0 per cent resale figure after three years isn’t bad. It equates to a loss of £7,434. The 207 hatch performs equally well.

Servicing

The 207 SW should cost only slightly more than the Clubman to run, at 39.7 pence per mile. It’s cheaper and better equipped, but its residuals aren’t as strong and servicing prices are high, at £830 for three check-ups.

Tax

Although it’s £1,000 cheaper to buy than the Clubman, the 207 SW will be the more costly business choice. It has the same engine, but its 152g/km CO2 output is 20g/km higher, so low-rate drivers pay £496 a year – that’s £26 more.

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