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Peugeot 207 Economique 1.6 HDi

Price: £13,395 (5dr), CO2 emissions: 99g/km

THE 207 is a dated supermini choice, but Peugeot hasn’t let it fall behind rivals. The Economique and more generously equipped Economique+ were launched last year, and both emit only 99g/km.

Power is from the established 1.6-litre HDi diesel, yet it features a revised engine management system and a heat exchanger, which cools the reinjected exhaust gases. This boosts economy as well as slashing CO2 output. The five-speed gearbox also has a higher final drive ratio than the standard 207 hatch. A host of aerodynamic changes boosts efficiency further. The car rides 5mm lower, has a flat underbody tray and gets drag-reducing wheel trims, as well as deeper side sills, optimised air intakes and a rear spoiler.

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As a result, drag is cut from 0.30Cd to 0.27Cd without affecting the styling – the 207 looks as good as ever. It doesn’t feel compromised from behind the wheel, either. Sharp steering and tidy handling give an engaging drive, while taller gearing doesn’t hamper the performance.

There’s no brake regeneration or stop/start, but Peugeot has got the basics right. Buyers have a choice of three or five doors (the latter carries a £600 premium). To get air-con, you will have to spend £900 more on the Economique+ in our pictures. It also has colour-coded side mouldings and a trip computer – although stability control is a £205 option.

Rating: ****

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