Peugeot 207 CC

Peugeot is aiming to bring some sunshine into our lives with this: the new 207 CC.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Peugeot’s 206 CC brought the Mercedes SLK-style electric folding metal roof to the masses for the first time. And the new 207 CC manages to improve on its predecessor in every area. It’s better looking, build quality has seen a step forward and it’s also more fun to drive. Practicality is still limited, and a few rough edges remain – the lacklustre gearbox being one of them – but this Sport-spec diesel is a good buy. And no matter which model you choose, the 207 CC is still the most desirable small metal-roofed drop-top on the market.

Convertible owners are unlikely to remember the past few months as golden times. With widespread rain and flooding, the UK hasn’t been the ideal place for top-down motoring.

But Peugeot is aiming to bring some sunshine into our lives with this: the new 207 CC. The replacement for the best-selling 206 CC, it’s in showrooms now, starting at £14,795. We have already tried the diesel model in European spec (Issue 948), but this is our chance to put the car through its paces in the UK.

If ever there was a drop-top ideal for Britain’s unpredictable climate, it’s the 207 CC. With a folding metal roof that can be raised or lowered in 25 seconds, the Peugeot allows you to make the most of our inclement weather. It’s attractive as well. The old model’s design was a bit fussy from some angles, but with a rakish windscreen and sweeping roofline, there’s less of a rear-heavy look than on the previous car. Also, the chunkier, lower stance has added some much-needed sportiness to the design.

Inside, further leaps forward have been made. The dashboard is clad in a dark, tactile, soft-touch material – and this contrasted well with the optional red leather seats of our car. What’s more, thanks to a reach and rake adjustable steering wheel, the 207 CC’s driving position is spot-on.

However, rear space isn’t one of the convertible’s virtues. The back seats are only really good for squashy bags, and once the roof is down, the boot is a tiny 187 litres. It gets better with the hard-top in place; maximum luggage room is 449 litres, which is more than in a 3-Series Convertible.

Refinement is great with the hood up, and there’s not too much buffeting when it’s folded, either. Thanks to some chassis strengthening, stiffness is pretty good, too. But there’s still some shake over big bumps.

Dynamically, the new car is better than before. It’s not a grippy hot hatch, but it rides well and corners with composure. Only the vague electric steering is a disappointment.

Chassis strengthening has added 200kg to the kerbweight, though, and even with 240Nm of torque, our 110bhp 1.6-litre diesel was lacking in low-down urge. As with all 207 CCs, the diesel gets Peugeot’s loose-feeling five-speed manual gearbox, although the car still manages to offer decent in-gear pace for overtaking. Add in 54.3mpg economy, and the HDi makes a good case for itself. Buyers can also opt for normally aspi­rated and turbo 1.6-litre petrol units.

Equipment across the line-up is generous. Our base Sport comes with 16-inch alloys and air-con as standard, while the GT adds climate control, white-backed instrument dials and an MP3-compatible CD stereo.

And of course, every model gets that electric folding roof – essential for catching the all-important, but brief, rays of summer sunshine.

Rival: Mitsubishi Colt CZC There’s no diesel, but the Colt has two good petrol engines, looks great and offers a folding hard-top. As with the 207, it’s not spacious, but it’s a more exclusive choice.

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