Peugeot 207 SW

Our 207 sw was forced off the road weeks after joining the fleet – so only now it’s been fixed are we really starting to appreciate it.

  • SUNROOFThis is great when driving round town. It makes a potentially claustrophobic city feel light and open. But will the kids still like it in high summer?DESIGNThe Peugeot has a stylish, corporate look about it. Most people would be able to recognise the make through the detailing alone.HEADLIGHTSAdaptive lamps come as standard, and are excellent for spotting unseen children on dark evenings.
  • POWERThe 207 SW feels as if it’s struggling when fully loaded on longer motorway journeys.

Last year, I really got what I wanted for Christmas. After 10 months running Toyota’s frugal yet visually uninspiring Auris, in December I was given the keys to the new Peugeot 207 SW.

It arrived with bright red paint and sporty chrome styling that Santa would have approved of. And the SW quickly raised the already high levels of excitement in the Wilson household.

The standard-fit panoramic roof proved an instant hit with the children, while the 428 litres of luggage space gobbled up our family paraphernalia with ease. I was all set to report on the sterling success the newest edition to the fleet had proved to be – and then, with a bang, it went wrong.

Heading out of London on a Friday night, we were confronted by a double bed in the middle of the dual carriageway. Fortunately, I had enough time to stop; sadly, the Ford Fiesta behind did not. The impact was hard – perhaps firm enough to compress the extra 119mm of bodywork and turn the SW back into a standard 207!

Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad – in fact, at a casual glance, the damage was barely noticeable. Still, it was enough to take our Peugeot off the road for more than a month – which was frustrating, especially as I really like the styling of the car.

The interior and exterior work in tandem. The circular chrome foglights are mirrored by the instrument dials, while the curves of the air vents echo the familiar Peugeot logo.

On the outside, the C-pillars swoop back dramatically to form the extended boot space. This, combined with the chiselled rear lights and long roof bars, gives a sporty feel more akin to the GTi than the standard 207. It scores well on a long journey, too, as the seats are extremely comfortable and the children have a fairly generous amount of space in the back.

As you might expect, the SW comes into its own in the luggage department. The split-fold seats drop down effortlessly to give a 1,433-litre flat load area. This provided enough space to move two Ikea armchairs across town – but, tellingly, not the small two-seater sofa that replaced them.

While the 207 SW will never be a big car, clever use of luggage rails and ties means it can certainly make the most of what it has got. The split tailgate is a helpful feature, and the folding parcel shelf concertinas into one strip for easy removal.

Other smart touches include the lighting displays, which tell the driver which seatbelts are in use and whether the passenger airbag is on or off. This is very important with a couple of kids playing musical chairs in the back.

The doors automatically lock above 6mph – my wife loves this. The reassuring click tells her the little monkeys can’t fall out, and she can focus on other things.

My personal highlights are the adaptive headlamps. I really appreciate the way they illuminate the sides of the road as I turn corners, which will hopefully help to keep the standard 16-inch alloys clear of kerbs and avoid damage.

For me, this car has a feelgood factor about it, with all the details carefully thought through. The 1.6 petrol engine in our Sport is pleasant enough, too, although the gearbox is a disappointment. The shift action is poor, and there are only five ratios – I’ve often gone to change up a gear only to realise that I’ve run out!

Nevertheless, I’ve averaged 41.7mpg – only slightly under the manufacturer’s combined figure of 44.8mpg. So, why did the 207 SW take more than a month to fix? Well, the problem with crashing a new car is the demand for parts.

Most of them are being used on the production line, and this takes priority over repairers when it comes to replacements. Sadly for me, our insurer nominated a Vauxhall crash repair centre rather than a Peugeot specialist.

The Vauxhall garage appeared to be way down the queue for a split tailgate, rear bumper, rear wings and a parking sensor, which left me waiting. But now, several weeks later, KN57 HVS is back on the road to happily fulfil all the Wilson family needs.

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