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Elvis Festival
2008 Elvis Festival

Road Test

Peugeot 207 GTi

by Stephen Walker

24th April, 2008

Peugeot 207 GTi 
Click on the image for a larger view

Amongst automotive expressions, several terms excite enthusiasts more than others. One such term is GTi.

The GTi 'monicker' is not exclusive to any particular car company, but it is certainly exclusive to some great cars. And that includes the current Peugeot 207.

Peugeot, the French car company, has been around longer than I have been. And over the years they have earned a great deal of respect for their sporty cars. One such sporty number was the Peugeot 205 GTi from the latter 1980s. The tradition continued with the outstanding 206 GTi. But the times keep moving ahead and these days Peugeot are up to their old tricks again. Now Peugeot has the new 207 GTi out on the streets. It's a car you would expect the Next Car team to be excited about. And how right you are. Although team member Mark missed out on this occasion, it was unanimous between team members Ian, Ken and I that when it comes to valiantly volunteering to drive a GTi all were saying "pick me!".

So we rose to the challenge and took pleasure in adding a short 488 kms to the odometer of the new Peugeot 207 GTi. During our travels, my 'radar' (which is constantly 'on') picked up a Peugeot 205 GTi sitting outside Bulls Eye in Tuggerah, NSW. The temptation to park alongside it was too great. One thing is for sure ..... our parking antics moved the 205 owner mighty quickly. It was a pleasure talking to the store owner, who is a (serious) serial Peugeot 205 GTi owner!

The enjoyment of driving is the major attraction of the Peugeot 207 GTi. No car company can beat Peugeot with the delights of road holding, handling and steering. And with the 207 GTi, Peugeot repeats history by, simply, doing it again. Driving the 207 GTi is like living a dream. The firm ride is secure, yet comfortable. The steering is light, yet precise. The braking is positive, yet so easy to control. The handling is enjoyable, yet it so easy to manage. These hallmark driving characteristics make a Peugeot unique. Although the uniqueness is not the attraction. It's the effect that unique approach to car design has on the driver that makes a Peugeot appeal to those who enjoy driving. And the pleasure gained from driving a 207 GTi is easy to understand once you put yourself behind the 'wheel' for a few kilometres.

Stephen Walker with the Peugeot 207 GTi 
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The engine for the 207 GTi is a 1.6 litre unit which produces 128 kW of power and a torque figure of 240 Nm from 1,600 rpm right up to 4,500 rpm. There is an “over-boost” function which can temporarily increase torque. The transmission is a 5-speed manual gearbox, which itself is pleasing to use. The overall performance provided by this engine is quite neat, rather than spectacular. Now that is a positive statement, with not the least amount of derogatory intent.

Of course, the driving aspects aren't the only attractions of the Peugeot 207 GTi.

Fuel consumption is, as you would expect from such a small car, quite good. Peugeot's tests reveal the 207 GTi will use 7.2 litre per 100 kms on the combined cycle. City cycle is 9.9 litres/100 kms and the highway cycle is just 5.7 litres/100 kms. No-one will complain about these figures.

Emissions, an important aspect these days, favours small cars. In fact, the 207 GTi emits a low 171 grammes of CO2 per kilometre. Making it quite an acceptable vehicle from an environmentally friendly perspective. Especially for a performance orientated car.

The safety package provided by this new 207 GTi is in keeping with its premium ambience. Numerous aspects, which I appreciate, are evident. Such as six airbags, five stars in Euro NCAP crash testing for adult occupant protection and, importantly, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) which is supplemented by a new Peugeot feature known as SSP (Steering Stability Programme). This SSP controls 'communications' between the ESP system and the steering system whilst braking on a surface that has varying grip levels for wheels on the right compared to that of the left. This new system provides greater braking to the wheels with more grip and if it anticipates vehicle instability, applies torque to the steering to assist the driver gain directional control.

Standard equipment on the Peugeot 207 GTi includes (but is not limited to): rear parking aid, speed limiter coupled with cruise control, automatic headlamps and wipers, dual zone climate control air conditioning, tyre under-inflation sensors, folding electric door mirrors and an electro-chrome interior rear-view mirror, together with Bridgestone Potenza 205/45R17W tyres mounted on 17” alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and trapezoid twin chrome exhaust tips.

Peugeot 207 GTi 
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On the inside, the superb accommodation upfront is provided by excellent seats which feature side bolsters for support and comfort for those long distance drives that are so easy to take in any Peugeot that wears a GTi badge. The front seats dominate the interior because of their physical size. Also present is a footrest to provide support for the driver's left foot, alloy-look pedals and the steering wheel adjusts for both height and reach. Given the comfort of the height adjustable, body-hugging seats and the inclusion of the aformentioned features, the overall package is complete to say the least. The boot is a handy size for this class of vehicle.

Colour choices include white, red, black metallic, light grey metallic, blue metallic and (exclusive to the GTi) dark grey metallic. Metallic colours are optional at $680.

An interesting option is the glass panoramic sunroof (with a sunblind), which is priced at $1,000.

But what about faults? As there aren't any, I'll list none.

So how much money does one need to take a Peugeot 207 GTi home? The current price is $33,490 plus the traditional add-on fees and charges. This amount provides driving enjoyment in excessive quantities and a very comfy motoring environment for two, with space in the rear for another two when necessary.

Peugeot has 'form' when it comes to providing enjoyment behind the steering wheel. With the new 207 GTi, Peugeot has proven that there is no road long enough in Australia. That's because when you're driving this car you just want to keep driving.

Only the love of your family will take you home when you drive a Peugeot 207 GTi.

Click on an image for a larger view

Other Peugeot content: here.

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