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Used car review Peugeot 206CC 2001-2004

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Graham 'Smithy' Smith reviews the used Peugeot 206CC 2001-2004, its fine points, its flaws and what to watch for when you're buying it.

With its folding steel roof Peugeot’s 206CC was two cars in one, combining the fun of a convertible with the comfort and security of a coupe. It wasn’t the first car to feature a retractable steel roof, the Americans were toying with the concept in the 1950s before Mercedes really nailed it with the SLK in the ’90s, but the cute Peugeot was the first to make it an affordable alternative to the rag top.

Traditional convertibles had folding fabric tops, but there are a number of deficiencies in a soft top. They don’t provide much, if any, noise insulation, they often leak and can be slashed by someone intent on breaking into your car, and those foggy plastic rear windows are just a pain. On top of that they contribute nothing to a car’s structure at all.

A steel roof, on the other hand, doesn’t leak, it can be as quiet as a regular coupe or sedan, afford a greater level of security, and can contribute to a car’s strength by dint of its rigid panels.

MODEL WATCH

The arrival of the CC – coupe cabriolet – version of Peugeot’s little 206 came as a surprise.

Mercedes-Benz had shown a folding steel roof was plausible with the SLK sports car, but the idea of employing the apparently expensive concept on a cheaper model wasn’t really considered a possibility.

It’s really a brilliant concept. With the steel roof in the raised position the occupants are afforded the comfort and protection of a coupe, but it’s also possible to lower the roof to reveal a fun convertible in a matter of a few seconds.

If there’s a downside to the concept it’s that you lose more than half of the boot space you might otherwise use for carrying luggage, shopping or what have you when the roof is folded away.

The 206CC sat on the same wheelbase and track as its sedan cousins; it also shared the same front floorpan and drivetrain with the more modest models in the 206 range.

It didn’t matter which way you viewed it the 206CC was cute, a mix of form, fashion and function with a roof that disappeared from view in 20 seconds at the touch of a button on the console.

Inside it had four seats, but in reality it was a two-seater with rear seats suitable only for occasional use.

The seats, dash and door panels were lifted from the 206 sedan, but the rear is unique to the CC.

Under the cute curves lay a form of MacPherson Strut front suspension, with an anti-roll bar, and a system of torsion bars at the rear, also with an anti-roll bar. On the road it had a comfortable ride and it handled with aplomb.

Steering was power assisted rack and pinion, while brakes were disc front and rear with the assistance of anti-skid control and electronic brake force distribution to ensure optimum brake effort where it was most needed.

Two engines were on offer, a 1.6-litre double overhead camshaft fuel-injected four-cylinder unit that was linked to a four-speed auto, and a 2.0-litre double overhead camshaft fuel-injected four that came with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The 1.6-litre engine developed 80 kW at 5800 revs along with 147 Nm at 4000 revs, while the larger engine made 100 kW at 6000 revs and 194 Nm at 4000 revs.

On the road that translated into a 0-100 km/h sprint of 12.5 seconds for the 1.6 and 9.3s for the 2.0-litre model.

Standard features included climate control air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, cloth trimmed sports seats, drilled ‘rally’ style pedals, height adjustable steering column and driver’s seat, and remote central locking.

ON THE LOT

To enjoy the fun of a 206CC you’ll need to pay $19,000 for a 2001 model to $25,000 for a 2004 model, add $1500 to $2500 for the extra zip of the 2.0-litre.

IN THE SHOP

The earliest 206CCs are approaching the time for a timing belt change and it’s important it be changed at 80,000 km or four years, as a failure will result in some nasty internal damage to the engine.

Check for a service record that can be verified, and look inside the oil filler cap for sludge, the enemy of all modern engines.

Transmissions stand up quite well, as does the rest of the drivetrain, but brake wear can be high with discs expensive to replace.

Check that the roof operates smoothly when being raised or lowered, if it doesn’t it could be because of poor crash repairs that have left it misaligned.

The 206CC also suffered from some dash shake so expect a few rattles as time goes on. It’s not a major problem, but can be annoying.

IN A CRASH

Dual front and side airbags provide comprehensive crash protection, while ant-skid brakes with brake force distribution add a further layer of dynamic primary protection.

OWNERS SAY

After Cheryle Fry told her husband she wanted a convertible for her next car, but that she also wanted a hard top, he went looking for something suitable. When she saw a photo of the 206CC she knew that was the one she wanted. Her husband agreed with great trepidation as being a bit of a car buff he had doubts about Peugeot reliability and build quality. After more than a year of ownership and numerous roof-down days on winery trips and joy rides she says the car has not given a moment of trouble. As the car does not carry a spare wheel her husband put Tyre Shield in the tyres many thousands of kilometres ago and she has never had a flat tyre. On a recent trip to Bathurst on mostly corrugated dirt roads with jagged rocks the car and tyres performed superbly. This car is everything I expected it to be and more!

LOOK FOR

• cute styling

• smooth roof operation

• comfort and convenience of folding steel roof

• quite robust mechanicals

• good level of crash protection

• limited rear seat accommodation

RIVALS

• Mazda MX5 – 2000-2003 – $20,000-$29,000

• VW Golf – 1995-2003 – $15,000-$35,000

• Saab 9-3 S – 1999-2001 – $18,000-$28,000

THE BOTTOM LINE

Good looking fun convertible with the convenience and security of a coupe.

RATING

70/100

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 6 comments

  • When my wife said she wanted a convertible and I did not want a soft top for safety and security reasons I thought I would have to pay $$$$ for a hard top. We also needed 4 seats as we have 3 kids (youngest were 5 & 7 at the time). In 2010 we bought the 206cc. Now three years later the back seats are sadly getting too tight for the kids. Problems have included a broken engine mount (165,000ks), leaking roof and some seat issues but otherwise it has been great fun and a very reliable car. Handling is brilliant and has plenty of go, but which not surprisingly drops with a full car. It's zippy and fuel efficient and just fun to drive, especially on a sunny day with the roof down. Starting to get a bit long in the tooth, but incredible value now for what you get.

    Andrew of Melbourne Posted on 27 July 2013 10:54am
  • I just brought a 2007 206cc the last of them and i love it.. it is an amazing car fun to drive everyone looks as it looks like a way more costly car the back seats are usless don't think this car should have even be a 4 seater but other then that its great

    Yianni of Werribee vic Posted on 10 April 2013 9:17pm
  • Have owned a 2002 model for 7 years. Apart from a new clutch and alternator, there has been no issues at all. My car has been superb. City driving great with zippy 2.0 litre engine. Goes well on the highway and roof is excellent. Great up or down. Boot space is world class in such a small car, let alone a convertible. Don't go to a Peugeot dealer to get it serviced. They will rip you off blind and change things that do not need changing. There are always lemons out there. Mine is not and recommend this model completely. Happy driving.

    Megan Healy of Port Melbourne Posted on 24 September 2012 11:48pm
  • I AGREE ROD- HAVE OWNED MINE FOR 4 AND A HALF YEARS- BOUGHT FOR 28 GRAND AND WITH PROBS AND INTEREST ON LONE PAYING AROUND 60 GRAND AND CANT SELL IT YET- BEEN GIVE A CASH OFFER OF 6-8 GRAND - HAHAHA LES THAN 5 YEARS AGO - PROBLEMS ARE SO FAR: WITHING 3 MONTHS - LEAK IN ROOF, AUTO CATCHING, SEAT STUCK, HEAD REST NOT WORKING, LEAK IN WINDOWS, BATTERY DYING , WITHIN JUST AFTER 5 YEARS- I BOUGHT IT IN MAY 2006 I HAVE HAD THE THERMOSTAT BLOW WHICH IS LUCK IT DIDNT DAMAGE MOTOR AS IT NORMALLY DOES- WHEEL BEARINGS, 3 X BRACK PADS REPLACED- 3 X LIGHT GLOBES REPLACED IN HEADLIGHTS, 2 X BATTERIES REPLACED STRUTS REPLACED FROM DOORS, BOOT FIXED AND NOW THE ROOF HAS FAILED AND THE ELECTRICS ON THE SPEEDO, REVS AND TEMP GAUGE FAILING AT TIMES- JUST SET ME BACK $1000 ON RENTAL CARS TO BE TOLD THE COMPUTER SYTEM I HAVE IN THE 2003 206 CC CANNOT BE TESTED ANYWHERE IN OZZ - HAD IT FLOWN TO SYDNEY AND ALL AND NO-ONE CAN HELP HAHAHA - GOOD LUCK IN BUYING A PEUGOT!!! I CERTAINLY WILL NEVER DO THIS- UNLESS YOUR RICH - DONT BUT ONE -TROUBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    IZZIE of NORTH COAST NSW Posted on 30 October 2010 12:52am
  • My partner has had a 2004 one since new. No problems whatsoever. None of the above thigns exploding etc. Agree that the dash has had a squeak in it but nothing else. Not overly cheap to service and the timing belt change at 4 years is a crock of sh*t but hey, it has to be done. Elegant little car, great heater and air con, still looks classy in 2010. As a second car it is perfect and no regrets buying.

    AndyR of Elwood, Victoria Posted on 01 September 2010 10:30am
  • they were an absolute lemon! i owned one for 9 months after which, i had to offload it. with the dash sinking on one side, CV joints clicking, radio blowing up 3 times, mismatched manufacturers paint defect which left the car having to be resprayed, and of course a dodgy roof and a timing belt noise, after 20k's it had to go! never again!

    Rod Posted on 03 March 2010 6:57am
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