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Peugeot 207 GT 2007 review

Not so long ago, there was rarely a car worthy of the term 'hot hatch.' Now there's a score of them, so many and of such varying size and abilities that new nomenclature could be coined.

I mean, can Ford's $25K Fiesta XR4 (a car that makes droning old men feel young again), Volkswagen's $40K Golf GTI and BMW's near $70K 130i be said to belong to the same genre? All are routinely referred to as hot hatches but their disparity only begins at the price tag.

Peugeot's 207 GT is a quick and nimble three door that slots nicely into what the Poms call the super mini class, a space in which the XR4, VW's Polo GTI and Mini might be parked.

Indeed, the Pug shares the BMW/PSA 1.6-litre direct injection turbo engine that provides the newer Mini with a welcome bottom-end kick over its super-charged predecessor.

Unlike most of these, the GT's $31,490 price tag doesn't buy you the full go. That will come shortly in the form of the 207 GTi A (the lower-case letter signifying a further performance lift).

Still, the penultimate 207 has ample charms of its own. Like all such cars, it has grown in dimensions and displacement in recent generations to the point where it now tips the scales at 1376kg, 160kg more than the base 207.

The extra pounds bring with them a five-star crash safety rating, something no big Australian car can achieve.

The blown 1.6 reaches a maximum 110kW high in the rev range, but taps all its 240Nm from a low 1400rpm. Electronic recalibration will see the GTi extract more of both from the same near-lagless engine (as per Mini's Cooper S), but the GT's 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.1 seconds isn't tardy.

In fact, it's rather handy, feeling quicker in the process than indicated by the official stopwatch. The claimed consumption of 95 RON figure of 7.0 litres per 100km is achievable.

A reviewer from another publication felt the GT unworthy of the premium over the base petrol model 207. Yes, they might look the same and share much of the same stuff, but you'd need to be clinically comatose not to derive some satisfaction from the warmer gadget. Immediate torque access is married to agility and assuredness through corners that reminds you why grown men continue to gravitate to a class of car once considered the preserve of racing boys.

Into your first sweeper, the electrically power-assisted steering necessitates several re-adjustments. The more you play with it, though, the more you'll appreciate the manner in which the weighting changes with cornering force while remaining fingertip friendly in the urban crawl.

What defies familiarity is the shift action of the five-speed manual. It's awful: a rubbery, long-throw stick and ill-defined gates.

Whether you can live with the Pug is largely a question of how you find it on the nation's worst roads. A typical Sydney goat track makes the GT's ride feel plenty busy, a mid-corner pothole on one of our wonderful B-roads can quicken the pulse.

But that's the compromise inherent in such a car. Elsewhere, especially within, the GT's a comfortably appointed Euro whose general ambience and finish is an appreciable improvement on Pugs of yore.

Our six-year-old back-seat tester was comfortable in her booster seat behind a long legged adult. And — object lesson to makers of bigger hatches — that 270-litre boot contains a full-size 17-inch spare tyre.

As to the glass roof, well they're a popular fixture, though on the only sunny day during our acquaintance, one felt what it is to be cooking in a coq au vin. As with the 207's singular shape, this item is cute rather than convincing.

Capable rather than outstanding, the GT occupies middle ground. You'll always be conscious that there's stuff just as good for less money — or better for marginally more.

 

Pricing guides

$4,990
Based on 22 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$1,999
Highest Price
$6,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
CC 1.6 1.6L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,999 – 6,990 2007 Peugeot 207 2007 CC 1.6 Pricing and Specs
CC 1.6 GT 1.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $6,400 – 9,900 2007 Peugeot 207 2007 CC 1.6 GT Pricing and Specs
GT 1.6L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $3,000 – 5,170 2007 Peugeot 207 2007 GT Pricing and Specs
GTi 1.6L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $4,990 – 6,490 2007 Peugeot 207 2007 GTi Pricing and Specs