Coventry Chic: Peugeot 107 Review - PEUGEOT 107 Car Review

Review

Added: 15 Mar 2010
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When the owners of Chelsea Tractors want to get from Wandsworth to Knightsbridge, they go over the Wandsworth bridge and are then meant to take the long dog-leg round to the Kings Road. We know this because the more direct route, which skirts past Sainsbury’s and up the back of Chelsea Harbour, has the harshest traffic ‘calming’ measures imaginable. At a crucial part of this cut-through there is a tight right-turn, which would be hard enough, but it is followed by two forceful metal bollards that are meant to stop the big Volvos and Audis.

I was thinking about this as I glided up the A3 dual carriageway to Wandsworth. I was able to cruise at full motorway speed in this basic 1.0 litre runabout in refined comfort. Which begged the question: ‘Do I really needed any other car?’. If there is a stable, quiet cruise on offer from such a little car, that knocks out the key strength of bigger motors as it must surely be easier to drive around town in.

With this in mind I took the cut-through we are normally deterred from using thanks to the council’s bumps and chicanes. I was fortunate enough to have a big silver Audi A6 following me (Chelsea Tractor drivers are not put off by narrow gaps or traffic calming – they’re more bloody minded). I took the right-hand turn, cleared the bollards and made it to the far end of the street before the Audi had even lined up for the bollards. Another nail in the coffin for bigger cars.

But then I just ended up waiting longer in the queue on the Kings Road and the Audi driver joined two cars later...

Now I know that if everyone had a 107 rather than an A6, the queues would be shorter, but I really think there will still be congestion. And I am afraid that I would rather have been sitting in any of the Chelsea Tractors than a 107. But I can’t really say why.

Everything about this basic little car is jolly; it makes motoring fun again. Locking each door manually, winding up your own windows, the teeny metallic roar of the 1.0 litre engine, the simple but supportive seats and most of all the handling (or complete lack of it) – it’s got it all.

My confidence in the 107, sky high after the successful motorway cruise and Chelsea Harbour ‘battle’, led me to enter a roundabout at the kind of brisk pace that gets you a tut-tut from your spouse. But in this case it was merited. Halfway round I remembered that the 107’s wheels look like they are from a pushchair. The car pitched like a Daihatsu and I wondered if it might even go onto two wheels. Of course it didn’t, but I exclaimed: “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” all the way round to my exit. It’s just great fun this car, even when it’s not doing very well.

Which is why I recommended it to my nan, who is 90 and finds her 307 a bit too big these days. But she’ll need the 5-door version because she tells me it’s essential to give her fellow bridge players a lift to the games.

What’s the market like?

There are stacks of these little cars to choose from, especially in the Midlands. About 200 of the 1,000 on the used market are within 50 miles of Birmingham whereas there are less than 40 in Norfolk.

They’ve sold 5- and 3-door variants pretty evenly, but more of the Urban spec than anything else – 80% of the cars you see will be Urban. In fact I’d avoid the others as you won’t get electric windows or extra airbags.

Remember to check our average mileages. This little car does little mileage in the main, but because it is so capable some students or couriers may have run up more miles – which will look fine if you only compare it with a bigger car’s average mileage. It would be easy to overpay for a high-mileage car because 30,000 doesn’t sound like much on a 3-year-old car, but in this case it is.

What else will this budget buy?

Three-year-old cars are yours for something either side of £5,000. You could buy the Toyota Aygo, as it’s the same car but will be a few hundred quid more. You could buy a Citroen C1, but it is also the same car and the service of the dealers never gives me as much confidence as Peugeot’s.

So the real alternative is a Smart City-Coupe or Hyundai i10. The i10 has more equipment, including CD player and air conditioning as standard, but the engine is rather weedy compared with the 107. So if you have any A-road work to do at all, I would go with the Peugeot.

Summary

It’s cars like this that made motoring such a popular pursuit for Britons through the 50s and 60s. The perky little engine can take you anywhere, motorways or cities alike. It’s cheap to buy, run and repair, and cheerful and fun to be in.

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