Peugeot 207 CC
A Step Up
In its heyday, the Peugeot 206 CC was one of the first convertibles where the traditional soft top was replaced by a metal hard top. At last a major problem had been resolved. Lacking in comfort, a car with a soft top is not very usable throughout the whole year.
The 207 CC also has a foldaway metal roof, which means that this Coupé Convertible gives the driver the same amount of comfort every day of the year just like an ordinary 207. In strong winds you might hear a little bit more of a murmur from the wind through the side windows; apart from that the experience is pretty much the same as an ordinary 207.
This is justifiably a very big compliment, because underneath there is a considerable difference between the ordinary Peugeot 207 and this 207 CC. Much of the sturdiness of an ordinary car is due to the design of the roof. Without a fixed roof, a convertible has to find its strength through the reinforced beams both in and particularly under the doors. Peugeot has tackled this so comprehensively; the car even has a double lintel. The result has been achieved. The 207 CC feels as sturdy as an ordinary 207 even when taking corners quickly over poor road surfaces.
The reinforced beams and the roof design make the 207 CC a considerable 135kg heavier than a comparable 207. Daily use of the car doesn't make this weight increase noticeable. With emergency stops, you can't avoid that feeling of a considerable mass being brought to a standstill. The car feeling larger than it actually is, is partly due to the low placing of the seats, the flattened front windshield and the fact that the bonnet isn't visible from the driver's position. Road handling doesn't suffer due to this. The 207 CC's performance builds such confidence that it even dares the driver to taken on a more sporty style of driving.
Turbo High Pressure
The 1.6 litres THP (Turbo High Pressure) engine with which the test car was equipped, also encourages such behaviour. With 150 hp, it has more than enough power in house to get this sturdy coupé convertible moving in a sprightly fashion. Especially above the 3,000 revs, it's very noticeable that the turbo is providing the necessary assistance; and this is when the 207 CC gets very daring. The rest of the traffic always seems to be dawdling along behind, whereas the 207 CC driver wants nothing more than to make full use of the engine. The front wheels are more than capable of processing this horsepower; wheel spin or tugging of the steering wheel due to too much power are unknown concepts in the 207 CC.
When driving on the motorway, an instinctive feeling is highlighted by the missing sixth gear. Peugeot has deliberately chosen to leave it out, which allows the engine to keep high rpms even at high speed. The turbo stays alert, just as the 207 also remains attentive to the accelerator. However, the 207 CC 1.6 THP is tiring to drive over long distance.
Of course, the real driving pleasure starts with a push of a button and the roof opens. The opening and closing of the roof is completely automatic; even the opening and closing of the clips is no longer necessary. Within 25 seconds, the coupé has been transformed into a convertible.
Going entirely against the grain, the roof is constructed out of one solid piece. By dividing the roof into several small pieces, it is possible to fold a large roof up into a small luggage space. As Peugeot has made the decision to have just one large roof piece, the rest of the roof is inevitably made up of this enormous windshield which sits over the heads of the passengers. The 207 CC consequently has less of a sense of freedom than some other coupé convertibles.
With a folding roof, there is also more space to gain access to the boot. The 207 CC misses this. Peugeot's competitors have sidestepped them on this account, and the 207 CC won't help them catch up.
The 207 CC does score considerably better on comfort. With its panoramic windshield, the wind is barely able to get into the car. At speeds up to 100 km/hr, there is still no need for a windbreak, and the side windows can stay down. For those drivers under 1m80 the 207 CC opened roof experience proves to be a sheltered one; however interestingly anyone taller still doesn't need to wear a cap to keep their hair in place.
With a car that has two personalities, it is necessary to draw two conclusions. For those that are looking for a convertible the Peugeot 207 CC is a descent buy. The car however only distinguishes itself from the rest of the field on appearance. The 207 CC is no longer a trendsetter, and the car has no clever inventions or new technology on offer.
For those that already drive a Peugeot 206 CC and are considering a 207 CC, they will experience this newcomer as very big step forward. The car has a more mature appearance and is no longer reserved just for hairdressers. The luggage space and the interior are significantly more spacious (even taller drivers can now fit into the 207 CC with its roof closed). The performance is better than that of the 206 CC. At the same time the comfort of the car has been improved.