Peugeot 207 GTi Review
One minute we’re seeing the GTi’mmmmm backkkkkkk adverts sponsoring the movies on terrestrial TV, to be recently told that Gti’mmmmm Gooonnneee. Peugeot have pulled the plug on the GTi badge to make way for the new RCZ as it’s leading sporty model.
With this in mind we have this as our first used review as GTi’s have come down in price allowing anybody to get behind the wheel of a genuine hot hatch.
Hmm, genuine hot hatch, we’ll get back to that later, as you may have read elsewhere the 207 lacks what made the 205 so good, we aren’t stuck in the past, so please, read on.
The 207 looks aggressive and different from the competition. It’s, almost, F1 style nose, reaches out to sniff and point at the road ahead sitting above a gaping grille and in-front of huge wrap around headlights. Things get a little more subtle as the design sweeps over to the rear but the lower stance and extra body parts over the standard 207 make this little beauty look like something special.
Inside gets a little GTi magic too with part leather and alcantara racing seats that hug and hold you in place. There are extra touches and pieces you can have on the car such as SatNav and Telephone System (Voice Controlled), Disc Changer, Boot Sub-woofer, Climate Control, Auto Lights and Wipers, Tinted Rear Windows, Dark Chrome Headlights, Front and Rear Splitters, Xenon’s…the list goes on.
The chassis is stiff and is the early form of the one that is now in the PSA Groups Citroen DS3. Needless to say it’s taught and makes the car very responsive round the corners. This thing is amazing. On a lovely dry day with dry roads, the Bridgestone Potenzas that sit on 17” Alloy Wheels stick to the road like the proverbial on a blanket allowing for breathtaking cornering speeds and tight snappy direction changes. This of course allows for very quick standing starts. The tyres don’t perform badly in the wet or greasy conditions but due to the nature of them, you need to have your wits about you in other than perfect conditions if you’re going to drive enthusiastically.
It’s a 1.6. Hardcore Peugeot GTi owners will tell you the 2.0 lump in the 206 is the daddy, with 180bhp. Sure it has 5 more horses than the 1.6, however it’s no turbo. This means the 1.6 THP 175bhp BMW engine actually has 0-60 nailed in 6.9 seconds over the 206’s 7.5, the other thing that amazes is the torque. The 206 manages 202 Nm 152 lb-ft where as the 207 puts out a stomping 260 Nm 195 lb-ft. Strangely enough both have a top speed of 137mph. Don’t be too heavy with your right foot or you will struggle to maintain a fuel economy figure of over 30mpg.
The THP engine is amazing, it has had it’s short coming with early ones rattling on cold starts eventually terminally killing the engine known as the ‘death rattle’, however, there is good news, most of the old ones have had replacement upgraded parts and if not, it’s a known Peugeot problem, fight your corner and you should succeed in them paying up for the work to be done. Newer 207’s had the updated part from the factory so have no issues. Putting this issue aside, the engine pulls from it’s 800rpm idle right up to the red-line so smoothly and so strongly you can outpace nearly everything on the road today. Type-Rs, Porsche Boxters…the list could go on.
Peugeots were known for their tail happy hot hatch characteristics and many journalists claim the 206 GTi never captured that. Until the new RCZ, the 207 GTi was the best rendition of that classic pug rear end slide, with the ESP on and hard entry speed into a corner, the back end will step out. Sure you have to be pretty brutal with the steering and even maybe induce this, but at least…it’s controllable and allows you to feel the car.
207 GTi is very impressive. It’s quick, responsive, handles like a dream and there’s no roll in the corners. There’s a downside to all that handling goodness, unlike the newer DS3 that remains smooth and tight in the corners, the 207 GTi does have a very hard ride. On silky smooth motorway it’s fine, on potholed typical unloved b roads it can get a little scary, thinking you’re going to snap something off when hitting a said hole the size of nothing bigger than a tea plate.
In summary, buy a loved one. Check the Service History and make sure you get to start the car from complete overnight cold to check for the dreaded rattle. Buy a nice one and you will definitely have the ride of your life everytime you get behind the wheel.
Pros: Looks, Spec, Speed and Handling Cons: MPG and Hard Ride.
Result Peugeot 🙂