Bye-Bye BumCar, Hello SharkCar!

DSC03476_4da5fac36ae64-lightboxKnowing that its MOT was due, an oil change due, a service due, and it needed another £1,200 spending on it, I was given a budget and initially jumped to look at Fiat Panda 100HPs,. However I couldn’t find one quite new enough and with a warranty and I could never make my mind up as to whether or not I could live with the ride.

Next up came the VW Polo; I’d found a nice 2008 ’08’ Match 3dr 1.4 in grey at our local dealer for £7,500 with 38,000mi on the clock and 12 months’ warranty and we were pleased with the £1,000 px offer on the Megane, but all the while my Dad was suggesting Peugeot 207s. We had a 1990 205 Style 1.1 3dr for 11 years as a runabout, its only problem was a starter motor packing up and needing 3 re-sprays after I ‘washed’ it with sand paper I’d found under a neighbors car aged 3. My grandparents have a battle-scarred LHD 03 Partner Combi in France as their runabout which has been trouble free despite the abuse and having swallowed some ‘Gazole’. Mum’s ’08 308 has been great too.

So after much deliberation and scouring of the VW and Peugoet used car locators we went to view a grey 2009 ’58’ 207 Sport 1.4VTi 95 3dr with 17,500 miles on the clock at our local dealer and it was decided that whilst the VW was better built (the Peugeots are by no means bad) the 207 was almost a year newer, still a current model had 20,000mi less on it, cheaper to insure, tax, quicker, more economical, funkier to look at and cheaper to insure… It was listed at £500 less than the Polo, came with 12 months manufacturer’s warranty and I’d been offered £1,300 for the Megane. A deal was done having knocked the price down by a couple of hundred quid, branded carpet mats and a years RFL added, we left a deposit and were told to come back Tuesday afternoon to pay the rest and pick it up.

So there we go! The Megane went 2 days before its MOT expires, 6 days before its 2yr anniversary with me. I get the remainder of my RFL back, about £40, and now I’ve a shiny ‘new’ 207 to replace it. The deal included 1/4 tank of petrol, freshly valeted, its first MOT when it’s due next year plus £750 towards anything if it fails, 7 days free insurance, it’s jut been serviced and I’ve got a 10% off voucher for Peugeot Accessories so I’m going back in a week or so to have an AUX-In fitted in the glove box, which is cooled so my iPod doesn’t get all sweaty on a warm summers day…

Some specs:

2009 ’58’ Peugeot 207 Sport 1.4VTi 95 3dr
‘Thorium Grey Metalic’ – A £350 option new
Black Toluca Cloth Sports seats
Bright-finish Sports Front Grille/Bumper w/ Chromed Foglight Surrounds
Chromed Tailpipe Finisher
Tinted Glass
UV reflecting windscreen
Electric/Heated Door Mirrors
Electric Windows w/ Drivers One-Touch
Perforated Leather Steering Wheel/Gearstick/Handbrake
CD/MP3 Stereo w/ 6 speakers and Steering Column-mounted Controls
Trip Computer
White-faced dials
Air Conditioning w/ Cooled Glovebox
Branded Carpet Mats
Remote Central Locking
Drivers and Front Passengers Seat Height Adjustment
Driver, Passengers, Side and Curtain Airbags
Euro NCAP 5* Safety Rating

Anyway, enough of the boring stuff… First impressions are great. I’ve had it a day now, done just over 100 miles, most of which just aimlessly driving around getting used to it. It’s so much nicer than the Megane; no rattles, no squeaks, no driveline shunt, no clutch judder, no horrible jarring on speed bumps or potholes! To look at, I think it’s great, like a shark in this grey. It’s a pleasure to walk up to it on the high street. I’m not much of a fan of the facelifted front end, I prefer the front of mine although the new LED rear light clusters look very smart and the new, slightly altered Air Conditioning/Ventilation controls are quite nice too…

Cabin is nice, made of quality feeling materials, the sports seats are comfy and supportive, the steering wheel is really nice to hold, the dials are clear and the dash looks really smart. Like the 308 it’s all perforated rubbery stuff, soft to the touch, with some real metal bits to brighten it a bit, although the lower parts look a little cheaper as do some of the plastics on the doors, and you have to reach miles to get the interior door handles! The steering is nice, but a little numb, though the variable assistance works really, really well. The pedals look a bit close together but in practice they’re fine; nice and light in action. The gearbox on the other hand lets it down. I think it’s better than in the 308, but feels lighter, doesn’t feel sturdy enough and isn’t particularly accurate.

The engine feels great; the 207 shares the unit with the MINI One, I love it. It’s down 5bhp on the Megane but provides a bit more torque, don’t quote me on that, but it’s eager to rev, very responsive and sounds really great, raspy and zingy, I love passing 2,500rpm  under load… Anyone with a MINI One/MINI Cooper will probably know what I’m on about. It pulls nicely and feels quicker than its 12 sec 0-60 time might suggest. It seems a lot pokier then the Megane which was supposedly only 1/2 a second slower; makes me think the Megane was sicker than I thought and down on power a bit… Compared to the Megane, which was very heavy and dulled, lethargic and unresponsive, this feels light, nimble and nippy and responsive. Just soooo much better in every way… Economy-wise it’s impressing me too; the Megane would manage mid to late 20s mpg around town, 33 mpg on a run and 38 mpg on a 100 mile, 70mph motorway cruise, the best I got being 42mpg…

The 207 however has been doing an average of 20 mph and returning me 42 mpg which promises high 50s on a run!

So. Hopefully this will serve me as well as the 205, Partner and 308 have done the rest of my family. I’ll miss BumCar and it was really rather sad watching it shrink in my mirror as I left the forecourt, but I’m really looking forward to my time with SharkCar!




Tom Waugh