Peugeot 206 reviews  

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Peugeot launched the successful 206 as a three- and five-door hatchback range, but it just can’t stop spawning new models.First there was the 206 CC – one of 2002's must-have cars – with a clever folding metal roof that turns it from tin-top to soft-top at the flick of a switch. Used examples at independent retailers are usually strongly priced. Then there’s the 206 SW estate, which head-to-head with Fabia in the compact estate market. It's stylish, practical and offered with a wide range of engine. Finally, there's the uprated GTi, evoking memories of the 205 GTi for ‘hot hatch’ fans.

The 206 was a fine car in its day - but that was some time ago. Since the bigger and better 207 was introduced, Peugeot has kept the 206 on as a cut-price alternative. The range has been thinned down and only basic versions are now available.

Peugeot's design team certainly got their finger on the pulse with the 206's styling, which won praise from introduction and propelled the car to the top of the sales charts across Europe. Even now there's still a strong appeal to the chic design, indeed in many ways it looks better than the rotund, overweight 207.

But inside the 206's cabin the car's age is all-too apparent, with lots of very cheap-looking plastics, poor ergonomic design and a famously uncomfortable driving position. Space is poor for rear seat passengers and the boot is cramped, too.

On the road the 206 redeems itself to a degree. Dynamically, it's an engaging companion with keen handling and well-weighted steering. Motorway refinement is indifferent, though, although the pliant ride makes for comfortable progress over rougher road surfaces.

The entry-level 1.4 litre petrol engine is by far the most sensible powerplant in the range, giving reasonable performance and low running costs - especially when bought with the sort of generous discount that Peugeot dealers will offer. For most users, the basic 1.4 litre HDI diesel motor is too loud and crude to offset the savings it will make in terms of fuel economy, although the more powerful 110 bhp 1.6 litre HDI diesel is impressively punch.

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