8 July 2004

Peugeot hopes to revolutionise city motoring with its new 1007, the first city car with easy-access sliding doors. The electric doors should make getting out of the 1007 easy in tight parking bays, and they will be standard when UK sales start next May. Prices are tipped to range from £10,500 to £11,500.

Borrowing the mechanism from the 807 MPV, the doors take about four seconds to open or shut and are activated by the remote key fob, door handles or internal switches.

At 3.73m long and 1.68m wide, the 1007 has a similar footprint to smaller superminis, but boosts interior space with a lofty 1.8m roofline. Under the skin is a variation of the Citroën C2 platform, and 60 per cent of parts, including engines and suspension, are shared with the C2.

The PSA group hardware is clothed in Pininfarina metalwork, but the new 407-style family look is present with the gaping, low-set grille and edge-of-the-wings headlights.Dominating the side profile are huge and rather ugly door handles – a solution to the packaging problem of fitting window-winder mechanisms and side-impact bracing into such a slim door. With no room to hide the handle, it had to be placed on the exterior skin and surrounded by a guard to protect pedestrians.

The interior is better resolved, where the dash textures and soft trim contribute to one of the best-quality current Peugeot cabins. A neat touch is removable trim panels for the seat base and back, door panels and air vent surrounds. Available in 18 variations, UK buyers will get two sets as standard allowing owners to freshen up their 1007’s interior. Extra sets will cost around £150.

The C2’s high driver’s perch is raised a further 25mm in the 1007 by a double floor that also helps package the sliding door mechanism’s lower runners. The four seats slide, tilt, fold and can be removed altogether.

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The weight, however, isn’t good news. Strengthening to ensure good side-impact protection, and for mounting points for the doors, pushes the kerbweight to 1150kg. That’s closer to a 307 than a 206.

There are three engines – a 75bhp 1.4- and 110bhp 1.6-litre petrol and a 70bhp 1.4-litre diesel – mated to manual or auto five-speed ’boxes. Although buyers are more likely to be swayed by the 1007’s clever use of space than racing road manners, Peugeot promises sporty handling and well-controlled body roll.

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