Peugeot's milkfloat-like supermini is still a niche car, but if you're buying one, this is the model to have

What is it?

Peugeot’s 1007 didn’t get a friendly reception when it was launched and hasn’t been at all successful in the showrooms either. It’s not cheap, the electric doors are heavy (so it’s a bit sluggish) and the packaging is a bit inefficient.

These are all good reasons why the 1007 hasn’t been a hit. But I do hope the team at Peugeot responsible for designing it are not now working as car washers at Peugeot Congo Ltd, because the ideas behind the 1007 are not at all stupid. Doors that slide open electrically are a brilliant feature for our overcrowded supermarket car parks and busy city streets.

Peugeot cannot do much about the packaging at this stage, but can and has about the power-to-weight ratio by simply fitting the bigger 1.6-litre HDI motor that’s used in the 407. The turbodiesel produces 110bhp and 177lb ft of torque – 40bhp and 57lb ft up on the current 1.4 HDi engine.

The 110bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine has been available from launch, but only with the 2Tronic automatic gearbox. Now it’s available with the conventional five-speed manual gearbox.

What’s it like?

Not surprisingly, nowhere in Peugeot’s press material does it tell you that you can drive the 1007 with its doors open. You can’t open the doors once the car is moving, but if you start the motor with the doors open you can continue on your way with them wide open.

I wonder if the car’s designers were at all influenced by the 1960s Bedford CF van? Probably not, but it’s fun playing milkman in the car, especially when the sun is shining on the Cote d’ Azur and it’s nice and warm.

Of course, most people will realise that this is a bit dangerous, so to base the argument for buying a 1007 on its potential as a milk float would be pointless.

The new turbodiesel is the engine the 1007 should have had from launch because it hides the car’s weight and just makes it more pleasant to drive.

Peugeot has also tweaked the 1007’s front suspension for this engine by stiffening the dampers, and has adjusted the electric power steering. You’d need the standard 1.4-litre HDi alongside to spot any difference. For sure the 1007 is no nippy and agile city car, but it’s peppy enough for its job.

Should I buy one?

The Peugeot 1007 is a niche car (not actually designed for delivering semi-skimmed, despite its suitability) and its appeal really comes down to your lifestyle.

If I were a busy mum with a couple of toddlers living in Fulham the 1007 would be high on my list of suitable runarounds. The packaging is not ideal as you have to get the kids in the back by tipping the seats, but the electric sliding door is a huge boon when juggling shopping and small people. Another reason is that the 1007 scores very high on safety, especially in side impact tests.

A price for the 1.6 HDi-equipped 1007 will be announced before the model goes on sale in the summer, but since the dearest 1007 - the 1.6 petrol - costs £12,600, something around that figure would be expected.

Add a comment…