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Engine options, speed, acceleration and refinement

Our own figures show that the 1.4 VTi 207 is capable of 0-60mph in 12.9sec and a top speed of 107mph: no more than reasonable performance for these times. 

The engine is one of Peugeot’s better units, with a wide spread of power. Despite its short gearing, the 207 is quite refined, with the engine a distant presence at a motorway cruise and wind and road roar well muted.

The brake pedal is far too sharp at the top of its travel

Don’t expect such rounded and mature performance from either of the entry-level engines. While the eight-valve 1.4 petrol takes almost 16sec to wheeze to 62mph, the even less powerful 1.4-litre HDI requires almost 17sec to do it. This is no major demerit: you can find Ford Fiestas and VW Polos that are equally slow. But for regular motorway or long distance commutes, you’ll want a more powerful version.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the 207’s performance spectrum, there is – or, at any rate, was - the GTi. This car easily outgunned its contemporary Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTi on power. It also, by virtue of having the same engine, had the same wallop as a Mini Cooper S. 

The 207 GTi cracked 60mph in 7.5sec during our 2007 road test - well short of Peugeot’s 7.1sec claim, but fairly fast in isolation, and hindered mainly by a rubbery, vague gearshift common with most manual 207s. The car cracked 100mph in less than twenty seconds, however, and was grippy and predictable enough in its handling to lap our wet handling circuit within a second of the laptime of VW’s more powerful Golf GTi.

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The 207 GTi’s braking performance was also in keeping with a hot hatch. Its stopping times and distances were good, and the discs resisted fade well even on a hot, dry track. Shame, though, that the pedal didn’t have a better feel.