Peugeot seems to have got its mojo back with the introduction the 208 GTi.
Until recently, you bought a Pug because the diesel engine did 50mpg, the boot swallowed a house and you were most likely a minicab driver.
Anyhow, as the latest hot hatch shows, there is more to Peugeots than that. Here are a few of my favourites.
A bizarre, sliding-door oddity that is easy to get in and out of, so it's perfect for town-bound pensioners. But it is also a great town-centre assault vehicle for the rest of us.
Without a doubt the most practical and useful of the truly affordable coupe-convertibles on the market. Not only that, but you can improve on the 1.6’s already decent 40mpg by buying yourself a 1.6 HDi diesel that should return around 57mpg. It is very easy to live with and drive, and you can go from ‘full roof’ to ‘no roof’ in the blink of an eye.
Peugeot 406 Coupé V6
Beauty and economy – you can have it all with this lovely-looking coupe designed by Pininfarina, the Italian design house that usually does Ferraris. The brilliant Peugeot HDi diesel engine delivers around 50mpg. However, we would go for the sexy V6 version, which is even cheaper.
Peugeot 307 2.0 HDi
If you want a lot of economical car for the money, the podgy 307 is it. There may be a 1.4 HDi available, but the 2.0-litre version is around in greater numbers, and bear in mind that there are 90 or 110bhp models. Just buy what’s cheapest, we say, especially as both will record 54.3mpg, according to the official figures.
Peugeot 306 GTi-6
This is a truly wonderful thing. It’s a hot hatchback with a solid 2.0-litre engine and a six-speed gearbox that allows the driver to make full use of every single rev. Responsive and truly involving, the 306 GTi-6 is arguably the last of the great performance Peugeots.
The 607 manages to combine all the most attractive Peugeot virtues such as elegant styling, brilliant handling and assured ride with a wealth of complicated technology. There’s everything, including a multi-function plip control that operates the doors, windows, boot and even the seat memory.
Peugeot Partner Combi
Civilian vans like the Partner are great, because they’ve got five seats and windows. Oh yes, and sliding side doors, which get you into the back. When new, these were relatively expensive for an adapted van, but they are incredible value second-hand, and to enjoy the full commercial vehicle experience, you can get a diesel.
It’s a great big saloon with a guppy front end that is cheap to buy and easy to own. The truly massive estate would suit those who really need the practicality, but as a comfy motorway cruiser the 407 is hard to beat. Certainly the level of standard equipment - climate, cruise and CD - makes this a good place to start for most buyers. There was just the one petrol option, so most buyers will get themselves a turbodiesel, which is good.
Peugeot 406 Estate
Smooth ride, bags of space and great diesel engines. The 2.0 petrol is smooth, powerful and frugal, but the HDi 110 LX is probably the pick of the bunch for a workhorse estate. Handling is tidy, too. A facelift in mid-1999 improved equipment levels across the range.
And which Peugeots do you like?