Without being too unkind, Peugeot is, how can I put this, not currently the first port of call for car enthusiasts. Unfortunately for the French car maker a lot of the flack it receives is down to the fact the cars it used to build were too good.

I mean, if Peugeot had always made mediocre cars no one would notice if one of its models didn’t make the grade. But because it is responsible for a string of gems like the 205 GTI, 106 GTI, 306 Rallye, I could go on, it is a shame the firm is not still on the money when it comes to hot hatches.

It is nice therefore to see what appears to be a potentially class-leading car being rolled out from Peugeot almost passing under the radar. On paper at least the new 207 Economique seems like a winner.

It’s cheaper than the current Polo Bluemotion, emits the same 99g/km (less than the last Toyota Prius) but has more power and more torque from a bigger engine, which is impressive.

Of course an average and unexciting drive shouldn’t make much difference in this sector, as spirited driving renders an eco car pointless, so that gets rid of one of the 207’s major criticisms.

What we are left with then is a good-value, good-looking (in my opinion) car that delivers a claimed 74.3mpg on the combined cycle and is one of the cleanest vehicles on the road.

The aero tweaks on the Economique have dropped the drag coefficient from 0.30 to 0.274 and the rest is down to new gear ratios and a tweaked ECU. If anything the 207 proves that going green doesn’t have to be difficult and more importantly, unlike many other manufacturers, there’s no need to shout about it.

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