Behind the wheel
Arriving at the Fleet Van offices with just 200 miles on the clock, the 207 van cut quite a dash in the car park.
As no-one had seen one before, quite a little crowd gathered round to admire this van’s good looks.
It’s a mark of how far van technology has come on recently – five years ago no-one would have given a commercial vehicle a second glance.
I’m always a little nervous of testing small vehicles because at a leggy 6ft 4in there is a fear that I might not actually fit in.
No such problems here. The 207 has bags of legroom – so much so that I began wondering just how the designers had managed to fit so much into such a small space.
The seats are nice and big too with plenty of support under the thighs right down to the back of the knees, along with a excellent lumbar and side support which will keep the occupants in place on fast bends – more of which later.
Outside, there are side rubbing strips and two little protectors on the front corners but no wheelarch protection at all.
In the business end, the rear hatch opens to reveal a good square load bay with six load-lashing eyes and a half-height bulkhead, although there is a sizeable lip at the rear which means loads can’t simply be slid in and out. However, there’s a wipe-clean floor and we’d definitely recommend that full-length load cover to stop prying eyes looking in at your valuable cargo.
The cab is a very smart place indeed, echoing the van’s car origins.
There are none of your cheap old plastic mats here – it’s all proper carpets and velour seats.
Cubby holes are understandably at a premium but there are at least two cup holders in the centre console.
The engine may have any had only delivery mileage when we tested it but there was none of that classic diesel tightness to it.
It pulled strongly and lustily – so much so that I’d be tempted to opt for the lower-powered variant if I was buying this van for shortish journeys.
The five-speed manual box proved slick and sure too, although the power-steering was a tad on the light side for my personal taste.
But what a delight the 207 proves on fast bends – it sticks the roads like glue and can be confidently thrown into corners at any speed you dare go.
My only gripe on this front is that the side mirrors could do with being a little bigger.
Peugeot claims amazing 62.8mpg fuel economy figure for the diesel versions, but you won’t achieve that with enthusiastic driving.
By virtue of its size, the 207 is never going to make it huge in the van world, which is a pity as it’s a cracking performer.
But anyone who has need for a vehicle that will carry no more than a few tools or a dog will be delighted with this vehicle’s style, practicality and performance.