Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- One of the best-looking cars in its sector
- Good engines, especially the diesels
- Above average handling characteristics
It may sound funny but in mid 90s when the old 205 was quickly going out of fashion, Peugeot was pondering on the purport of the whole 200 series. It was decided not to follow-up with a new generation car. The managers believed that the 106 and 306 could easily cover both the supermini and subcompact sectors. Besides, they didn't have a suitable platform that they could nick from Citroen in order to develop a new car. They did, however, received a signal from the dealer network, that a successor to the 205 was indeed necessary, so they had no other option but to build the new car from scratch, including the platform.
Exterior and Interior
The 206 has attracted a massive following since it appeared in 1998. The car is highly rated for its design quality. The Peugeot 206 is different from other contemporary mini cars as it stands out with the body shape and the aggressive front end with upturned headlamps. It was certainly the exterior that made the 206 a best-seller.
As for the interior, it's by no means spacious, however, for its class it offers a decent capacity and when absolutely necessary, it can seat 5 adults. It's executed in a style that matches the exterior as everything is elegant and made from good-quality materials. What lets the interior down is the careless craftsmanship and it's certainly not put together too well and suffers from many of the common Peugeot faults.
Performance and Economy
The 206 drives quite well with almost any of the engines. The smaller petrol engines can feel a bit lifeless and although they help you reduce the amount you spend on taxes, the monetary difference between a 1.1-litre or 1.4-litre is not that great, so you might as well go for a 1.4 or 1.6-litre petrol engine. Both are quick and powerful and deliver over 40mpg. The top of the range 2.0-litre petrol unit comes with one of the sportier trims, including the special edition Grand Tourismo 3-door model. Unlike some other cheaper minis, a tuned Peugeot 206 doesn't look vulgar. It's sporty by nature and carries a sporty style, so adding a 2.0-litre high-rev engine that delivers 35mpg wasn't a bad idea at all. For many young people the 2.0-litre Peugeot is the most affordable sports car that they can buy and 8 seconds to 60mph is definitely sporty enough.
As for the diesel, the French manufacturers are famous for their economical diesels. A 1.6 HDi version, for example, can cover up to 58mpg and still be as agile as the 1.6-litre petrol version. The medium sized diesel feels effortless with under-10 second acceleration.
Like to Drive
Being built on a new platform, the car has received good attention to detail when it comes to suspension. The 206 has an above average ride and handling characteristics. The car may feel sluggish with one of the smaller engines, including the 1.4-litre option, but with a 1.6-litre (petrol or diesel) or the 2.0-litre petrol engine it will be very enjoyable. The handling is precise, you'll like the position and the defined character of the mechanical gearbox. People with large feet may find that the pedals are located too close to each other (a common Peugeot complaint), this is something that it is actually a major concern, so make sure you can handle the car safely before buying it.
Faults and Repairs
The car seems to be receiving ambiguous feedback from its owners. It's almost like two camps fighting for the truth. Some say it's a good and reliable car while others state that the car has spent more time at the dealer than with its owner. Whatever is the truth, 7 million customers couldn't have been too wrong, the 206 is the best selling Peugeot to date.
The suspension that defines the good ride qualities of the 206 is often the most expensive part to fix. Although the rear suspension rarely breaks, the front suspension is much more capricious and might require attention more often than anticipated. Electrical faults are not uncommon, especially on newer 206s that were equipped with the multiplex wiring management system. So, if you tap the radio button and wipers turn on instead, don't be surprised.