REVIEW DATE: 21 Dec 2007
Digging ever deeper in the search for exploitable market niches, Peugeot brings us the 207 SW Outdoor, a small car with a big agenda. Andy Enright reports
Those of you who love the Peugeot 207 SW Outdoor's 'visual off road look' won't find too much cause for complaint with the rest of the package. A raised ride height, 16-inch alloy wheels and grey wheel arch and sill mouldings give it a more aggressive look than conventional 207 SW models.
As automotive fashion trends go, the rise of the 'pretend 4x4' has to be one of the most curious. There have been a number of such vehicles in recent years that possess no real 4x4 mechanicals but ape the look, the Rover Streetwise, the Volkswagen Polo Dune and the Citroen C3 XTR amongst them. It is to France that we must look to find the originator of this species in the Matra Simca Rancho, first introduced in 1977. Automotive historians will be able to tell you that Matra's successor to the Rancho was the car that spawned the whole MPV boom, the Renault Espace, but that's another story. Peugeot has realised that the launch of their 4007 4x4 now perhaps gives them a little more authority to build a 'faux by four' and the 207 SW Outdoors is the resultant confection. Based on the 207 SW compact estate, the Outdoors follows a familiar theme in its execution but taps a slightly different market to the normal hatchback-based conversions.
The engine range for the 207 SW is a slimmed down version of the line-up offered with the 207 hatch and the Outdoor uses a subset of those engines. In all, three powerplants are offered to Outdoor customers. The diesel options will be particularly popular and here buyers have the choice of 90bhp or 110bhp versions of the 1.6-litre HDi unit. In both its forms, the engine produces hefty torque ratings of 215Nm and 240Nm respectively at 1,750rpm which equates to plenty of muscle to get the family from A to B without too much drama. The petrol engine is the punchy 120bhp 1.6-litre VTi, an engine that has been developed as a result of PSA Peugeot Citroen's alliance with BMW.
The VTi branding on this petrol unit refers to its implementation of variable valve timing. This is an advanced version of the technology which allows the engine management computer to automatically adjust not only the timing of the exhaust and inlet valves but also the lift of the inlet valves with the aim of minimising fuel consumption and emissions without causing a tail off in performance when you give the throttle a good prodding.
"The 207 SW Outdoor is one of the better executed vehicles of its ilk.."
The 207 SW Outdoor is one of the better executed vehicles of its ilk, with styling additions that give it some presence without over-egging the recipe, unlike the old Matra Rancho 'Grand Raid', that was fitted with such off-road extras as an electric winch on the front bumper and a spare wheel mounted on the roof! Instead, the Outdoor sticks to an increased ride height of 16mm at the front and 21mm at the rear, fitment of 16-inch 'Outdoor' alloy wheels and Narbonnais grey wheel arch extensions and sill mouldings.
The 207 SW is based on the standard 207 five-door hatchback but it's 119mm longer and 38mm taller. Inside, the larger body gives you extra luggage space to the tune of 55 litres. That means there's a total of 325 litres available which can be increased to 1,410 litres if you fold the rear seats down. The seating drops down very simply to create a flat load floor which helps when sliding items inside. There's additional headroom in the rear as well and the impression of a whole lot more thanks to the full length Cielo panoramic sun roof.
So, what's the premium then? Well, given that the 207 SW Outdoor is based on the 207 SW Sport trim level, it's fairly easy to calculate just what Peugeot wants for what is a fairly modest set of additions and the answer is a reasonable £375, model for model. The SW Outdoor kicks off at £13,650 for the petrol-engined 1.6 VTi 120, with the diesels costing a bit more. You'll need £14,020 for the HDi 90 version and £14,740 for the HDi 110. Standard equipment is generous and includes twin front, side and curtain airbags, sports front seats, leather trimmed gear lever and steering wheel, air conditioning, front fog lights, the Cielo glass panoramic roof and opening rear tailgate glass.
The 207 SW is one of only a few supermini-based estates that are still available on the UK market. Most mainstream manufacturers have put their faith in supermini-based MPVs to cater for the needs of family buyers wanting a small practical car and the 207 SW Outdoor is a clever attempt to woo these potential customers with a better looking and more dynamic 'lifestyle' (how I loathe that term!) option. In short, it's sleeker, better looking and doesn't actually lose out much in terms of real-world versatility to one of the smaller supermini-MPVs.
Buyers can expect some pleasantly thrifty fuel economy figures from the 207 SW's range of modern engines. Predictably, the best combined cycle figures come from the diesels which both return excellent figures, the 90bhp version managing 60.1mpg with the 110bhp variant returning 54.3mpg. Go for the petrol option and the 1.6 VTi turns in a very impressive showing of 44.1mpg, making it possibly the pick of the bunch. Emissions are similarly eco-friendly with the more powerful diesel utilising Peugeot's FAP particulate filter to meet the latest European regulations. Insurance ranges from Group 5 to Group 7 and early estimates indicate that depreciation levels will be among the best in class for compact estate cars.
It's easy to see why some purists get a little exercised about cars that pretend to have certain capabilities but which are actually a good deal more modest in their abilities. Indeed, if you were to subject the Peugeot 207 SW Outdoor to anything more arduous than a smooth gravel track it would likely come up short but that's hardly the point. There's almost a knowing nod and a wink about this car. It doesn't seem to take itself too seriously and offers a slightly better looking and less anonymous ownership proposition than the otherwise rather invisible 207 SW.
It'll never appeal to the mass market but if you're shopping for a practical car with a bit of personality, a decent selection of engines and no off road ability whatsoever, the 207 SW Outdoor is well worth a place on your shortlist. Rather despite myself, I find myself warming to it.
The results below show the top 207 deals on buyacar
|Peugeot 207 1.6 HDi 92 Allure 5dr diesel sw estate|
|Price £9,855||Save £6,990|
|Peugeot 207 1.6 HDi 112 Allure 5dr diesel sw estate|
|Price £10,355||Save £7,340|
|Peugeot 207 1.4 Sportium 5dr hatchback special editions|
|Price £8,855||Save £3,840|
|Peugeot 207 1.4 S 5dr [AC] hatchback|
|Peugeot 207 1.6 HDi 90 S 5dr [AC] diesel sw estate|
|VIEW MORE DISCOUNT 207 DEALS|
|For 207 SW OUTDOOR|
|OVERALL||6.9 OUT OF 10|
|Space / Versatility||7|
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