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Let me set the scene! We went on holiday for the weekend (me and my family) to Guernsey. Ok granted its possibly not the hottest holiday hotspot in the world, but being in the middle of a house renovation project and not having had a holiday in over 18 months, we were all desperate to get away…to anywhere!
But being 5 of us and Guernsey being a VERY small island, we had to hire 2 cars!! Ok, maybe the holiday was my idea!! So my sister and I rented our own car from Europcar. To start with it was going to be a Fiesta, which we still would have driven but when we got to the desk the chap informed us that if we wanted to we could upgrade to a Peugeot convertible!! Who am I to complain!!! So we paid the extra and got the keys. Wow what a weekend of fun!
Now for what you’re reading this for!…
______________ The Car - overview:- ______________
Being a 206, from the front it looks exactly like a normal 206 but from the back its totally different. With its beautifully crafted curves and aerodynamic lines the boot having incy wincy little spoilers on either side (like mal-formed fins!), lowered front grill with little round fog lights set in it and low profile tyres and alloy wheels as part of the package it truly looks a stunning little car. Sitting squat on the road thanks to the low profiles, it looks quite a formidable little beast coming towards you. And trust me…its not!!!!
It is quite small and compact and I would put it in the same class as a VW Polo although it is slightly bigger than a Polo.
The Allure 16v is a special edition but is only a 1.6 and is ever so slightly underpowered, although we are used to a 2.0 Audi back home! However on such a small island and the max speed limit being 35, it wasn’t really a problem!
______________ The Engine:- ______________
As already mentioned it’s a 1.6 16v petrol which was perfectly powered for nipping around side streets, but needed kicking down to second a lot to get up hills. The engine was fairly responsive but certainly not an eager beaver to get going!
______________ Clutch and Gearbox:- ______________
Maybe a strange heading, but to me it’s a very important part of the car. Unless you get an automatic of course!!
The clutch is long with a VERY high biting point. This, in some ways, is a good thing making it hard to stall. But can also be a downside when you’ve been used to a car with a short clutch it gets a bit embarrassing accelerating and nothing happening!!!
The gearbox is big and floppy but we never lost or crunched the gears once, so that’s got to be a good sign! There are only 5 gears (6 with reverse) and reverse is on the bottom right. No pushing or pulling the gearstick to find it, just change like a normal gear. To start with this worried me a bit as most cars that I’ve driven you have to push 1st down or pull up a sleeve and therefore there is pretty much no way that you can catch reverse ‘by mistake’! but we never did this, fortunately.
______________ The boot space:- ______________
In one word…small! When the roof is up the boot is quite generously proportioned for a small car although the one we hired had an special sound system in it and took up a fair bit of the boot at the back. There is also a little box thing on the righthand side which had the tool kit in and again took up more of the boot space. Saying this, we did get 2 suitcases in there. Granted it was tight and they had to go in at a funny angle but they’re not small to say the least! You could comfortably get a pushchair and shopping in there with ease or golf clubs. Another advantage is that the boot has quite a low pan on it, meaning you don’t have to lift things up really high to get them in the boot, which is essential for suitcases and anything heavy.
When you want the roof down, however, this is when the boot is turned non-existent! Before you can press the ‘magic button’ inside the car, you have to pull a cover over the boot which stops you from using ¾’s of it so the roof can fit inside. This leaves you with only ¼ of the bottom part of the boot to put anything in. and trust me, that’s not much! There wasn’t enough room to stand a 1 litre bottle of water up the right way!
______________ The Roof:- ______________
This is probably the most fun part of the entire car!!! First of all you have to pull the cover over the boot, as described above, then you have to unclip 2 clips inside the car, 1 above either door, which releases the roof to open. You’ll hear a twangy noise from the dashboard! Then you hold the button up and then the windows will go down, the top of the boot will flip up and the roof will collapse into the boot space with the boot closing ontop of it. This took about 30 seconds to a minute to complete. Then depending on what grade of wind tunnel you like, you can put the windows back up (on their normal window buttons) and just have it with the roof off. This was our favourite as it doesn’t blow your hair around as much!
With the roof down there is pretty much no blind spots which was really cool especially since its was a hire car!
We did really get much chance to go REALLY fast in it to find out how windy it actually got with the roof down. But at 35/40 mph and the windows up, it was hardly windy at all. Just a nice gentle breeze!
Putting the roof back up is exactly the same as putting it down only in reverse! Windows down, boot up, roof pops up, roof goes down, boot closes. Windows again you have to put up manually with their own buttons.
The whole procedure of roof putting up and down is quite noisy and very mechanical and it certainly got heads turning cos of the noise!
The plus side of the roof however, it’s a hard top. And therefore you don’t have to worry about it getting slashed and stuff being nicked. Once the roof is up, it’s a normal 206 and that is a deffinate good point for this car.
another plus of any convertible, including this one, you get a great sun tan while you drive around! no more sitting for hours waiting to get a tan!!!!
______________ Inside the car:- ______________
What can I say, its French! The seats are little and hug you, although they are sports seats in this one so that makes a difference. It also has leather as part of the package. They are very easy to adjust although a little annoying! The back of it goes backwards and forwards (obviously!) but there is no turn nob to do it gently! Theres a handle that you pull/push and depending on how heavy you sit in the seat you either go shooting into the back seat or your sprung against the wheel!! A very similar leaver adjusts the height of the seat. Again you either go to the floor or hit your head on the roof…hopfully you will have the roof up for this part of the adjustments!! And as with any car there is the leaver that makes it go backwards and forwards.
All in all the seats are very personalisable to you no matter how big or small you are. Although they don’t go back very far cos of the back seat.
____ Back Seats:- ____
Ok, blink and you might miss them!! There are 2 small bucket seats and belts with really cute little chrome loops behind for when the roof is down. There is pretty much no leg room at the back and probably on fit for kids or adults when there’s small people in the front! Being a coupe/convertible there is hardly any head room at the back either unless you have the roof down then you have endless headroom!
There is a pocket on either side at the back for bits but again its small.
________ Storage in the front:- ________
Well, there’s the glovebox! Which is surprisingly deep and spacious butother than that, theres not much else. There are door pockets with a shape for a water bottle at the end, but I think its made for a babys bottle!!! And a tiny little hole in beneath the radio (behind the ashtray) which perfectly fitted my mobile (Samsung D500!) and nothing else.
So on the storage front of things, the car is very poor. But hey, who’s going to stores tons of stuff in a car anyway!?
______________ In a nutshell:- ______________
It’s a cute and fun little run about and great to flirt in with the roof down. Not much use for families, tall people or anyone with loads of stuff to transport around! Slightly underpowered but good for around town.
______________ Price:- ______________
I’ve had a look on What Car guide and these start their life at £15,000 (approx) which for me, its not worth the money. Unless you get it one 0% finance or some special offer. But otherwise, buy one second hand!
Other cars in the same class are the Mini and Nissan Micra. Personally I would have a Mini over this any day but I’m by no means a hater of this one!
Thanks for reading this far. I hope this review has been of help to you if you are looking to buy or even rent one.
If you think I have missed something out or something needs correcting, please let me know and I will happily review it.
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