Advantages Loads of space, surprisingly nippy and a very comfortable ride
Disadvantages In a world of shrinking parking spaces it's a deceptively big car, limited choice of colours.
Let's face it; buying a vehicle which can seat 7 says one of two things about you:1. You drive a private hire vehicle, haven't had a drink on Saturday night in as long as you can remember and you can identify all the different "flavours" of magic tree air freshener in a blind sniffing test.
2. You're making a compromise between a car you want to drive and something you can ferry a family, and all their collected stuff, around in.To be clear, I'm in category two.
So why did I choose the new 307 SW?IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A MINIBUS!
That's right - here we have the practicality of the MPV but in a car that looks quite sleek and sexy. The re-modelled front end has taken the styling from the 407 and as a result there is a feline look to the headlights (which come on automatically when it's dark!) and a wider front grille with offset fog lamps.The car is long and as a result doesn't look as tall as it really is so it avoids that "florists van" look that you get with some MPV's.
Slight criticism with regard to colours - a fairly basic palette which is heavy on the black, grey, silver options - there's a funky mulberry purple colour and the usual blue and red options but oddly no greens at all (what can I say? My wife likes green). I'm happy enough with the black option I chose but there's not much choice for the more adventurous out there!IT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE A TRACTOR!
To be fair, most new diesels are quite quiet nowadays. However, the 1.6 16 valve petrol engine means no chugging, no need for plastic gloves when you fill up and you're a touch quicker away from the traffic lights. No, you're right, it's hardly a Ferrari but remember this is about compromise - the kids got all that space in the back why shouldn't you get a second or so off your time from 0-60?Yes I realise that you're worried about economy and you'll always go further to the gallon from a diesel engine - but this is no gas guzzler and besides these days diesel is more expensive than unleaded so why not be a devil?
INSIDE FEELS LIKE OUTSIDEThe SW has a glass roof which extends back over the passenger seats (that's row 2 out of 3 if you've got all 7 seats fitted). Okay so it's not the convertible of your dreams but it does mean loads of light and a much greater feeling of space, especially for the rear passengers.
Oh and there's a one-touch retractable sunblind for when it's just too hot!Added to this the SE edition gives you dual zone air-con in the front. Essentially this means that the driver and front passenger can control their own temperature separately. No more "too hot - too cold" arguments! So - plenty of light and just the right temperature. Perfect!
IT HAS LOADS OF COOL FEATURESAs well as the automatic headlights how about automatic rain sensing windscreen wipers? Or electric folding wing mirrors to make those tight spaces a little easier? Throw in an extra £250 and you even get a rear parking sensor!
There are airline style fold down tables on the back of the front seats - along with a 12v power supply in the back for portable DVD players or games consoles. So your kids stand a chance of enjoying the journey as much as you will!Satellite navigation is an optional extra along with an integrated voice-control phone - all this fits into the centre console of the dashboard and leaves the car with the look and feel of an aircraft cockpit. My advice would be to take the time to get used to the controls and program the voice control options - it might seem like an effort in the beginning but it does mean you don't have to take your eyes off the road whilst driving!
SAFE AND SOUNDYou've got more airbags than you can shake a stick at including curtain airbags to protect the heads of your rear passengers. There are anti-lock brakes and the option of a traction control system - so if you lose control of the car on a bend it'll help to keep you on the straight and narrow, apparently.
There's a five-disc cd changer in the dashboard, stereo controls on the steering column, a handy trip computer to tell you everything you need to know from journey mileage to how many miles per gallon you're getting.TAKE A SEAT
Okay - so let's get to the bottom of this 7 seat thing. The first row of 3 passenger seats can be removed individually and there are anchor points for two seats in the boot area. So you can either move the existing seats back or for an extra cost you can purchase two accessory seats from the dealer. The accessory seats aren't as roomy as the normal ones so you'll really only want the children using them. In terms of your passenger capacity you have up to five possible rear passenger seats and the adaptability to get the mix between seating and storage space tailored to your individual needs.SPACE MAN!
Everywhere you look there are great storage solutions - drawers under the front seat, storage bins in the doors, cup holders, and an air conditioned glove box - which is a shame really because I quite liked the melted multi-coloured jelly babies. The driver gets a little storage box for loose change and there's a nice sunglasses holder in the roof.The boot is exactly what you'd expect from a good sized estate car - as mentioned earlier you can remove seating to give you more storage space.
The roof bars can hold an extra 100 kilos although if you really load this car up you can expect reduced fuel economy and a slightly more sluggish ride.IN SUMMARY
Okay, I'm a fan. It's tricky to comment on reliability because this is a new car so I've based my score on previous Peugeot ownership. Asides from that this car meets the size and adaptability requirements of a family car and is actually good fun to drive. I love the looks and I'm so pleased to be able to have the space I need without resorting to something that looks like a bus.
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