"The Peugeot 107 is basic, but it's perfect for city life and exceptionally good value for money."
The Peugeot 107 is, first and foremost, an affordable city car. A rival for the likes of the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo, the 107 feels perfectly at home in the city, offering great visibility and nimble, light steering. As is often the case with city cars, though, it quickly becomes noisy and tiresome once you take it out on the open road. Overall equipment levels are also somewhat spartan, with base-spec Access models coming fitted with plastic wheel trims and little else in terms of accessories – including usually essential safety equipment like electronic stability control (ESP) and side airbags. However, resale values in the used market are strong – thanks to an efficient 1.0-litre engine and impressively low insurance costs – though there are still some question marks about the 107's reliability. We’d recommend going for the middle-of-the-range Active or top-spec Allure as you get a lot more for your money, including air-conditioning and body-coloured trim.
MPG, running costs & CO2 emissions
This is where the 107 finally pulls its weight a little bit, thanks to small dimensions and a lightweight body making the car economy particularly good. And while you can’t a diesel version, the three-cylinder petrol engine does manage to return a reasonable 65.6mpg in combined fuel economy. The manual gearbox model emits only 99g/km of CO2, making it exempt from annual road tax, while the automatic gearbox reduces economy a bit, but it will still return 62.7mpg and emit only 104g/km of CO2. Deals like Peugeot's Just Add Fuel keep a lid on running costs – including insurance, warranty, servicing, tax and roadside assistance for a full three years.
Interior & comfort
The lack of sound insulation in the 107 is a big issue, especially on the motorway where the road and wind noise becomes very loud and a real chore to tolerate – the bare metal doors and window pillars making matters worse. That said, the light steering and hard-but-cushioned suspension make the 107 very easy to use in urban environments. On the motorway, not only is it frustratingly noisy, but you feel pretty vulnerable next to large lorries and SUVs, too. Inside, the front is roomy enough, but there is hardly any space in the back and it's really only suitable for little children. Adults will be too cramped because of the lack of head or knee room, so, if you intend to use the back seats on a regular basis, we’d recommend getting the five-door model as it's much more sensible.
Practicality & boot space
The interior is cramped, and the compact dimensions result in hardly any space – so, guess what, the 107 is not a very practical car. The 139-litre boot is really small, smaller in fact than in a MINI, and entry-level models even do without split-fold rear seats, further reducing versatility. But if you don’t need to carry any passengers in the back, the whole rear seat folds down as one to expand the luggage capacity to a more reasonable 751 litres. But even if you leave the back seats in place, the leg and headroom is so tight that it really isn’t suitable for adult passengers, particularly during long drives. And while the five-door is more expensive, we’d recommend getting it simply because rear access is significantly improved, and is absolutely essential if you need to fit child seats on a regular basis. In the front, there's a reasonably sized glove compartment, and a large pair of side door bins for storing bits and pieces.
Reliability & safety
If the 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey hadn’t extended the number of manufacturers by two places to 32 instead of the previous 30, then Peugeot would have dropped off the list entirely, ranking at 31, with only Smart performing worse. The 107 itself doesn’t actually make it into the list of top 150 cars. However, it's 1.0-litre Toyota engine – also used in the Toyota Aygo – should prove reliable, given Toyota's excellent reputation for durability. It's biggest area of difficulty though is safety, with only anti-lock brakes (ABS) included standard on entry-level models, but electronic stability control (ESP) only available as an optional extra. This is part of the reason that the 107 had its star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests reduced to only three stars when NCAP tightened their guidelines. The Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo, on which the 107 is based, also had their scores downgraded too.
Engines, drive & performance
There's something old fashioned about the 107 – the interior is pretty basic and you’ll even find bare metal in places that most of its rivals will be covered in soft-touch materials. Thankfully, the controls are well laid out, and all are generally light and accurate. As you’d expect, the three-cylinder 67bhp engine may be responsive when driving around town but shows its deficiencies when taken on the motorway, proving to be underpowered and really rather slow. There isn’t much body roll through the corners thanks to the firm suspension – but without sacrificing comfort or its ability to iron out potholes, either. However, it is pretty loud at high speeds and there's lots of intrusive road and wind noise, with the tiny 1.0-litre engine whining away in the background. Also, many drivers may have difficulty getting a good driving position because of the lack of any adjustment in the steering wheel and pedals that are set too close together.
Price, value for money & options
Thankfully for Peugeot, the 107 is cheap to buy because you get hardly any standard equipment for your money. Also, you should definitely go for (and get) a sizeable discount from the dealer in light of newer, better-built and better-equipped rivals like the Skoda Citigo. You not only pay less for the Hyundai i10, you also get a comprehensive five-year warranty, while the Kia Picanto even extends this to an impressive seven years. Meanwhile, the Volkswagen up! costs about the same as the 107 but offers improvements in build quality, and the Toyota Aygo has a bit more badge desirability. There are lots of 107s in the used car market, but resale values should still be strong because of its low insurance costs, which makes it appealing for younger drivers. Initiatives like Peugeot's Just Add Fuel keep running costs down for the first three years, as well.