"The Peugeot 107 is basic, but it's also good value for money, with light steering that makes it feel at home in busy city traffic."
Like the Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1, which share the same platform and various parts, the Peugeot 107 is first and foremost a car for affordable city driving. It feels totally at home in the urban environment, with light steering and great visibility. However, stretch its legs on the open road and you’ll soon tire of the noisy cabin and loud engine, which compromise long-distance refinement. Kit levels are basic, with entry-level Access cars getting plastic wheel trims and little in terms of equipment and accessories – doing without essential safety kit like ESP and side airbags. That said, used values are good – thanks to an economical 1.0-litre engine and impressively low insurance costs – though questions remain over the 107's reliability. We’d recommend mid-spec Active or flagship Allure cars as these get a better spec, including air-conditioning and body-coloured trim.
In some respects, the Peugeot 107 feels like it's from another age. The cabin is basic and there's bare metal where more modern rivals offer soft-touch fabrics. The good news is the clearly laid-out cabin is practical, while the controls are light, accurate and responsive. However, while the tiny three-cylinder 67bhp engine is fun to rev and is adequate around town, it struggles on the motorway and quickly runs out of puff at higher speeds. The suspension is firm but not uncomfortably so, helping the car stay composed in the corners, but without crashing over potholes. That said, while it is well cushioned, the 107 is noisy on the move, with lots of wind and road noise, and a constant thrum from the miniscule 1.0 engine. Some may struggle with the driving position, too, due to a lack of adjustment in the steering wheel and the closely set pedals.
On the motorway, there's a little too much wind and road noise due to a lack of sound insulation – the bare metal doors and window pillars being the main culprits. However, the car's light steering and firm but comfortable suspension mean the 107 is easy to live with around town. At motorway speeds, though, the noisy three-cylinder engine makes long journeys a chore, while its tiny body can make you feel quite vulnerable around lorries and large SUVs. Inside, there is enough room up front, but the rear seats should be reserved almost exclusively for small children. They are cramped both in terms of knee and headroom, and if you intend to use them on a regular basis, the five-door car is the more sensible option.
Peugeot reliability has long been a sticking point for the French car maker, and things didn’t improve in 2012 – with the brand languishing in a disappointing 28th out of 30 in the Auto Express Driver Power survey. However, the 107 uses a 1.0-litre Toyota engine from the funky Aygo city car, so should prove reliable. It's worth noting that entry-level models get ABS brakes but do without ESP stability control – though the system is available as an option. This hasn't helped the tiny Peugeot in terms of safety – with Euro NCAP downgrading the 107 to just three stars in its stringent crash tests. The Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo on which it is based suffered the same fate in 2012.
Practicality isn’t the 107's strong point. Its compact dimensions and tight interior mean space inside is limited. There's a tiny 139-litre boot – smaller than in a MINI – and base-spec cars do without split-fold rear seats. However, if you can do without carrying a single passenger in the back, you can fold down the entire bench to reveal a satisfactory 751-litre load bay. That said, room in back is so severely compromised by limited head and legroom, that you’re better off leaving them for small children – especially over longer distances. The five-door is more expensive to buy, but does help rear access – essential if you need to secure child seats on a regular basis. Up front there is a decent sized glovebox, and a pair of large side door bins for odds and ends.
Value for money
Entry-level Peugeot 107s are cheap to buy, but offer little in terms of standard equipment. That said, you should be able to negotiate a decent discount from your dealer in light of newer, stronger and better-equipped rivals. The Hyundai i10 is not only cheaper to buy, it also offers a comprehensive five-year warranty, while the Kia Picanto extends this to an impressive seven years. The VW up! and Skoda Citigo are similarly priced to the 107 yet feel much more refined and offer huge improvements in build quality, while the Toyota Aygo offers a slightly more desirable badge. There are plenty for sale on the second-hand market, yet used values are strong thanks to appealing low insurance costs – making it a very sought-after car by young drivers. Inititatives like Peugeot's Just Add Fuel keep a lid on running costs for the first three years, too.
Economy and running costs are the Peugeot 107's forte. Thanks to tiny dimensions and a lightweight body, economy is strong – and while there is no diesel option – the three-cylinder petrol engine will manage an impressive mpg of 65.6. What's more, the manual car emits only 99g/km of CO2, putting it in the lowest tax bracket and making it exempt from the London Congestion Charge. The automatic gearbox is a little less economical, but will still return 62.7mpg and only 104g/km. 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.