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Peugeot's baby 107 hits SA

2006-11-09 08:03

JD van Zyl

The arrival of Peugeot's 107 in South Africa sees the French manufacturer getting serious about their place in the competitive compact car segment. Will this be the one for city slickers?

It is difficult not to like Peugeot's new 107 - it is about as huggable as a lion cub. And when you step hard on the accelerator it even emits a good-natured growl.

But don't be fooled by the wide smile of this tot, it is every bit as capable as it is cute. The latest addition to Peugeot's stable sees this compact car proves to be a decent contender in its class.

Toyota's Aygo and Citroën's C1 could follow soon to our shores and will be the direct competition for the Peugeot 107 as they are all very similar.

It comes as no surprise that Peugeot wants their share of the compact car market. Last year the B-Segment of small city cars accounted for about 40% of all local passenger car sales. With the launch of the 107, they can finally really compete in this segment.

But the entry-level arena is a price sensitive one and the 107 has to be very competitively priced to be successful. Especially if the Aygo and C1 arrives.

Pricing for the new model starts with the XR model at R89 900, without sound system or aircon. With those two items specified, the price moves up to R94 900. This entry-level line has five doors, dual airbags, power steering, anti-lock ABS brakes and a full-sized spare wheel.

The flagship of the range, the X-line, is priced at R103 900 and adds side airbags, electric front windows, a 50:50 split rear seat, rear headrests, and a rev counter plus black plastic protective side strips. The next shipment of models will include allow wheels and these will be priced at R105 900.

The three-cylinder petrol engine's maximum power of 50kW is delivered at 6 000r/min while torque of 93 Nm peaks at 3 600r/min. It comes fitted with a 5-speed manual gearbox and according to Peugeot, the acceleration from 0-100km/h happens in 14,2 seconds with a maximum speed of 157km/h.

The company claims urban fuel consumption of 5,5 liter/100km, which goes down to a remarkable 4,6 liter/100km outside of build-up areas.

This compact car's petite exterior dimensions belie its surprisingly roomy interior and inside there is enough space for four adults to sit comfortably. The interior design is contemporary and sleek with plenty of storage space for knickknacks.

On the outside the playful 107 picks up the styling cues used on the latest Peugeots with a youthful feline face, large smiling mouth and elongated almond-shaped "eyes". Bumpers are colour-coded on all models and the headlights are set high with the bonnet lines extending into the windscreen pillars to reinforce the car's solid and reassuring appearance.

All in all the 107 is a great small car with oodles of character and good sporty performance for its engine size.

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