Car Test   R0357
 
October 2003
First Drive Peugeot 807
Printer Friendly Page Featured model: 2.2HDi Executive SE
Peugeot’s 806 was something of an also-ran in the highly competitive big MPV class. Though by no means a turkey, it was overshadowed by its rivals that simply did most things better. But that’s history. Now, the company’s days of playing second fiddle to the likes of Espace, Galaxy and Previa appear to be over. Enter the 807.
  
   As before, the new model shares its hardware with the Citroen C8 and Fiat Ulysse (who said badge engineering is dead?). Whichever one takes your fancy, the brochures confirm that the safety features and specifications vary from generous to, in this case, decidedly lavish.
  
   Having impressed all and sundry with the electrically operated sliding rear doors, the first thing you notice as you climb into the driving seat is the unusual two-tiered facia. This features a central satnav screen flanked by pale instruments that put style before clarity. In compensation, there’s a clearly visible warning-light pack over the reach and rake-adjustable wheel, while the climate control buttons sit alongside the gear lever that sprouts handily from the raised centre console. Familiarity overcomes initial confusion. Having a high central gear lever and the handbrake on the right gives ‘walk through’ floor space.
  
   The electrically adjustable ‘captain’s chair’ is comfortable, but some drivers complained about the way it tilts forward as it rises – problematic for those with shorter bodies and longer legs. All-round vision is first-class, however, except that we dislike the dark-tinted rear and side windows when manoeuvring at night.
  
   Floor the throttle and there’s no mistaking that this is a diesel. On motorways and main roads, however, the quiet-cruising 2.2-litre engine is a big smoothie, but when going slower, there’s a period of mild vibrancy from 1300 to 1800rpm (about 40 to 50mph in fifth). As 2000rpm approaches,the initially modest acceleration perks up, so this hefty six-seater can be rowed along at a usefully brisk pace with the precise, if slightly notchy, gear lever. Fuel consumption is nothing to write home about, though – you’ll be hard pressed to match the ‘official’ figures.
  
   What starts out as a somewhat fidgety ride on neglected suburban surfaces, translates into stable, comfortably controlled progress on the open road. Cornering roll is well checked, too. In fact, the big Pug handles well, thanks in part to its accurate and communicative steering, which gives the 807 a deftness of touch that its forebear lacked.
  
   Those big sliding doors provide easy access to the flat-floored, leather-clad interior, in which each of the four (in this flagship model) individual rear seats can be slid, reclined, folded, tumbled or removed in the usual way. Depending on how you organise the seating, luggage space varies from cramped to cavernous. There are no clever seat-disappearing tricks, Zafira-style, here, and although their release catches work easily, these chairs weigh a ton…well, 23kg in fact. Getting them back in is no joke.
  
   The rear seats are narrower than the (swivelling) front ones, but they’re comfortable if you’re not too broad. Fair headroom and generous kneeroom for the centre occupants help, as well, but foot space is miserly. It’s snug for adults in the rearmost seats, but reasonable kneeroom for all its achievable by negotiation. All rear passengers are provided with their own climate controllers, roof lights and pull-up sunblinds.
  
AT A GLANCE
  considering size, price and rivals
Controls/displays
Handling/steering
Comfort
Overtaking Ability
Fuel Economy
Space/practicality
Safety Euro NCAP
LIKES ...
  • his and her climate control switches
  • mpg computer and odometer almost spot on
  • lack of sills eases entry/egress - and brushing carpets
  • mirrors fold in automatically when you lock up
  • cooled compartment for drink cans
and GRIPES
  • facia top reflects badly in windscreen
  • handbrake too close to seat - fingernails scrape leather
  • wipers leave wide unwiped strip by driver's pillar
  • climate control warning lights minute
  • tailgate should be power-operated, too
VERDICT
Although it’s not an inspired design (there’s nothing original about the way the heavy furniture is rearranged, for example), the 807 is better than the old 806 by a country mile. Several silly design gaffes apart, the 807’s road manners, high-tech equipment and safety features match, even exceed, those of already well-established rivals. In the larger MPV market, this is about as good as it gets.


BRIEF SPECIFICATION
engine 2179cc, direct-injection diesel, 16 valves; 130bhp at 4000rpm, 235lb ft at 2000rpm, with turbocharger and balancer shafts; 80-litre fuel tank
transmission front-wheel drive, five-speed manual with electronic stability programme and traction control. 28.6mph/1000rpm in 5th
suspension front: independent MacPherson coil spring/damper struts, anti-roll bar
rear: torsion beam axle with trailing arms, Panhard rod and coil springs
wheels/tyres 6.5in alloy with 215/65R15H tyres (Pirelli P6 on test car); full-size (steel) spare
brakes ventilated discs front, solid discs rear with brake assist/ABS and brake force distribution
0-62mph 12.6sec
official mpg~ 28.0/47.9/38.2
maximum speed* 113mph
AA mpg range 23-42
AA typical mpg 33miles
CO2 emissions 199g/km
* maker's figure  ~ urban/extra urban/combined

THE 807 RANGE
size and type large, five-door (mid-priced) MPV; up to 8 seats   trim levels LX, GLX, Executive, Executive SE
engines petrol: 4 cylinder/ 2.0 litre/138bhp, 4/2.2/160
diesel: 4/2.0/109, 4/2.2/130
  drive front-wheel drive, 5-speed manual (4-speed stepped automatic with manual sequential override optional with 2.0 petrol and 2.0HDi)
notable features available electrically operated sliding side doors; eight-seat option (rear bench); swivelling front seats (180°); automatic wipers/lights/door-mirror folding; three electric sunroofs; side, rear and roof sunblinds; automatic tri-zone air-con; trip computer and satnav; rear parking sensors; tinted glass


SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
  in centimetres (5-door MPV)
  outside
  length 473
  width - including mirrors 220
    - mirrors folded 197
  height (with roof bars) 186
  load sill height (inside/outside) 0/59
  steering
  turns lock-to-lock 3.2
  turning circle (metres) 10.9*
   
  easy to park/garage?
  inside
  front - legroom 89-106
    - headroom 91-99§
  middle - legroom 95 (85)Ä
    - kneeroom 72 (57)Ä
    - headroom 95§-(88)Ä
    - hiproom 159 (131)Ä
  load area(all seats in use)
  load space - 6:4 seats in use
(litres/cu ft)
260/9.2:/:760/26.8
  load length 38/112/201
  load length to facia 224
  load width 116-137
  load height (to window line/top of aperture) 59/100
§ with sunroof  Ä rear in brackets  * maker's figure
© The Automobile Association Limited 2014