207 Smaller

You’ll have no trouble finding a driving instructor with a Peugeot 207; it’s one of the most popular driving school cars around, but does it deserve to be? Well that depends on how confident you are because while the 207 does have some strengths it also has some weaknesses. 

Getting Started

An easily adjustable steering wheel and driver’s seat make it fairly simple to get comfortable, but the back rest can be tricky to get just right thanks to a rather imprecise adjustor.

Besides that, there’s a clear layout and all of the controls are obvious. One minor issue is the audio control stalk, which is shaped like a key and sits next to the ignition, so make sure you don’t pull it off when you’re trying to start the engine!

Once you’re ready to move off, though, you shouldn't have any trouble. The 207, particularly the diesel model we tested here, has an extremely forgiving clutch and is almost impossible to stall. The gearbox, similarly, doesn’t take issue with incorrect gear selection, chugging along rather than spluttering to a halt when you change up early or miss a gear.

The gear change itself isn’t the most smooth or precise, though, and it can be a little notchy. Be firm with it, or you might end up listening to a nasty grinding noise. 


On the move

Forward visibility is quite good and the mirrors offer a clear view behind, so out on the road you’ll feel at ease quite quickly. Points of reference for judging the car’s width on narrow roads are in abundance, too, making it all the more easy to feel comfortable while at the wheel.

The A pillars around the windscreen are quite steeply angled, though, meaning they can obstruct your vision at oblique junctions.

The steering is very light and, until you get the hang of how much lock you need to pull out of a junction or negotiate a bend, it can be a little disconcerting. It doesn’t feed back very much information which makes it hard to control the car intuitively. On the plus side it makes low speed driving in tight spaces all the more easy.

Overall, though, it’s quite easy to get the hang of the Peugeot. The gearbox and engine in the test car made it feel very forgiving, and pulling way with the wrong amount of engine revs or picking the wrong gear never caused a big problem. 


You’d think that all small cars would be relatively easy to manoeuvre, but there’s more to shuffling a car into a space than its size alone. The 207 might be small but there are a few annoyances that make it difficult -though not impossible – to master.

The most notable problem is the rear end. The back window slopes a lot rather than sitting upright, and there’s a little ‘bubble’ at the back. These two factors make it hard to tell how much room is behind the car. Similarly it’s difficult to judge how long the bonnet is and gauge space in front.

This problem is overcome by choosing larger spaces for manoeuvres, though, and getting the 207 lined up with the kerb is generally very easy, helped by light steering, decent mirrors and a forgiving clutch pedal, so once you’re used to the car’s length you’ll find manoeuvring more simple. 


The 207 is a common sight on test routes and you’ll have no problem locating an instructor who has one. It’s not the best car around when it comes to learning, but if you end up choosing it you shouldn’t feel short changed.

For those who find clutch control a little daunting and struggle with figuring out gear changes it’s ideal, but it can be hard to judge its length and it doesn’t offer much ‘feel’ through its steering.

Jon Reay, who runs Student Car Blog, did his driving test in one:

"The 207 was sprung on me as a bit of a surprise, actually. Having had most of my lessons in a pair of identical Corsas - a car I’d got myself nice and comfortable with - my instructor decided that now would be an excellent time to try something new, and bought a shiny new 207. This happened about seven days before the day of my test, which, of course, was not at all terrifying...

"Surprisingly though - and from what I can remember - I settled into the Peugeot very well. Visibility from the front was good, the controls were light and easy to use, and in particular I found the gearbox much more pleasant than that of the Vauxhall. I remember rear visibility being an issue, though - both because of the 3dr’s swoopy, small rear windows and because of the presence of a man in the back whose job was to (believe it or not) examine my examiner. Clearly the 207 did the job, though, as I passed first time with just 3 minors!"

Helpful details

  • The clutch: On diesel models it’s very difficult to stall when pulling away.
  • Gearing: Picking the wrong gear isn’t ever a catastrophe

Unhelpful details

  • Tricky visibility: It can be hard to judge the amount of space ahead and behind, so be careful when parking
  • Overlight steering: Fine at low speeds, less so at higher speeds.


3 Ls

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