Hang on, isn't that a 307?
You're not far off. The new 207 doesn't just share the bigger car's styling but also gets tantalisingly close to its proportions too. It's 208mm longer than the 206 it replaces, which makes it about the same amount shorter than a 307. The weight has shot up by 122kg as well. The upside of all this growth is a bigger cabin and more car for your money. Just one snag. Some of the engines are carried over from the 206...
Does that mean it's a bit slow?
Not when you compare it to an overloaded Rover 820 towing a caravan but it's not exactly rapid. The basic 1.4-litre, 75bhp petrol engined car takes a quoted 15.6secs to hit 62mph - the old car managed 14.1secs. The bottom end of the pricelist is best avoided in favour of the 110bhp 1.6-litre HDI diesel engine (a credible 10.1secs) we tested.
Give me the lowdown…
The new 207 gets an all-new cabin with a decent driving position (at last!) and pedals that weren't developed for a species other than our own. It's much bigger, the plastics are better quality and you get the same air fresheners integrated into the vents as in the Citroen C4.The windscreen is huge which means visibility is good and there's plenty of space in the back for a pair of adults. The boot is cavernous and is made larger still by the inclusion of folding rear seats.
So it's bigger and more comfy, but is it any good to drive?
Thanks to a longer wheelbase, the 207 is better at handling the high-speed stuff and feels more grown up than the car it replaces. The steering feels a bit synthetic at low speeds and the gearbox is horribly vague, but the chassis feels capable of handling much, much more than the 110bhp generated by the 1.6-litre engine. The damping is compliant yet it keeps the 207 feeling tight and responsive and offers unexpected grip. Unfortunately the lightness and sharp reflexes of the old car have gone despite the best efforts of the ever-willing HDI engine.
Thanks to that squashy, deformable plastic nose the 207 has been awarded a commendable three stars for pedestrian protection in the Euro NCAP crash test programme. For overall protection for the occupants of the car the 207 achieved a maximum five-star rating in tests making it a robust little car.
The new 207 is more comfy than the 206, better built, can handle motorways with ease and it's not bad looking. On the flipside it's slow and not much fun to drive. In a market of ever more interesting and inventive small cars the 207 is, well, a little short of inspiration.