Steve Kingham, a driving instructor from Kinghams Driving School in Bournemouth has been giving driving lessons in the Peugeot 207 Economique (5 Door) for 5 years. So what is his opinion of it as a driving schools car? Read his comments below:
The Peugeot 207 is overall a very comfortable car to teach in. The leg and head room for the driver and front passenger is ample to accommodate persons 6ft and over whilst not feeling too boxed in. The head room in the back is also very generous for the size of car, however tall people sitting in the back will need to sit slightly skew which may prove a little uncomfortable on a long journey. The front seats are quite supportive but would be enhanced by introducing lumber support – otherwise the usual seat adjustments are there offering seat height and forward / back seat adjustability variable enough to allow easy reach of all car drivers controls by people of all shapes, sizes and heights.
- The hand controls on the steering column are well placed even for short fingers and allow easy access to the lights and indicators (left hand) and wipers (right hand) without affecting steering control. However if you flick the indicator lightly in either direction, it operates the three flash overtaking signal – this often causes confusion to a student (and other drivers!) if they push the switch too far to cancel a signal as it briefly puts the opposite signal on. This signal characteristic cannot be switched off on the Economique model of the 207. All other hand controls are well thought out and within easy reach and the instrument panel is not visually obstructed to the driver or the driving instructor in any way by the design of the dashboard or steering wheel.
- Power Steering – fully adjustable direct and well balanced. Good general feedback and very light for the reversing manoeuvres requiring one and a half turns to full lock. Steering stiffens at higher speeds.
- The Gas Pedal – very light to the touch and very responsive.
- The Brake Pedal – nicely spaced away from the gas pedal allowing little complication for those of us with big feet! The brake pedal requires very little pressure and is extremely effective, operating disk brakes all round.
- The Clutch Pedal – very light weight, smooth motion and easily controllable.
- Handbrake – over the 18 months since purchase there seems to have been little stretching of the hand brake cable. It doesn’t need to be pulled up very far to hold the car securely so it is never difficult for students to release it. However, if the lever is not fully taken off (by as little as a millimetre) a warning buzzer goes off which can be a bit irritating at times.
- Gears – gear changes are a bit notchy and do not like to be rushed. There is a strong bias for the gear stick to settle between 3rd and 4th so reasonable (not excessive) left pressure is required when changing from neutral to 1st gear or 1st to 2nd gear. Changing to 5th or reverse requires more pressure on the gear stick than one would expect. This does not pose much of a problem for students once they get used to it.
- Engine – generally very good indeed. The response from the 1.6 HDI diesel engine is very free revving, prompt and sprightly so is by no means slow off the mark. Acceleration is smooth and assured throughout the rev range and through different driving styles. Torque and pulling power is excellent at a low RPM and the Peugeot will accelerate briskly to 50 mph in 2nd and 70 mph in 3rd or 4th gear, swiftly and without fuss when required.
- Gearing – the Peugeot 207 Economique is higher geared than many vehicles, so medium curve corners which in most cars can normally be taken in 2nd gear require 1st gear in order to avoid slipping the clutch too much. Due to the higher gearing (for economy) this 207 is happiest in 3rd gear (1500 rpm) while maintaining 30mph although 4th is just about possible (1000 rpm) with a bit of diesel vibration and judder.
- The Ride – quite a firm ride, absorbes lumps and bumps in the road well without effecting the steering line. Car remains stable through cornering and maintains a level stance when taking a long bend at speed. Road noise could be a bit quieter but generally very secure and reassuring.
- External Visibility – out the rear and the side windows of the vehicle is good. The rear parcel shelf is low enough not to restrict the drivers view out the back whilst reversing. However the front pillars are quite wide which can partially restrict your view of the road if you don’t move your head enough.
Economy and Running Costs
The Economique has carbon dioxide emissions of 99g/km which puts it in band A and road tax is £zero pa. The insurance group is 4. Steve Kingham finds fuel economy excellent, with diesel costs of approx £60.00 per 35 teaching hours a week. This involves mainly town driving and according to the trip computer returns 54.3mpg. On Steve’s long journey from Bournemouth to Epping, north of London, the Economique returns 67mpg at a steady 70 mph in 5th gear over a distance of 130 miles. This car can be driven extremely frugally indeed.
Reliability and Practicality
There have been no problems with reliability during the 18 months of ownership. As far as practicality goes the Economique is a good choice for driving instructors deciding on a driving schools car. It’s compact and easy to drive; has enough boot space for a couple of medium size suitcases and enough headroom in the back to seat persons up to 6 feet tall. The back seat almost folds completely flat; not bad for a small car.
Very good inside and out. The Peugeot 207 feels quite plush, well designed and has proven to be durable for purpose of driving instruction. The materials used for the dashboard, internal and external components and trim are of good quality, nicely styled and fit together perfectly. Refreshingly, eighteen months and hundreds of driving lessons since purchase, the 207 hasn’t developed any of those irritating rattles or vibrations that can drive us to distraction!
A very good choice for a driving schools car. Steve Kingham, a driving instructor with Kinghams Driving School in Bournemouth gives the Peugeot 207 Economique an overall rating of 8 out of 10 and pupils taking driving lessons in Bournemouth have only positive feedback related to the Peugeot 207 as a tuition vehicle.
If you have any questions or want advice about your driving lessons, the theory test, refresher training, want a driving instructor or driving lessons, just visit Kinghams Driving school or phone Steve Kingham on 07749 621632.