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Peugeot 1007

Guest Paolo

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he Peugeot 1007 is currently making motoring news headlines with its two electric sliding doors. Peugeot designed it as an invitation to change our motoring habits. We report from the roads of Italy between Milan and Bergamo, where we received a very warm welcome.


This three-door car is not lacking in originality, with its gaping mouth, tall cubic body, and flat rear making it instantly recognisable. This supermini has cannibalised people-carrier architecture (with its flowing profile between bonnet, windscreen and roof panel), with undeniable success. Designed by Pininfarina the Italian design house that has been working with the Peugeot centre for a long time the numbering of the 1007 breaks the sacrosanct three-digit rule! This is the way of things to come for atypical cars produced by Peugeot.


Sliding doors that can take you by surprise

Before getting behind the steering wheel, I am immediately confronted with this model's distinguishing feature: its famous electric sliding doors. They are operated by a key with four buttons arranged in a cardinal-point layout: the west and east buttons open and close the electric doors; the north and south ones lock and unlock the car. This key requires a certain mental agility, and I must admit I often got mixed up to start with. You think you are locking the car and, hey presto, the sliding door opens. Since it is not possible to stop the manoeuvre before it has finished, you have to wait until the door is fully open before closing it again.

These large doors, of course, allow exceptional ease of access to the front seats. In car parks they also demonstrate their superiority over traditional doors.

However, you should know that when the passenger door is open it hides the fuel filler cap! In Italy, where there is no self-service, spare a thought for the poor pump attendant, who could spend ages looking for it...

These doors can also give you a nasty scare. While waiting for the traffic lights to change on Via Certosa, not far from the A 4 motorway, I am happily fiddling with all the controls of my 1007 when I mistake the door button for the window button. The lights change and there I am, forced to drive along with the door wide open until the next red traffic lights; this is strictly forbidden by law, but technically entirely possible with this little box of tricks. It is only at speeds of over 5 kph (3 mph) that it is impossible to open the doors...


Cabin space

The cockpit, with its high position (the car is 1.60 m/5.2 ft tall) and clear visibility, is commendable. The steering wheel is two-way adjustable, and there is definitely plenty of space for front-seat passengers. The elegantly designed and user-friendly dashboard is easily legible and most of the controls granted there are not many of them are easily operated. Although there are plenty of ingenious storage compartments, they are all disappointingly small.

The efficient air conditioning adapts well to the changeable weather, as storms alternate with blazing sunshine at the foot of the Bergamo Alps. I put Lucia di Lammermoor on the CD and MP3 player: this opera is a work by Donizetti, illustrious son of Bergamo...

We could also have played with the famous Cameleo kit, which allows you to personalise your vehicle by changing the colour of the seat and door upholstery, all in less than 5 minutes.

The best in safety

The 1007 obtained a 5-star rating in EuroNCAP safety tests, a remarkable distinction for a vehicle of this category. It is equipped with seven airbags as standard (including one airbag for the driver's knees, located in the steering column), a warning alarm when rear seatbelts are not fastened, and automatic illumination of hazard warning lights in the event of emergency braking. It also has an Electronic Stability Programme and Traction control, ABS and Emergency Brake Assist.

On the road

To be honest, I am a little apprehensive about taking the overcrowded A 4 motorway (Turin Milan Venice). Will our little supermini, weighing in at over 1,200 kg, be able to measure up to the impenetrable line of Polish, Hungarian and Czech 38-tonners? Not to mention the powerful cars from Milan, of the Audi A8 and Porsche Cayenne type, that madly flash their lights at you at the slightest drop in speed...

Contrary to all expectations the 1007, equipped with a remarkable 1.6-litre 110 hp engine, does not disappoint. Despite the car's considerable susceptibility to side wind, I manage to extricate myself from the stream of trucks. These HGVs do, however, have one good point: they are the only vehicles on the road that use their indicators when pulling out! Italian drivers must hang rosaries on theirs...

The journey starts well: a van of Calabrian builders joyfully greets our little Ferrari-red car, which is still a complete novelty on Italian roads. In short, on the motorway, the 1007 proves that the versatility much vaunted by the manufacturer is not an empty promise; I am driving the most high-performance engine in the range. Another advantage is the high-quality chassis, which benefits from all of Peugeot's know-how and makes for very sound road holding.

In front of the Accademia Carrara gallery in Bergamo

What about in town?

It is on the ancestral streets of Bergamo that this supermini comes into its own. Very easy to handle and agile, pleasant to drive, and with sufficient power to foil the diabolical traps of urban traffic, the Peugeot 1007 is an effortless drive. Its huge windows also provide the driver with excellent visibility. But beware: the length of the 1007 being what it is (23 cm/9 in longer than a Twingo), you cannot be sure to find a parking space; this is no Smart car.

Following an old custom of Bergamo, which is said to bring good luck, I decide to go and pay my respects with a toot of the horn at the monument to Donizetti, boulevard Sentierone. Then I take Viale Vittorio Emmanuele II to the upper town, going around the fortifications. Here, the old historic city jealously watches over its jewels, forbidding all traffic within its walls...


In front of the casino in San Pellegrino

On the way to San Pellegrino the next day, I take the winding S 470 road that follows the Brembo river up through the limestone of the Bergamo Alps. On the steepest hills, the transmission of the automatic 2-Tronic gearbox (similar to the Sensodrive in the C2 and C3) sometimes struggles to find the right gear, causing unpleasant jolts.

On arriving in the town, which produces a famous sparkling mineral water that is exported worldwide, I reach the magnificent Liberty-style casino built in 1906. Two deliverymen call out: "A che bella machina. E spaciosa!"

It's a fact: the Peugeot 1007 is very popular. But innovation and safety (see inset) come at a price; the on-the-road price of the range in the UK goes from £10,850 to £12,600 (approximately €15,700 to €18,000).

Technical data

Peugeot 1007 1.6 l 110 hp 2-Tronic

Engine type 4 cylinders in line

Capacity 1,587 cc

Gearbox 5-speed robotised

Maximum output (hp at rpm) 110 at 4,000

Maximum torque (Nm at rpm) 147 at 4,000

Speed 190 kph (117 mph)

Weight (kg) 1,216

Fuel tank capacity (l) 40

Fuel consumption (l/100 km) urban / extra urban / combined 8.6 / 5.4 / 6.6

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