Well due to dealer and importer problems
(mentioned later), first impressions were not as good as they should have been.
I was also initially disappointed by the performance, but I’m happy to say that
now I know how to drive it a little better, the car is run-in, and I have done
some mountain driving, I love the little beast.
Obviously the first thing you notice about
the car is its styling, and while looks are a personal thing, I would be happy
to say that its one of the best looking cars on the road.
On the performance front, its lovely to
have an engine that you don’t need to redline, to get great performance- The
torque response is just fantastic.
Handling is another great plus, taking
corners at 30-40km/h above the ‘suggested’ limit might not be everyone’s cup of
tea, but it is mine. And as a bonus, this handling ability comes without a huge
sacrifice in ride quality.
Equipment levels are very impressive for a
vehicle of this price and size. The ICE (I feel like a complete tosser
referring to a car stereo as this) is a good as I would ever want, safety
equipment levels are well above normal hatch levels, and leather seats are a
nice plus. While some of the features
(such as auto-sensing windscreen-wipers and automatic headlights) are not going
to sell too many cars, they are really useful.
Why would I want one?
Simple answer- In terms of performance,
handling, ride quality, styling, comfort/equipment levels and value for money,
the 206GTi is a complete package that no other car betters.
Why Wouldn’t I Want One?
Umm...dunno…maybe you want something
There are quite a few cars around that are
competing for this chunk of the market.
Renault, Holden, Ford (and therefore Mazda), and Proton all have hot-hatches
in the same price bracket.
Closest competition for the 206GTi would
have to be the Renault Clio Sports. The Clio has about 24 more Kilowatts, 10Nm
more torque and 15 less kilos. The equipment specifications are very similar,
so extra $3000 Renault charges is purely for this power boost. On the downside,
the extra herbs don’t translate to a large
performance gain on the road, the ride is very choppy and a pain to live with,
and the Clio’s styling, while purposeful, doesn’t come close to the lovely
The Holden Astra SRi is a larger car with a
larger engine, and significantly more weight. If considered individually the
Holden looks like a good package, but if a hot hatch is what you are after, it
just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Ford Laser SR2/Mazda 323 SP20- basically
the same car with different packaging. Similar vein to the last model Pulsar
SSS, good vehicle, but at the end of the day, its still the base model with a
bigger engine and better styling. While the same could be said for the 206, the
handling characteristics of the base model 206 are very good to start with, and
the GTi modifications only make it better.
The Proton Satria GTi is $1000 less
expensive (although leather trim that is standard on the 206GTi is a $2195
option on the Proton) and a whole lot cheaper. Considering the competition, I
simply can’t understand how Proton move any of these cars at all.
Problems. (For a more complete problems
listing, see http://www.peugeot.206.btinternet.co.uk
My 206 came with a few options that are
less that desirable. Lets start with the ‘disappearing sunroof’- the shipping
manifest claimed that it had one, all the way to Altona, where it magically
disappeared. Then there was ‘the cruise-control that never was’- an option I
choose, but was told 24hours before delivery was unavailable. Then came the
‘fuel gauge that was never satisfied’- a common problem with all 206’s (and
relates to all gauges) is that the gauge needles are not firmly attached to
their actuator, which leads to slippage and inaccurate readings. I have also
had my computer reset settings such as the automatic lighting, and have had the
central locking unlock itself- these problems seem to occur when the car cabin
gets extremely hot. Lastly, there was the ‘magic dent’, that’s appears within
48hours of leaving the dealership. While the dealer has rectified all of these
problems under warranty (except the strange computer problems), the fact that
they occurred is simply not good enough. We in Australia are under the
impression that European cars are far superior to US, Asian and Australian
models especially in the area of build quality, and it seems that in this case
we are mistaken.
just read the problems comments, you probably think I am disappointed with my
purchase, let me just state that I am not. While at times it might frustrate or
disappoint, all you need to do is get in, and find a good piece of twisty road
with a 100km/h speed limit, and you suddenly start thinking that the GTi is the
best thing going.