About to disappear from the new van market, the car-derived Peugeot 207 Van could make a great purchase, although there are factors you should consider before buying, writes Steve Banner
Small hatchback car-derived three-door light commercials such as Peugeot’s 207 Van are in danger of being eclipsed by slightly larger and considerably more practical models such as Peugeot’s own Bipper – and it’s a pity.
While the 207 Van and its ilk come with smaller cargo areas with poorer access, they usually look stylish, blend in well when parked outside a suburban semi, and happen to be fun to drive. And what’s wrong with a bit of fun?
Debuting in 2007 and succeeding the attractive little 206 Van, the 207 Van arrived with a choice of three different engines: a 75hp 1.4-litre petrol, a 68hp 1.4-litre HDi diesel and a 90hp 1.6-litre HDi diesel. Load volume was 1.1m3, gross payload capacity was north of 400kg, and ABS came as standard, with the 1.6-litre boasting disc brakes all round.
Including driver, passenger and side airbags, electric windows and a half-height bulkhead, equipment levels were pretty decent. In a 2008 road test the writer praised the 1.6-litre for its performance, its high-quality gear-change, its ride and its frugality – it averaged 60mpg – but complained that its electric power steering failed to give enough feedback from the road surface and did the handling no favours.
In subsequent years the 207 Van did not change hugely, although the petrol version was scrapped, a Professional special edition model was added to the range with air-conditioning as standard, and Euro5 models were recently introduced.
So what should you look for if you are thinking about buying a second-hand 207 Van? For a kick-off, get down on your hands and knees and take a look under the front bumper. For a little van it has got a big front overhang, and if it has been bounced over kerbs a few times the plastic trim guard that protects the bottom of the bumper may have split or fallen off. If either has happened then the trim will either have to be repaired or replaced. As a consequence, the vendor should reduce the vehicle’s asking price by £100 advises website Used Van Expert.
Open the bonnet and check to see if any oil is weeping out of the top of the engine and dripping down the front corners. If there is, then the head gasket needs replacing, so press for a £600 price cut.
Start the engine, switch on the radio, the headlights, the booster fan for the heating and ventilation system, and any other electrical switches you can see, and wait for 10-15 minutes. (Admittedly, that is unlikely to make you popular with the vendor but it’s your money that you’re being asked to part with.) If the headlights start to grow dim, the other electric devices begin to fail and the engine finally stops then the alternator needs swapping says Used Van Expert. That justifies a request for a £200 price cut.
If it is a diesel model you are contemplating, then see if the exhaust pumps out any blue/black smoke once the engine is warm.
If it is accompanied by a whistling or grinding sound from the top of the engine and the van feels sluggish when you test drive it, then the turbo has packed up according to Used Van Expert. Replacing it is likely to cost anywhere from £850 to £1500. Pushing for a price cut along those lines makes sound sense, but walking away quickly and spending your cash on another vehicle instead may be a better option.
During the test drive, make sure the steering does not suddenly feel heavy – if it does, then that means the power assistance has cut out – and that the brakes operate smoothly. Check too that the speedometer works consistently and that the brake and power steering warning lights have not come on, Used Van Expert says. Problems in any or all of these areas mean the electronic control unit that regulates the ABS has either failed or is failing, so get the price dropped by £550 suggests Used Van Expert.
Remember that if the van is no more than three years old and has covered no more than 60,000 miles – no mileage restriction is imposed during the first two years – then many of the faults that may manifest themselves are likely to be picked up by Peugeot’s warranty. It is, however, up to the vendor to sort this out prior to any money changing hands, not you.
How much can you expect to pay for your second-hand 207 Van? Northgate subsidiary Van Monster had one for sale at its Newmains, North Lanarkshire, location – a 1.4-litre dating back to 2009, on a 59-plate and with nearly 19,000 miles recorded – for £6125. A slightly older version of the same model, 2008 on a 08-plate and with approaching 53,000 miles on the clock, was up for grabs for £4795 at its Cannock, Staffs, site.
Cambridgeshire Peugeot dealer Marshall St Neots was offering a 1.4-litre that had covered 39,000 miles, 2008 on a 08-plate, for £4900. Another Peugeot dealer, this time in Lincolnshire – Hindmarch Grantham – had a 2011 model on sale, on an 11-plate. With just 3000 miles to its name, again on the 1.4-litre engine, it was on sale for £8995.
As the above facts and figures might suggest, the 1.4 seems to be the model that prospective 207 Van purchasers are most likely to come across.
And the future for 207 Van? At the time of writing its days as a factory-fresh vehicle were numbered – and Peugeot has no plans to produce a 208 Van, which seems a pity.
• For further advice
and information visit: www.UsedVanExpert.co.uk