We all have guilty secrets. A few skeletons in the cupboard. Some embarrassing facts that are best left in the head. Nothing too sinister of course, just the kind of information that can taint an otherwise blemish-free record.
But guilty secrets within petrolhead circles, surely not? Well if PetrolBlog is anything to go by, the automotive world is rife with naughty pleasures that are best left in the closest. But just occasionally they need to be let out into the open. Step forward the Car Confessional. A problem shared is a problem greeted with universal mocking and hilarity.
It’s been a while since the doors to PetrolBlog’s Car Confessional have been opened. Over two years ago in fact, when I admitted a love for the original Skoda Superb, Ford Probe, Proton Satria GTi and Smart Roadster. I seemed to get away with these confessions. Nobody turned up at the front door to take my petrolhead badge away and PetrolBlog wasn’t shut down for crimes against taste and common sense. But with this new confession, I fear I may be alone. Set adrift into an ocean of loneliness. Perched on an island forever, left to ponder the consequences of my outburst.
You see, I have a thing for the Peugeot 1007.
Hang on, before you click the close button, at least hear me out on this.
Yes, the Peugeot 1007 has its faults. With the exception of the 1.6 HDi, it’s painfully slow and not all that great to drive either. Superminis are meant to zip around the tight city streets with zest and verve, but the 1007 tends to mope around like a depressed teenager. What’s more, it was hideously overpriced when new, with its more conventional rivals representing much better value for money. Just two years after it went on sale, it was being discounted by as much as a third of its list price. Ouch.
Peugeot seemed to make a big thing about the fact that the 1007 was better for cyclists, as it cut down on the chances of a bike careering into the side of an open door. I’m not convinced by this, surely it just means they’ll career into a person instead? And by my reckoning, the chap in the 1007 is one step ahead of his twin brother in the Corolla as he actually looks behind him before exiting the car. It’s driver education, see. Nothing to do with the doors.
So it’s slow, heavy, not particularly good to drive and has a look which is, let’s just say, more challenging than your average city car. But you know what, none of this really matters, as I really quite fancy one.
The Peugeot 1007 represented a number of firsts in the automotive world. For example, it was the first small car in Europe to feature electric sliding doors. At the time, it also received the highest ever Euro NCAP score ever awarded to a supermini. It was also the first ever Peugeot to have two zeroes in its name. But this caused a stir in 2004, with the 1007 being the first and probably only car to upset James Bond. You see, you weren’t supposed to call it the one-double-o-seven. It had to be referred to as the one-thousand-and-seven, or ten-o-seven. Ridiculous. Do you expect me to talk? No Mr Peugeot, I expect you to settle this without the need for legal representation.
There’s just something about the 1007 I like. In bright colours, such as yellow, orange or bright green, it just looks so refreshing. Unconventional for sure, but the side profile and rear-end just seem to work. I like the way the runner for the sliding door extends around the back and cuts through the centre of the triangular lights and side windows to create an arrow effect. I also like its neat proportions and the fact that it looks unlike anything else on the road.
Sadly it never quite looked as good as the Sésame concept unveiled at the Paris Motor Show exactly ten years ago this week. And for those of you who laugh at Peugeot for bringing such a sales flop to market, you need to remember that it received almost unanimous support when the concept was first shown. Just goes to show, the public isn’t always right.
It’s also a shame that we never got to see the 1007 RC concept unveiled a couple of years later. With a 1.6 16v DOHC engine producing 140bhp, it could have been quite an interesting production car. To my eyes, it looks rather good with the black paintwork and 18″ alloy wheels. But having been underwhelmed by the production version of the 1007, the public weren’t going to give the RC the same reception they gave to the Sésame. Once bitten, etc, etc.
Today, the 1007 could be yours for as little as £2k, so the price is no longer an issue. Even the base spec cars are well equipped and if you get yourself one with the full length sunroof, the interior feels incredibly light and airy. What’s more, the 1.6 HDi version can achieve fuel economy figures of up to 60mpg, so is clearly the one to go for.
Despite the perceived failure of the 1007, there are still 7,500 on the roads of Britain, so you can afford to be choosy. If nothing else, you need to make sure the sliding doors are in full working order, as the 1007 is pretty useless if they’re stuck open or closed. That said, I quite like the idea of driving around town with both the doors open. Illegal and dangerous, much?
My fondness of the 1007 is purely irrational and it’s unlikely that I’ll ever spend my own cash on one. But this is PetrolBlog and we’ll always champion the interesting, the obscure and the mundane. The Peugeot 1007 just so happens to fit neatly into all three categories.
More Car Confessionals coming soon. If you have a guilty pleasure you want to share, remember you’re amongst friends here. Drop us a line at the usual address and we’ll feature your sordid little secret. We promise not to laugh. Honest.
In the meantime, check out these commercials for the Peugeot 1007. You may remember the ad seen in the UK, but for some reason I prefer the Italian version. No idea why.