The Peugeot 206 – Britain’s most popular retail car and Europe’s best selling car for the past two years – is set to become even more sought after, thanks to a series of subtle stylistic enhancements. Also a host of improvements to specification and equipment levels since launch in 1998 make today’s 206 an even more attractive option.
The changes apply across the whole model line-up, which includes not one, but five different body styles: three and five door hatchbacks, SW, Coupé Cabriolet and Van. And there’s a choice of petrol and diesel engine options ranging in size and performance from 1.1 litre to 2.0 litre, 180bhp.
Externally, the stylish changes are evident and include the introduction of a new honeycomb grille, clear headlight lenses, uniform coloured rear light lenses (except SW which retains its distinctive boomerang-shaped rear lights), and a bolder, full chrome Peugeot lion badge on the back of all models. Sports derivatives also get body coloured side rubbing strips and bumper inserts. A body coloured number plate housing is introduced across the range and body coloured door handles on LX, GLX and XSi/Dturbo. There are also two new metallic body colours, Lunar Mist and Onyx Black.
Launched in 1998, the 206 pioneered the new Peugeot ‘feline’ look, with its swept back teardrop shaped headlights and pronounced ‘smile’, created by the large air scoop under the front bumper. With its fluid curves, short bonnet and forward positioned windscreen, the car’s stylish and sophisticated look was quickly appreciated by consumers and became a winner. The overall design has changed little since its launch, although new derivatives have been added: the Coupé Cabriolet in 2000 and the British built SW in 2002. The latest model is the 180bhp ‘pocket rocket’, the 206 GTi 180 which like the SW is built exclusively at the PSA Peugeot Citroen plant at Ryton, near Coventry.
While the design of the 206 has evolved only subtly, the amount of equipment and level of standard specification has increased enormously over the years, due largely to the introduction of multiplexing. This heralded the possibility of adding more electronic equipment to the car, and has seen the inclusion of features previously only found on more expensive cars; self illuminating headlights and rain sensing windscreen wipers for example, and important safety features such as ABS braking, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), as well as smart airbags for driver and passenger.
Pound for pound, the current 206 range now represents even better value for money. As an example, the 1.1 litre 206 LX 3 door hatchback cost £9,600 when launched in February 1999, whereas the same car today – with considerably more standard equipment - costs £9,095.
With more standard equipment and higher specifications than ever before, the stylish 206 is even better value for money today and is sure to continue as Europe’s favourite car.Published 26 April 2003