815 miles, glowed the range read-out on the Peugeot 207, on a dismal London morning. 815 miles! Imagine! Oh, the places you could reach without stopping for a refill: Prague, Milan, Scunthorpe and back! Twice!
Such is the romance promised by the 207 Economique, the greenified version of Peugeot's Fiesta-rival. The maths add up: thanks to low-rolling-resistance tyres, longer gearing and a few subtle aero modifications, which lower the Pug's drag coefficient from 0.30 to 0.27, the stated consumption of the Economique is 74.3mpg, 10mpg better than the 1.6-litre diesel. With an 11-gallon fuel tank, that's a theoretical range of 817 miles.
Theoretical indeed. It's a figure that assumes you are possessed of a dainty right foot, not a blunt dumbbell on the end of your leg. After half-an-hour and just 25 miles of driving, our range read-out plummeted below 700 miles. In our hands that's not unusual for eco-cars: of more interest will be the CO2 figure, which dips under the 100g/km mark.
Sounds good, but don't forget that VW's Golf Bluemotion - a bigger, more powerful car - boasts identical economy and emissions, while the Fiesta Econetic fractionally edges the 207 in both areas while remaining a more entertaining thing to drive. And here's the kicker: though similarly priced to the Fiesta, the Peugeot 207 weighs in £700 more expensive than its non-greened equivalent. That's the sort of cash that goes a long way in the nightspots of Scunthorpe...
Performance: 0-62mph in n/a secs, max speed 115mph, 74.3mpg
Tech: 1560cc, 4cyl, FWD, 90bhp, 161lb ft, 1279kg, 99g/km CO2