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I have a Peugeot 206 SW, it is a second hand one registration 2004 and was purchased by me in 2012, I am not a mechanic, and I am a woman driver so I can only go off my experience and am limited in my technical knowledge.
I had searched for ages to fine the perfect car. I am by no means a brilliant driver, and parking is a difficulty - at the same time though I wanted a big car. Ideally a big car in a small body. I had had a Clio previously and with one dog was a struggle, with two it would be down right difficult! I did some research and came across the mini estates. Now these are very far and few between, and on a budget you are further restricted, and so I came to the Peugeot. The first one I cam across was the 207SW which, in all honesty I preferred as it was the newest one, but funds dictated otherwise.
After more hunting I cam across this model in a garage about an hour away. The actual sale was a disaster, he saw me coming, and the car itself was not in the best of condition underneath - it had been in a smash, and the guy was like something from rogue traders - - but that's a different story. The car itself is lovely to drive and I think it looks lovely too!
I have the 1.4 Litre model, which whilst was miles better than my 1.2 litre Clio and performs well on the road, doesn't provide the car enough "umph" when going up and down hills, or when you need that extra push such as when over taking. On the other hand, the fuel consumption is pretty good at 44.1 miles to the gallon. It's road tax is something approx £60 for 6 months which is not the most expensive and it is fairly cheap to insure. I am not sure whether it is true or not, but the parts are fairly cheap too and very accessible unlike some German Cars.
The other thing I love about the car is the boot which is very large by comparison to a hatchback which is perfect for two dogs and the fact that it is a flat back - this makes reversing so much easier and you don't need to worry about the cars bum. It has a split door so having the window open in the summer comes in handy. Speaking of summer, the air conditioning works well, as does the heater in the winter.
There are a couple of negatives, as with most things. The back window is tinted which makes reversing in the dark difficult, the seats are not the most comfortable, and inside is a bit of squash. My main hate about the car is that the seats don't fold down flat so it's very awkward when you want to use the space to put something across the boot and the seats to utilize the space.
I would say the good far supercedes the bad in this circumstance though and would highly recommend it.