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SAFE FAMILY BET; Peugeot's new 807 will give parents total peace of mind.

Byline: GRAEME LENNOX AND LIZ STEELE

PEUGEOT'S new 807 range costs from pounds 18,300 to pounds 24,760.

INSURANCE: Group 12, so expect to pay around pounds 600.

PERFORMANCE: The 2.2-litre HDi accelerates from 0-62mph in 12.4 seconds and has a top speed of 110mph.

FUEL: Combined consumption of 38.2mpg.

STANDARD FEATURES: Three-point belts, retractable spy mirror, remote control sliding rear doors, automatic air conditioning with separate driver and passenger controls, trip computer, ABS, electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake assist, electronic stability programme, curtain airbags.

GRAEME LENNOX'S VERDICT

WHEN a car manufacturer claims to have reinvented the people carrier with their revolutionary new vehicle, you expect something impressive.

Thankfully, Peugeot don't disappoint with their much-hyped new 807.

Bosses at the French firm set out to ensure the car would provide high safety levels using systems never before seen in an MPV.

That's why the entire range includes curtain airbags for six people as well as advanced braking systems and a three-point belt on every seat.

Along with Renault's newly launched Espace, the 807 is one of the few people carriers to score top marks in the industry standard EuroNCAP safety test.

And Peugeot have no shortage of other fresh ideas for their new car.

For example, they've overcome one of the biggest problems parents face while driving - keeping an eye on the kids while you're behind the wheel.

A retractable spy mirror located in the front lets you watch events in the second and third rows without craning your neck and diverting your attention from the road.

Another brilliant idea is the remote-control sliding rear doors.

This useful addition lets children pile in and out of the car without getting their fingers slammed while shutting doors.

And you don't have to worry about one of your little passengers getting trapped when the door slides shut - if anything is in the way of the gliding electric doors, the whole mechanism stops without doing any harm.

Basic models come with seven seats, while the luxury Executive SE trim versions feature six captain's chairs. Up to eight people can fit if a bench seat is fitted at the rear.

The 807 has a similar body as competitors the Fiat Ulysse and the Citroen C8 people carriers.

But with prices starting at pounds 18,300, the Peugeot is slightly more expensive - although well worth the extra outlay. For starters, the 807 range boasts both two-litre petrol or diesel engines and an impressive 2.2-litre HDi diesel.

This amazing model combines superb fuel consumption - 38.2mpg - with decent performance and the quieter noise levels normally only found with petrol engines.

And despite all the bulk it's carrying, the 130bhp engine will drag the 807 from 0 to 60mph in just over 12 seconds before reaching a top speed of 110mph.

The slightly less powerful two-litre version is also great value at pounds 19,800.

It's sprightly through the lower gears then settles down to a silent purr.

It completed the 0-62mph sprint in less than 14 seconds before topping out at 108 mph. Fuel economy was even better on this model at 39.2mpg.

One of the things I really dislike about people carriers is they tend to drive like mini- buses.

But in comparison to the old 806, the 807's responses are much sharper and the high driving position gives you much more confidence on busy roads.

The cabin of the new model has also undergone a makeover and is likely to be a big selling point.

It's much brighter and airier than its predecessor and boasts the largest windscreen in its class.

If the three optional sunroofs are specified, there's an incredible 5.2 square metres of glass.

Automatic air conditioning with separate driver and passenger controls also helps you keep cool. There are also plenty of gadgets to keep passengers entertained on long journeys.

Buyers of flagship models have the option of a seven-inch colour screen which drops from the roof to let rear passengers watch DVDs on the move.

On certain models, the back of each front seat boasts an aeroplane-style fold down table.

There are also 58 storage areas for keeping clutter to a minimum.

Rear seats are fixed on rails which allow 150mm of travel and the new Quickfix system allows seats to be removed or replaced quickly.

They are self-locking when placed on their guides.

The dashboard is similar to the 806 as it contains a fascia-mounted gear lever and refrigerated area capable of storing three drinks cans.

The stylish new instrument panel consists of three green, translucent spheres with silk- screen printed glass in the centre of the dash.

A multi-purpose trip computer displays the latest information and doubles up to offer satellite navigation - but only if you pay for it as an option.

The impressive safety package includes front airbags with two-stage inflation for increased cushioning in severe accidents.

The centre rear seat also boasts a three-point belt - much safer than a lap- only belt.

Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBFD) and emergency brake assist (EBA) combine to make the car one of the safest models on the road.

Some models also offer anti-skid protection in the form of an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) for extra peace of mind.

Not only is the 807 taller, wider and longer than its predecessor, it's a whole lot safer and more practical into the bargain.

It's ideal for families who want a reliable, safe and comfortable car which stands out from the crowd.

LIZ STEELE'S VERDICT

MULTI-PURPOSE vehicles have always confused me a little. They offer shed loads of seats - more than you will ever probably fill in one journey - and there is loads of space... but really only if you remove some of the seats.

So, if you think about it, in a strange sort of way they are really single purpose vehicles.

You can ferry a load of your pals around but, if you do, there is no room for luggage.

Although they would be grateful for the lift, if you removed all the seats and went on a booze run across the channel instead, they would be your pals for life. Whatever you decide to use your MPV for, the good news is that in a Peugeot 807 your precious cargo - whether its your mates or the finest Lauren Perrier pink champagne - is bound to be safe.

Peugeot's 807 is in a very exclusive club and is one of only a few people carriers to be awarded a five-star rating by the EuroNCAP safety test. If you aren't exactly sure what that means, it's really quite simple.

This organisation puts cars through rigorous tests to make sure that every safety feature is fitted and that they work to the highest possible standard.

The 807 has a huge array of safety features, including curtain airbags that run the full length of the vehicle.

But don't be confused by the word curtain.

It doesn't mean that if you get bored on your journey back from stocking up your drinks cabinet, you can pull into a lay-by, draw the drapes and throw a party with your shopping trip.

The curtain airbags will inflate after an impact protecting the six window passengers. These join front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake assist and - on some models - anti-skid protection in the form of electronic stability programme.

Among the options available is a seven-inch colour screen which unfolds from the roof.

Thankfully, it is only the rear seat passengers who can view this, so the driver won't be distracted.

The built-in DVD player allows passengers to watch movies while on the move and, if you want to keep your little darlings busy on long journeys, this can also be hooked up to a games console.

There are also ample storage areas in the cabin and some models are fitted with storage drawers under the front seats.

My favourite was the refrigerated storage box below the dash that keeps up to three cans cool.

If you want to keep a watchful eye on what's going on in the back, the pop-down, child-check mirror is perfect.

The new Peugeot feels a lot more solid than its predecessor and is a good all-rounder.

It offers a decent drive experience and has more toys than Santa's grotto on Christmas Eve.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jul 20, 2003
Words:1398
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