Owners Review: 2009 Peugeot 207 RC LeMans by Theo Scheepers

First of our features in which you get to review your own car!

Owner/Reviewer: Theo Scheepers, student
Model: 2009 Peugeot 207 RC LeMans
Purchased: New in September 2010
Price: AED72,000 ($19,565)
Where: UAE

Check out his review now!

By Theo Scheepers

Peugeot is not exactly known for its performance cars. Actually, if you think of a performance car, at no point in time would you list any of Peugeot’s latest models. The 205 GTi was the last true sporty car from the French-manufacturer, and in some way, still revered as a true legend.

This particular model (LeMans Series) is a limited edition range, which was created to celebrate Peugeot’s victory at the LeMans Series after securing the top three positions. I say limited edition; there were 2000 of them made. But if you think about it, 2000 isn’t all that limited, really. Some car manufacturers only make a few hundred of an entire range, never mind even a special model.

Anyways, the LeMans edition is set apart from the regular 207 RC models with “shadow-chrome” headlight, a long racing stripe that extends from the front bumper all the way to the rear spoiler, Peugeot-racing decals on each of the doors and a “LeMans Series” sticker on the tailgate.

With the 207 THP175 RC (GTi in other markets), Peugeot wanted to revive that sporty image; and to some extent, it has. The 207 RC comes as standard with a 1.6L turbocharged engine, which it shares with the Mini Cooper S R56 as a collaboration between Peugeot and BMW, and is only available with a 5-speed manual gearbox. This is a good step as the most engaging motoring experience is in a car equipped with a stick-shift.

The power to surprise

Other standard features include ESP and traction-control, Devil exhaust system, disc-brakes in all four corners and 17-inch alloy wheels. In terms of performance figures, it boasts 175bhp, a not-so-subtle 260Nm (192lb ft) of torque, and 0-100kph time of 7.1 seconds. Don’t let the acceleration fool you though. As standard the 207 RC can be a surprising competitor to some of the bigger boys.

While the power from the tiny little French car is not bad at all; it’s in the corners where it really comes alive. The chassis is actually, surprisingly, very well balanced. You really have to push hard to encounter understeer, and with the 260Nm of torque it pulls out of the corners rather quickly. There are, from personal experience, actually only a few cars that can keep up with it in the corners. Once you have gotten use to the handling characteristics of it, you will confidently take on much more powerful cars. The traction-control, however, can be fun and annoying at the same time. When exiting a corner a quick release of the throttle will induce a very pleasing amount of over-steer; but when launching the car it can momentarily reduce the power when it encounters some wheel-spin.

Well equipped and you can fit a coffin in it!

The interior does have a somewhat sporty feel to it. Semi-bucket seat are equipped in the front and rear (it is only a 4-seater by the way). The seats along with the door panels are lavished in Alcantara. Aluminium pedals, footrest and gearshift-knob also come as standard to add to that sporty feel. In the front it is very comfortable and spacious. The same cannot be said for the rear. But hey, what do you expect from a three-door hatchback?

Interior electronics include a 7-inch colour screen, built-in GPS, 10GB hard-drive, built-in phone, parking-assist, and information about fuel consumption. Cruise control can be installed as an option extra. The glovebox is surprisingly large, and air-conditioned, in which you will also find auxiliary-inputs and video inputs.

The boot too is actually quite large for such a compact car, and if the seats are folded down you could easily fit a coffin, or large safe, depending on what kind of fast-get-away job is required.

On to the looks. Well, what can I say? It’s a Peugeot. Unfortunately the 207 is still plagued by Peugeot’s, errrmm, consistent styling. The front grill is large as always; its purpose to trap small animals for use as bio-fuel perhaps. The rear does give the image of a rather large, beach-dwelling lady’s backside. But perhaps the most awkward thing to look at are the wheel-arches. Although the car is equipped with 17-inch alloys, the wheel-arches make them look more like 15-inch wheels.

Reliability? Well it’s not as bad as an Alfa

On the reliability side; again, it is a Peugeot; and much like its country of origin, it can be prone to surrendering. Think of an Alfa-Romeo. Well, perhaps it’s not quite as bad. Actually, it’s not that bad at all; but expect to have some issues nonetheless. Some of the most common issues include water-pumps, seized turbo due to the small oil-feeds, cracked hoses, boost control valve’s malfunctioning, carbon build-up, blocked catalytic converters, and incorrect timing.

That being said, it is still a very, very good car; and if looked after properly will give the owner tons of joy.

The thing that is most annoying when things do go bad is the availability of parts. Peugeot, in it’s renowned wisdom, has opted not to have some of the major (and often even less critical) parts at hand, in which case the owner would be forced to wait three weeks for parts to arrive from France.

Best bit is the price

Now for the best part about this car; the price. Absolutely nowhere will you find a better, more fun little car at a better price (not brand new anyways).

Well, you would’ve, had Peugeot not discontinued the 207. The little 207 can actually be modified to be a fantastic track-toy, or even just an awesome little super-mini to dish out hidings on the road. For roughly AED10, 000 this little car can be modified to be a 350hp, 500Nm (370lb ft) machine, which would have to involve changing the turbo and engine internals.

If you just wish to get the most out of the car while retaining the stock engine internals and turbo, the Pugger will be happy to supply 250hp and 400Nm (295lb ft) for a relatively small price, and will allow you to take on the likes of Scoobies and Evos in both the straights and in the twisties. This, from a 1.6L single-turbo car, is really not bad at all; and is still considerably cheaper than its competitors in factory-standard form.

Serviced redeemed by the manager at SZR

Sadly though, Peugeot’s downfall has always been the service from its dealers. The car was purchased from the Peugeot dealership in Al Ain. At the time, the car was being sold as a 150hp GT model, rather than the 175hp RC model. It was only months later that it was revealed that Peugeot ME had in fact never imported the GT models. Nor does the GT model come with a twin-outlet exhaust system.

So, firstly the car was being sold by a dealership that had no idea about the product. Second was the service-centre of the same dealership. Service could really not be complained about, simply because there was no service to complain about. Now the car gets serviced at the SZR service centre, where service is actually very good. The Manager at that particular centre is what makes the trip all worthwhile.

Overall it is a fantastic little car, and with the right amount of car and proper maintenance will give the owners a very joyful ride; not to mention the surprise it will give other road users who wish to take on the silly little French-car.

Let us know what you think of Theo’s verdict on the 207 RC below. 

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6 responses to “Owners Review: 2009 Peugeot 207 RC LeMans by Theo Scheepers”

  1. jayfar says:

    Man the review was awesome you made me think 1000 times about selling mine. I got a simple little question where can I modify the car to get 350hp out of this little hottie??

  2. joe says:

    amazing car i guess they did a great job 7.1 seconds from 0 to 100 with only 175bhp even though the Golf 5 GTI has 200 bhp and a 2.0 turbocharged engine which needs 7.5 seconds to reach 100 km per hour i guess Volkswagen shall reconsider Peugeot as a competitor in this category.

  3. Aiman Balushi says:

    I’ve dreamt of this car since 2009 when I saw one on the road, back then I was driving a model 2004 peugeot 307. I am from Oman and recently moved to Abu Dhabi and bought me a used one (yay), it had a ton of issues but I thought, as long as it moves, its fixable, used to that in peugeots, but this car is outta my control.. I am trying to put as a downpayment for another second hand in a better condition in peugeot’s used car showroom, thats how much I still love it..

  4. Georges says:

    I have one question i am living in qatar an i am just about to buy a rc le mans but everybody is telling me that the AC is not good, and when there is a sand storm it will malfunction
    Plz can you give me any advice

  5. Mike says:

    What an excellent review! And specially the fact that I live in the UAE. What a surprise to have a review from some one in the same region.

    Thanks!

    • admin says:

      [Shahzad] This was an owner’s review, but please be aware that Motoring Middle East is in fact based in Dubai and most of our reviews are done in the UAE!

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