The Road Ahead : June July 2007
JUN/JLY 07 49 sustenance when cruising or working hard. On test and using the recommended 95 RON premium fuel, it found a niche between 7.1 and 9.1 litres/100 km. The other car on 95 RON, the 207, was nearly as efficient at an average 8.9 litres/100 km, however it fluctuated between master y on the highway and thirst in the hills. Stepping up to top-grade 98 RON premium petrol helps Swift keep in touch, but is no positive for Polo. Swift managed between 6.8 and 9.7 litres/100 km on test, for an average of 8.7, while the German gulped between 8.2 and 11 litres/100 km, for an average of 10.2. Taking into account the diminutive tanks, the range of the 207 was best, followed by Colt, Swift and then Polo. The warranty war is won by the Colt, with its 5 year/130,000 km cover, premium roadside assist and an extended power-train warranty. Peugeot and Polo are evenly matched, with Swift bringing up the rear. Design & function The French flyer hur tles to the forefront with an impressive and class-leading stand on safety. Bolstered by top-shelf braking systems and traction and stability control electronics, the 207 adds the surety of five stars from EuroNCAP for occupant protection and a three- star pedestrian crash rating. Polo comes close to matching the Pug, however four EuroNCAP stars for occupant protection and a single star for pedestrian protection leave it in arrears on this key consideration. It ultimately lags behind 207 on safety equipment too. The Japanese cars are locked together on safety. Both garner four-star occupant protection crash ratings, but var y on equipment and pedestrian crash scores. Colt leans more heavily to prevention, with ESP and two airbags, while Swift is a passive sor t, with no stability control safety net but a superior airbag count. Swift boasts three stars on pedestrian safety to Colt's one. Peugeot's new brand-shared engine is mean and clean. The Green Vehicle Guide credits this 207 with an admirable four-and-a-half stars for emissions. Colt, Polo and Swift are a full star fur ther back on the combined greenhouse and air pollution rankings. Polo's alarm allows it to push the others aside on security. The Europeans battle it out on seating. The front seats are firm, comfor table and well bolstered. The Peugeot is firmer up front and includes a better rear seat. The VW's centre rear spot is not as comfor table, but its front row leads on shape. Thin types will revel in Colt's firm and suppor tive Recaros, however the limited adjustment, narrowness and accessibility are not for ever yone. The rear row is flat and spongy. Swift's seats lack the same comfor t and suppor t but are still reasonable. If passengers are a priority, Colt deser ves a kick. Its four- seat layout negates advantages in headroom and boot height and width. A sliding rear seat boosts boot or rear passenger leg room, but not both at the same time. More storage space would be welcome. In a pinch, the other cars can fit three adult passengers. Smallest of all is Swift. Even though it is generous for rear seat width and headroom, it cannot offer as much boot space or rear leg room. Polo and 207 are evenly matched. Despite superior shoulder room, the 207 roofline limits rear headroom and its boot is not as deep. Polo has a narrow advantage on boot room, storage nooks and rear headroom. The Polo remains a leader on build quality, with high standards inside and out. The Peugeot's dash finish is a highlight, however its exterior panel gaps are more noticeable. Swift is built well, but the paint coverage is not as generous. Colt trails on interior treatment, paint application and finish. ABOVE: Swift is sure-footed. Polo's engine purrs. BELOW, FROM LEFT: A Polo light. Swift's snug seats. Dashing Peugeot. Colt scoops the edgy look.
April May 2007
August September 2007