Letting your body drive

Out on the road, you soon become aware that the small steering wheel does dominate much of the experience. You dont need to twirl your arms as much. You feel like a racing driver on B-roads, never needing more than a jab of arm input, yet it also makes three-point turns a doddle - parking was helped by our cars audio-visual parking sensor system.

The problem, is that all drivers wont like the position in which it forces you to drive. Mrs Pocket-Lint, for instance, doesnt like driving with the wheel in her lap and pulled towards her like we do. And when she had the wheel where she wanted it, couldnt see the gauges.

The steering itself is a bit light and lifeless and the Peugeot doesnt want to be hooned around like the 205 did, which is a bit of a shame.

But probably more important these days is the brilliant e-HDi diesel engine and micro hybrid system fitted to our test car. Quiet, linear and punchy it brilliantly blends power and economy. And even though our weekly schedule meant this car never made it much beyond the city, it returned over 50mpg. Youll probably see 70 if youre doing long, gentle A-road and motorway runs.

Its also got the best, most seemless stop-start system weve ever used. It seems to know, sixth-sense style when youre slowing down to stop for traffic lights, and cuts the engine at about 15mph. But then on start up, theres no starter motor chug or vibration the engine just springs instantly back into life. Other manufacturers, please take note.

The ride is compliant and fairly soft, like Peugeots of old, which means speed bumps arent something to wince about. Its just a shame that overall its not more fun to fling about.

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