Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Peugeot 206 Van Wins Award

Cover the rear window, yank the back seat, and ,"Presto!" Now it's a van.

I am officially fascinated by the European light van segment.

Last week, we brought you the skinny on the attractive and sporty Ford Fiesta SportVan. Today, we bring you shots of the Peugeot 206 Van, which was just named 2006's Best Light Van by Professional Van & Light Truck magazine in the UK.

Like its upcoming Ford competitor, the 206's journey to commercial vehicledom consists mostly of removal of the rear seat and covering up the area normally taken by the rear window, which gives it a miniaturized panel van look. The 1.4 liter, 68bhp diesel produces 120 lb-ft of tourque at 1750 rpm.

As is the case with the Fiesta SportVan, the Peugeot is designed to provide business owners enhanced cargo capacity without sacrificing the car-like driving experience. Given that the 206 is, after all, a car, that goal should be easy enough to achieve. Power windows and steering, a CD player, and sport seats all come standard.

Basic, but functional interior. Seat and dash fabric pattern is a bit distracting.

Peugeot shouldn't rest on its laurels here. Award or not, the Ford Fiesta SportVan has raised the bar for the rest of the light hatchback-conversion van segment. With its Fiesta ST appearance and vanlike utility, it already looks like an early favorite for the 2007 award.

Time for Peugeot to dress things up a bit. Grafting the 206 GTi's bodywork and wheel package onto the van would be a good starting point.

Source/Photos: Peugeot UK