The Curious Case of the Peugeot 207
The Peugeot also know as the "F&N" car because of its similar logo to the soft drink company in Singapore, Fraser & Neave recently popped into my radar. It could be a plausible replacement for my trusty Nissan March.
Marchie is getting old at 7 years of age. Not old in the standards of other countries but in Singapore whereby cars have a fixed life of 10 years. Marchie is considered elderly. Not that it really matter to me, numbers don't count for anything to me. I still love my trusty Marchie.
Recently, a pre trip inspection before my road trip to Melaka, Malaysia reveal disturbing news. The pre trip inspection routine was something I never did but given Marchie's advancing age. I decided to do it for an ease of mind. My friendly AMG certified mechanic Ah Lam popped up the bonnet and ran a check. A glimpse of black sooty oil beneath the plastic engine cover made my heart stop. Ah Lam paused, and carried on looking at other parts.
"You will need to come back tomorrow. It will be at least a half day job." Ah Lam broke the news.
My heart sank, Marchie will need to be warded.
A day later, Marchie was discharged after several surgeries. The engine oil gasket was gone. The alternator belt and power steering belt needed replacement. The water pump was leaking. The spark plugs was gone. Though, the bill was not that expensive due to Ah Lam's dedicated but non-chargeable labour cost. But it was a revelation. Marchie was aging and he will have more of such problems in the future.
Cars are RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE in Singapore. Government, if you are reading this. Please do something about this or this will be a fantastic way to lose votes and your power.
Even with my double job, a new car replacement is out of the question. A brand new Toyota Corolla cost SGD$130,488 or USD$106,975. The only option was a younger used car of about 3 years old. Japanese used cars were equally out of the league at around SGD$80,000 for a Toyota. The French cars was the plausible option with the 3 year old Peugeot 207 going at SGD$58,000. Mind you, I bought Marchie at SGD$56,000 in 2005.
I loved my Dad's Renault Kangoo. It has a good ride and handling, full of bells and whistles for a van and an enormously torquey turbodiesel engine. So French cars really do appeal to me. Compared to the bread and butter Japanese sedan, the Peugeot 207 is classy, stylish and full of bells and whistles expected of a European car.
But, and a very big but. French cars are generally less dependable especially electrically and will have higher parts cost. In other words, higher maintenance cost.
The other Buts are firstly, the 1.4l Peugeot 207 Sport has less power and torque than Marchie. Yes, despite being a Sport with paddleshifts.
Secondly, the rear passenger space seems more cramp than Marchie's roomy rear.
With these Buts, a halt was given. And the plausible replacement did not became the possible replacement.