Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

There are three options for 206CC power. The two petrols were offered from launch in 2001, kicking-off with the 1.6. With 110bhp and a 0-60mph time of 10.4 seconds, it's better suited to summertime cruising rather than full-out performance. The 138bhp 2.0-litre gets to 60mph in 8.6 seconds and feels much zippier all-round. A diesel is a rare - but not unique - addition to this class.

The 1.6 HDi, launched in 2005, has a slower 0-62mph time than the 1.6 petrol, but feels strong, is great for overtaking and returns nearly 60mpg on the Combined cycle.

206CC was designed more for posing than driving enthusiastically. With the roof up, it drives more-or-less like the hatchback on which it's based. The steering is light, but lacks feedback and precision, the brakes are so-so and the gearchange can be vague. But it's acceptable and fine to drive in town or on the motorway. Lower the roof and the handling suffers considerably.

The body is less rigid and flexes - especially when cornering (you can tell this by looking in the rear-view mirror; if it's vibrating, the body is flexing). The ride is a little hard compared to other small French cars, but still quite compliant.