Peugeot 206 tyres

Production of the 206 ceased in 2010. However, 8 million of them had been built by Peugeot since its launch in 1991 and the 206 was Europe’s best-selling car from 2001 to 2003. Given the strength of competition in the small hatchback market, this was no mean feat and glowing testament to Peugeot’s strength in this market sector.

What makes this even more remarkable is that the car was introduced almost as an afterthought. As the much-loved 205 neared the end of its life, Peugeot decided not to directly replace it. Instead, it was hoped that buyers would instead migrate towards the smaller 106 or larger 306. In reality, they turned to other cars instead, leaving Peugeot with a waning market share. To plug this gap, the all-new 206 was hurriedly put into production in both France and the UK. In saloon and soft-top versions as well as the traditional hatchback, it did that job and a whole lot more.

The 206 remains a popular used car purchase today. First and foremost, it is cheap to buy and run, with small economical engines. Additionally, unlike many cars of the same vintage, it still looks good – an important factor for the many younger buyers who choose this as their first car. Even older versions of the 206 are, by and large, still mechanically sound. Except for the occasional terminal mechanical meltdown, repairs are usually cheap enough.

Many replacement tyre options exist for a small car like this. Towards the top of the pile will be the PremiumContact range from Continental, factory-fitted to vast numbers of 206 models in Peugeot’s factories. These are very much a premium tyre and priced accordingly. However, for sheer support in terms of grip and handling response, they have few peers. For a sportier driver, they’ll suit the 206 well. Being a Continental product, their durability will be beyond reasonable doubt, too. Continental also produces the EcoContact range, another popular premium tyre choice for the 206. These tyres have an emphasis on fuel economy and are notably hardwearing. Another premium range to consider comes from Dunlop: the StreetResponse is designed for the demands of urban driving, with an emphasis on both wet and dry performance.

Key to choosing between the many options available will be the grip ratings of different tyres. These are clearly shown on each tyre’s label and are an important consideration in terms of safety. Better grip translates into sharper braking and reduced stopping distances as well as increased roadholding. For younger and less experienced drivers, these safety benefits are particularly relevant. These grip ratings should be your guide when choosing between the many budget and economy tyres which are available to fit the 206. Sadly there’s a reason why those in the trade call the worst kinds of tyres ‘ditch finders’…