The 206 is a small car that gives an all-round performance protecting the adult occupants. The structure provided a safety cage with the driver’s door frame showed only minor distortion. There are safety concerns over the fitting of a manual switch to turn off the passenger’s airbag. However the 3 year-old’s child restraint failed to contain the child’s head in both front and side impact. Also the 1½-half-year old’s restraint was forward facing and did not protect the child’s neck in the frontal test.
The 206 maintains the occupant’s survival space in the frontal crash. The front seat belts are fitted with pretensioners which are designed to limit forward movement in the event of a crash. Load limiters are also fitted but despite this the passenger’s chest loading was a little high. Only a simple two point static belt was fitted in the centre rear seat, which can cause severe spinal and abdominal injuries. The knee impact area had hard areas which would give higher loads than those experienced in the test if knees impacted directly onto them. There was some padding which will help to spread the loads, although this was not sufficient to remove all worries of damaging knees and upper legs. The extent of the movement of the brake pedal rearwards gives rise to an increased risk of injury to the driver’s feet.
For a car without side-impact airbags the 206 is well designed and has done well to give a low risk of injury for all the body regions. The dummy’s head contacted the front edge of the central door pillar as well as the bottom edge of the window, but without sufficient force to cause concern over serious injury. The abdomen had some loading from the arm rest and the pelvis was contacted by a foam block in the door trim.
A passenger airbag is standard and Peugeot have addressed the risk to children in rear facing child restraints in the front by fitting a switch so that the airbag can be turned off with the ignition key. The consequence of not setting the switch correctly could be fatal and the warning of this condition was not foolproof. The removable warning labels had no text to explain the risk of serious injury or death to a child in a rear facing restraint. The child restraints were both forward facing and provided protection in the frontal test, except that for the 1½-half-year old the neck loads were high which is a common failing for forward facing seats. In the side impact the seats were also good performers, except that the 3-year-old’s seat did not keep the child’s head contained within the seat wings.
The pedestrian protection score come almost entirely from the adult and child impact assessments which is the same as most of the cars we have tested in this class. However two of the leg impact sites were also graded as giving weak protection.