The Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6, Best Hot Hatch Ever?

British enthusiasts elected the Peugeot 205 GTI as the best hot hatch ever at the beginning of 2016. Let’s go for a ride to validate, or not, this distinction.

Brief story of the Peugeot 205 GTI

The Peugeot 205 is a car that has let a mark in its era. At least for Peugeot which was in a very bad situation. Shown a first time in 1981, the production started in 1982.

In 1984, the Peugeot 205 GTI appears. The engine is a XIJ of 1580 cm³. This first 205 GTI, the 1.6 is given for 105 hp. The car is not only more powerful than the other 205s, the body is beefed up as well. The dark plastic extensions on the wheel arches, the red line, the wheels… The GTi is different and it shows it. Suspensions are also tuned for more dynamism.
In 1985, a PTS Kit (Peugeot Talbot Sport) could raise the power to 125 hp.

The Peugeot 205 CTI, the cabriolet, appears in 1986. In fact, suspension and engine are different from the basic GTI. The same year, to counter the Super 5 GT Turbo from Renault, the car is pushed to 115 hp, in option first, and from serial next.
Another Peugeot 205 GTI is launched that same year, the 1.9. The power is of 130 hp! Suspensions are also modified to accept 15″ wheels.

The car will be produced until 1993 for the end of a success story. 298,345 Peugeot 205 GTI have been made!

Driving a Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6 115

Introducing our test car

It’s a 115hp Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6. Jean-Michel’s car is a beautiful car from 1989. It’s in mint condition, full stuck, no rust.

The body shape is quite classic, but the Peugeot 205 GTI is really not a usual 205. Wheels are specifics, and they look quite nice. The exterior mirrors are also specific, smaller than for the other 205.

Arch extensions could appears “too much” on some cars, but on a Peugeot 205 GTI they are pretty sober. In a dark plastic, combined with graphite grey, they strengthen the presence of the car. The red line is a nice detail. In the end, the badges confirm it, if ever you had a doubt, that we are with a 1.6 liter.

The interior is also perfectly preserved. This is different of some hot hatches of the 80’s with their cracked dashboard. Carpets and saddlery are just perfect. The steering wheel is an accessory from the catalog, a Luisi from Italy.
Four people can travel aboard without any problem. We are not in a sports car, but in a hot hatch, it makes a huge difference.

The engine takes a lot of place under the hood. Electronic is at its beginning and lets place to work on the mechanics.

Driving the Peugeot 205 GTI

First impression, the clutch is hard, but it’s brand new! The car answers well at any solicitation. In town, you can drive the fourth gear. Jean-Michel doesn’t hesitate to drive in 5th!

The gear shift is quite good, but with that new clutch, I miss my shifts in 3rd and 4th a few times before getting used to it. The steering feels quite heavy at low speeds. However, the small wheel (I am used to larger ones) allows you to guide the car quite accurately.

Let’s get out of town, to push it a little. I am quite cautious, since the road is wet. Nonetheless, I don’t hesitate to accelerate. The car answers quite quickly and revs quite fast. Power is stilla available and I enjoy staying over 3,000 rpm.

In the corners, it’s terrific! Its lightweight allows it to turn really quick. Even with the wet tarmac, the speed is a few mph quicker than what I do with my “regular” car.

The passenger compartment is quite roomy. The sun finally showing up, the sliding roof makes it feel more spacious. Even when it is open you can have a talking without raising your voice. The engine is not intrusive either.

To sum up, it’s a lovely car. If you want to have fun durinjg the weekend, it’s made for you. And you can go fetch your children at school as well!

Own a Peugeot 205 GTI

One of them made the headlines at Silverstone Classic, reaching £31,000. The car was almost brand new, and perfectly restored.

Usually a 205 GTi does not cost this much. Depending on the condition and the engine, you can go from £1,000 for a car with a lot of work to do to 10,000 for a completely restored, low-mileage one. And if you want to have a really special 205 GTi, you can try to find a 205 GTi 1FM.
For those of you who would like to try to find one cheaper in France, forget it, prices have skyrocketed. The cheapest ones are available for roughly €6,000 but they need a thorough restoration.


Global Ratings :

5 etoiles




– Versatile car Prices are going afwully high lately –
– Powerful and flexible engine
– An incredibly well-balanced chassis
– A myth from the 80’s
Rarity 3 etoiles
Price from £1,000 to £10,000

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