Monday Motoring Classic: Peugeot 205

There's little doubt that that Peugeot 205 GTi was one of the best hot hatches of its day. But the reason for that is because the humble hatch on which it was based was also a gem.

It was a pretty design (by Peugeot designers - Pininfarina only designed the convertible, fact fans), had a broad engine range and was a delight to drive, however few horsepower you had up front.

It steered with great precision, and the handling was entertaining to say the least. Lift-off oversteer, if you like that sort of thing, was very much dans le menu.

Yet it still did all the basic shopping trolley stuff that people wanted; there was decent space in the rear and the boot was big enough too.

Peugeot was something of a mixed bag for reliability in the 1980s and 1990s, but the Peugeot 205 was one of the better ones. Rust can catch up with it, but dodge that bullet and you have a simple car that's easy to maintain.

So what about buying one? Well there's lots out there, but we're going to ignore the GTi because they attract silly money that we're not prepared to pay.

You'll want to avoid the early 954cc and 1124cc engines as they still have the gearbox in the sump, although understandably the early ones are rare.

The later XU and TU engines are better - ideally you'd go for a 1360cc or 1294cc version for a bit of pep, although the 1.1-litre is fine if you're not in a hurry.

Don't ignore the auto either. It uses the same 1.6-litre XU5 engine as the 1.6 GTi, just with a carb instead of fuel injection, so it's pretty brisk but slips under the radar.

If you can find a 1.8-litre turbodiesel then jump on it. 78bhp and 157Nm of torque in a light body means it's usefully quick but still frugal with it.

Finding one is not a problem, it's more about choosing the best you can afford. We found a clean - if dubiously modified - 1.4 GR with only 87,000 miles for £1750, which would make a great starter.

We also found an auto, in laughably modest Junior spec, but with only 60,000 miles, power steering and that 89bhp engine for just £2000. Find a Peugeot 205 for sale

Ask HJ

What is my father's 1993 Peugeot 205 worth?

My father needs to sell his 1993 Peugeot 205 automatic as he is no longer able to drive. It is in good condition with an MoT until Feb 20. What value could I expect and where would be the best place to sell it?
Prices for the 205 GTI have gone stellar over the past five years and that has dragged values of the more humble models up a bit. Depending on the condition you're looking at about £500 to £1000.... maybe a bit more if it's FSH and in first-class condition. There is some appreciation of these glorious happy shoppers, but you might have to be patient if you want to sell it for more than a few hundred quid. As far as where to sell it, we'd recommend getting it in as many outlets as possible - try traditional classic print newspapers and magazines as well as websites. We've got some tips on selling a car here:
Answered by Keith Moody
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