After the Volkswagen Golf GTi changed the supermini market forever, everyone else clamoured to
release their own hot hatches… and the Peugeot 205 GTi could be the most beautiful of them all.
Sure, others were faster or better built, but this little Pug has stood the test of time, and today it’s
among the most sought after 80s pocket rocket.
What made the Peugeot 205 GTi special?
When the Peugeot 205 GTi was introduced in 1984, it was met with mixed reviews. Not everyone
was convinced by the flimsy build quality or the rock hard suspension, but those that understood
that this was a car built for enthusiastic driving loved it. When the car was face-lifted in 1986 with a
horsepower boost to 115bhp and slightly softened suspension it became a masterpiece.
The drive was still incredibly engaging, but the car could now be used to ferry the kids to school or
do the shopping without breaking anyone’s back! It was happy to be thrown around corners, and it’s
still the best car ever built for those who love a bit of lift-off over-steer.
When the 1.9-litre version came out in late ’86, enthusiasts were given the option of the additional
grunt (130bhp) of the bigger engine offered or the feisty rev-happy original 1.6-litre. It’s testament
to both versions that even today it’s hard to know which is the better car!
Yes, in an era that gave us the Renault 5 GT Turbo and Fiat Uno Turbo, the little Pug just felt right! It
wasn’t the fastest hot hatch or the best drive, but it gave the owner such a wonderful connection to
the car that everyone who bought one loved it.
Buying a 205 GTi today
The high regard in which the little 205 GTi is held has done crazy things to the price of a clean one,
and we’ve seen them go for as much as £30,000 – yikes! Now that you’ve picked yourself up off the
floor, we’re happy to tell you that it’s not absolutely necessary to spend that much.
You can pick up a clean example for under £10,000, which may still seem like a huge outlay for such
a simple little car, but they’re surprisingly robust if well cared for and there’s nothing built today that
matches it for driving thrills.
As with every car in our modern classics series, the team at Trafalgar Street car park have a huge soft
spot for this beautifully formed French masterpiece. We can heartily recommend finding a good
example of the Peugeot 205 GTi and driving it every day – it’s guaranteed to keep you smiling on the