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Peugeot 205 GTI: Buying guide and review (1984-1994)

Peugeot 205 GTI: Buying guide and review (1984-1994) Classic and Performance Car
Peugeot 205 GTI cornering Peugeot 205 GTI interior Peugeot 205 GTI engine Pug1Off 205 GTI-6 Peugeot 205 GTI Phase 1 Peugeot 205 GTI Phase 1 1.9
Peugeot really turned a corner when it launched the 205 back in 1983. In fact, the model would go on to become one of the company’s most memorable and successful, transforming the image of Peugeot overnight. It looked fantastic, drove with real style and captured the hearts of a generation.
Of course it’s the hot hatch GTI that gets everybody excited today, and while the model has never really gone out of fashion since production stopped in 1994, the last five years has seen the values of the very best examples soar, with one exceptional example making more than £30,000 at auction. Of course, the majority of GTIs are still far more affordable, but there’s no doubting the continuing popularity of this classic hot hatch. 
The very first 1.6-litre GTI was launched in 1984, with a spritely 105bhp on tap – rising to 115bhp in mid-1986. It might not sound like a great deal today, but don’t forget, the 205 weighed less than 900kg. Its status as hot hatch king wasn’t secured until the launch of the 1.9-litre, 130bhp version at the end of 1986 however.
Not only was the 205 quick, but Peugeot engineered an extremely agile and communicative chassis. It was far from foolproof however, and that super sharp chassis had a particularly tricky side to it – especially in cold and wet conditions. Treat it with the respect, and it’s rewarding to any driver thanks to its agility and tactility. In fact, that lightness and agility is a double-edged sword: few modern equivalents are as wieldy, yet you might wish for a greater feeling of solidity. 
The 205 still has a cult following throughout Europe, as well as in Japan, Australia and increasingly the USA – with large numbers of enthusiasts enjoying these fun French hatchbacks all over the world. Overlook that and you’re getting all the fun of a sports car with practicality you can really live with. 

Which 205 GTI to buy?

The good news is that the 205 GTI enjoys a pretty high survival rate, meaning that there is actually a great selection of cars available at any one time. Post-1990 Phase 2 cars (black interior and exterior trim, and smoked rear lights) are generally the most desirable, and the easiest to find in top condition. Post-1993 models were fitted with a catalytic converter, which slightly blunted performance. 
The considerably rarer Phase 1s are rapidly becoming more collectable, but are on the whole worth slightly less with the exception of absolutely original and low-mileage examples. Offering the greatest value are the most common ’87-90 Phase 1.5 cars. Most GTIs are fitted with a factory sunroof, meaning that non-sunroof cars do carry a premium. 
It’s also worth considering one of the many different special editions. The highly desirable Phase 1.5 Sorrento Green and Miami Blue GTIs from 1989 came with a full leather interior and power steering. More common Phase 2s are available in these colours, but they’re less well-specified and hence not as desirable. A total of 25 1FM special editions were built to celebrate the 25th anniversary of BBC Radio 1, and are today one of the most desirable special editions. Finished in black, the 1FM features a special Clarion stereo system, leather interior and a very high specification. A number still survive, and there is a register dedicated to keeping track of the remaining cars.
The 205 remains hugely popular in tuning circles, with many people choosing to fit more modern and powerful 16-valve or turbocharged engines – well-known companies such as Gutmann and Turbo Technics sold fully built cars in the late ’80s, but there are also plenty of home-made conversions on the market. It’s advisable to give converted cars a wide berth unless the work has been carried out by a reputable specialist, or you know exactly what you are looking for. 
Although we’re not covering them in detail here, there are also other performance variants of the 205 that are well worth seeking out. The 205 XS uses the 1360cc 85bhp TU engine, and is a whole lot lighter than the GTI, offering a surprisingly fun driving experience. The later UK-market Rallye was also similar in concept to this model, although fitted with a lower-powered 75bhp engine. 
It’s the left-hand drive European-market Rallye (fitted with wider arch spats and white steel wheels) that is more highly coveted than the GTI today. This was a stripped-out hardcore road car, built to be eligible for under 1300cc rallying. Featuring a 1294cc version of the smaller 1.1-litre TU engine, the addition of twin Weber carbs pushed power to just over 100bhp, which endowed the 790kg 205 surprising performance. 
While the finely-honed chassis of the GTI is somewhat compromised by cutting the roof off, the convertible CTI model is still a very cool way to enjoy some open-air classic motoring. Initially only offered in 1.6-litre form, the very last models got a detuned catalysed 1.9-litre engine.
Although no automatic GTI was ever produced (other than a handful of special order vehicles) there was a limited run of 1.9-litre automatic Gentry models, offered with a high spec. Although featuring the GTI’s body styling, this was more of a luxury-orientated car, lacking the sports suspension of the GTI.

Performance and specs

Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9
Engine 1905cc, four-cylinder
Power 130bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 119lb ft @ 4750rpm
Top speed 123mph
0-60mph 7.8sec
Fuel consumption 28.1mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2420mm
Length 3705mm
Width 1572mm
Height 1372mm
Kerb weight 875 kg

Common problems

• Contrary to popular opinion, the 205 is not a badly made car. True, some of the interior plastics feel a little flimsy (especially on early cars), the body panels are paper-thin and cars can often look tired, but it’s generally well engineered. A well-maintained 205 will rarely cause headaches. Here is what you need to look out for.
• Take a look at the interior and, and the first thing that you’ll probably notice is some wear to the side bolsters on the driver's seat. This is by far the most common interior foible of any GTI. Seats can be repaired, more easily on the 1.9s with part-leather interiors. If the fabric has worn, new covers are now being reproduced.
• The interior plastics on later cars is generally hard wearing and still looks good today if in good condition, however the earliest phase 1 models wear less well. If all the parts are in good condition, then look after it as secondhand replacement parts are tricky to find.
• The all-aluminium XU engines are strong, but high-mileage or thrashed examples might show blue smoke on start-up and on overrun. In most cases that’s just worn valve stem seals. 
• Finding one with a slightly tired gearbox is not uncommon, but the main thing to watch for is worn-out synchromesh on third and fourth gears. If the change feels sloppy, it will likely need new linkages. New or uprated linkages are not expensive and are actually easy to fit.
• Any GTI should have had – or will need – a full engine/transmission restoration by now. Most 205s will have been driven hard, so budget around £1000 to renew all the basics.
• If the rear end of the car is creaking, it probably needs a rear suspension rebuild. There’s no science to knowing when it will need a rebuild. If a 205 is driven for long periods with damaged rear axle bearings, the beam will seize, which puts strain on the bodyshell. The entire beam will probably need to be replaced with a reconditioned unit if this is the case. 
• Pay up to £350 to renew the bearings, and £800 for a replacement and fully rebuilt beam. Genuine or high quality component are more expensive, however will give trouble-free motoring for many years, unlike using cheaper rebuild kits which have been known to cause problems.
• You will struggle to find any 205 that hasn’t had some new paintwork. The original finish was never brilliant and many have faded, with lacquer peel commonplace. Many cars will have had a full respray, so ensure this was done to a high standard, with photographic evidence of any rust removal. 
• It’s usually easy to spot a bad crash repair. Pay special attention to the front chassis legs and inner wings; rust in strange places often points to accident damage. 
• Corrosion was much less of a problem than in many contemporary rivals, but the rot is really beginning to set in today. Check the boot floor and suspension mounts, front inner wings, and the seam between the bulkhead and floorpan – which is easier said than done. The original factory underseal can hide a multitude of sins too, so be careful. 
• Another common area for corrosion is behind the fuel tank, as well as the rigid brake lines in the same area. It’s amazing the state that you find these in; usually they’re the original pipes. They won’t be picked up on an MoT. 

Model history

February 1983: Peugeot 205 range launched in France. 
April 1984: 105bhp 205 GTI 1.6 goes on sale in the UK. 
February 1985: Minor spec changes to the GTI, including softer suspension after complaints of an overly hard ride on early cars. 
April 1986: Power increased to 115bhp with an uprated cylinder head and camshaft. 
June 1986: Convertible 1.6 CTI launched; styled and partly built by Pininfarina. 
December 1986: 130bhp 1.9 GTI launched, featuring the 1905cc XU9 engine with the same Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection as the 1.6. Fitted with all-round disc brakes, half-leather interior and electric windows as standard. 
September 1987: Phase 1.5 introduced, featuring a more modern dashboard, three-spoke steering wheel, higher-quality plastics and different seat patterns. All Peugeots including the 205 are now fully galvanised. 
August 1989: Another minor update, with new BE3 gearbox, slightly larger two-piece exhaust, and power steering made available as an option. 
September 1990: GTI receives a minor cosmetic facelift, with clear indicator lenses and smoked rear lamp units, black dashboard and trim, as well as the option of Bendix ABS. CTI receives an electric hood. 
September 1992: Production of the 1.6 ends.
October 1992: 1.9 gets the 122bhp catalyst engine.
April 1994: Production of the 1.9 GTI and CTI ceases.

Owners clubs, forums and websites

• www.clubpeugeotuk.org – Peugeot Club UK
• www.pscuk.net – Peugeot Sport Club UK
• www.205gtidrivers.com – Peugeot 205 GTI forum
• www.peugeotcentral.co.uk – Peugeot forum for all models

Summary and prices

Whether you’re after a usable everyday classic, or something to cherish for years to come, there is a 205 GTI out there for you. Top condition cars are starting to fetch serious money and these headline figures have also helped to push values of more ordinary cars upwards. Be patient and do your research to find the the right car for the right money. 
Given regular servicing and proper mechanical maintenance, these cars are extremely reliable and a joy to drive. There are various different clubs, a healthy number of specialists and reasonable parts availability, so with interest in 1980s classics surging, now really is a great time to buy and own a 205 GTI. 
Gone are the days of finding a usable car for £500 though. Even tatty projects start from around £1000 now, with usable examples likely to cost at least £2500. £6500-£10,000 would get you into one of the best 1.9s out there. The 1.6-litre cars were valued slightly less in the past, however condition, history and mileage are the biggest decider of values today. 
Peugeot 205 GTI cornering Peugeot 205 GTI interior Peugeot 205 GTI engine Pug1Off 205 GTI-6 Peugeot 205 GTI Phase 1 Peugeot 205 GTI Phase 1 1.9
Last updated: 17th Jan 2017
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Peugeot 205 cars for sale

12 Search results
Peugeot 205
300 285000 GBP
  • Peugeot - 205 1.6 XT Aut - 1992

    €2,500 - €3,250 est. (£2,229 - £2,897.70 est.) €2,500 - €3,250 est. (£2,229 - £2,897.70 est.)
    Online Auction
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    Catawiki Auctions
  • 1989 Peugeot 205 GTi


    The Peugeot 205 was produced between 1983 and 1998 and was declared 'Car of the Decade' by CAR magazine in 1990. The styling of the 205 is often thought to be a Pininfarina design; however Gerard Welter, Peugeot's chief designer, claims it as an in-house design. The car is often credited as the car which turned Peugeot's fortunes around. The GTi version came in 1.6 litre and 1.9 litre engine derivatives and is considered one of the very best hot hatches of all time. The 205 GTi is still known to offer a very rewarding driving experience and is still mentioned to this day in group car tests of the newest GTi models or equivalent. Peugeot itself never truly recreated this success in subsequent GTi models, although they came close with the highly regarded GTi-6 variant of the 306. Increasingly stringent emissions regulations meant the 1.6 GTi went out of production in 1992 whilst the 1.9 was sold for a couple more years thanks to re-engineering of the engine enabling it to work properly with a catalytic converter. Finished in black with a contrasting red and black interior, this 1.9 litre example is described by the vendor as being exciting to drive and benefits from a comprehensive P

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • 1984 PEUGEOT 205 TURBO 16

    $285,000(£232,930.50) $285,000(£232,930.50)

    --Grey Metallic with Dark/Light Grey leather/alcantara interior with Red accent, Charcoal carpeting edge Red, 5-speed manual, 48,000 Original Kilometers/29,000 Original Miles, 1 of only 200 manufactured, Original concours quality condition, Collector owned and cared for. The Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 is the street version of the iconic Turbo 16 Group B rally-race car. Peugeot was in the process of shifting production towards smaller and sportier vehicles. Therefore, with the introduction of the new Group B rally rules of 1982, Peugeot with the help of French rally expert and race driver Jean Todt and an unlimited budget developed the 205 Turbo 16 (the big brother to the production 205 GTI) as a marketing tool, well known in the world of racing at this point in time and thus "win on Sunday – sell on Monday". As opposed to its front engine 4-wheel drive competition the Audi Sport Quattro, the 205 Turbo 16 would be mid-engined as well as 4-wheel drive for better weight distribution and traction. For marketing purposes, it was paramount to keep most of the 205's exterior body features as similar as possible to its production variant. The 205 Turbo 16 turned out to be the most successful Gro

    • Year: 1984
    • Mileage: 29000 mi
    For sale
  • Peugeot 205

    £4,995 £4,995

    *SIMILAR QUALITY CARS ALWAYS REQUIRED* SOLD Thinking of selling? Our proven commission sale or SOR (Sale or Return) program is a great way to utilise and access our professional services and facilities while still maximising the return from your vehicle with minimal hassle, stress and time, If you’d like to take advantage of this then please get in touch for further information. Alternatively If you’d like to move your vehicle on quickly and efficiently with minimal delay then we can make an offer on an outright purchase basis with payment and collection arranged soon after. A remarkable Peugeot 205 Roland Garros Cabriolet with one owner and 53,977 miles. EQUIPMENT Roland Garros badge on tailgate, Roland Garros Paris decal on front wing, body colour bumpers, Pininfarina side badges, electric hood, tinted glass, laminated windscreen, front driving lamps, courtesy lamp, electric front windows, central door and tailgate locking, sunvisors with passenger vanity mirror, internally adjustable door mirrors. EXTERIOR With only 150 RHD examples supplied for the UK, this Limited Edition Roland Garros 205 Cabriolet designed by Pininfarina is one of the rarest examples of the iconic supermini, largely credited for turning Peugeot’s fortunes around in the 1980’s. This incredible one owner low mileage example is finished in its original unpainted colour of Pinewood Green (code M0RP) and has a wonderful glossy bright shine. Absolutely unmolested, the factory badges and decals remain unaltered and the thin body panels are remarkably straight with only miniscule and minimal imperfections defying the cars age. The electric white hood, unique to the Roland Garros edition, operates faultlessly and has been preserved beautifully having been kept garaged from new. Even the supplying dealer number plates remain fitted. A very special example and far superior to the usual offerings. INTERIOR Fitted with the full Roland Garros special edition interior, this low mileage cossetted example has remained in amazing order with the somewhat flimsy materials free from damage, a stark contrast to most tired examples. The pure white leather sports seats are supple and even the red stitching is visible and unbroken. The bright red seat belts and colour scheme floor mats are beautifully clean and white digits in the gear knob are vibrant. The door cards, fascia and trim sections are pristine and all controls and gauges operate seamlessly. If the striking interior colour scheme fails to remind you, the Roland Garros badged steering wheel leaves you in no doubt that this is no ordinary 205. ENGINE & TRANSMISSION Fabulous, fun and spirited, this 1360cc engine produces 85bhp and is a real delight to drive. Simplistic maintenance and excellent parts availability keeps running costs to a minimum. The engine bay is spotless and displays all factory stickers and plates as well as 205 inner wing stamps and PDI markings. The 5-speed gearbox is light with a positive clutch action. WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES The original light alloy wheels are in amazing order with the factory stampings still sharply defined, a feature often lost upon refurbishment. Quality branded 165/70 R13 are fitted, and the split circuit servo-assisted brakes incorporating front discs and rear drums offer assured stopping power. HISTORY FILE Supplied by Peugeot Main Dealers Concours of Surrey on the 31st August 1990, this exceptional example has remained with its original owner, Mr John Odell, and covered just 53977 miles from new. Mr and Mrs Odell have cherished their pride and joy completing many trips to France, with priority of place in the garage always granted when at home. The difficult decision to part with the car has been made and the next lucky owner will certainly benefit from their devoted approach to owning this cossetted example. All the handbooks contained in the black A5 folder remain with the car including a fully stamped service book, the last entry being 2015 with just 500 miles covered since. All entries are from the supplying Peugeot Main Dealer and just one specialist thereafter, and the huge history file contains many MOT certificates and service invoices right back to the very first! Two sets of keys and the original key code tags are present. An exemplary example in every respect with superb credentials, an unmissable opportunity for the collector and avid Peugeot enthusiast. MOT August 2017, HPI Clear. To see a video of this car please click on the link below: https://youtu.be/SRGHkE8fKBI To see a full set of photographs of this car please click on the link below: https://flic.kr/s/aHskQ3Y6f1 'Like us' or 'Follow us' for exciting new cars coming soon at KGF Classic Cars: http://www.facebook.com/KGFClassiccars http://twitter.com/KGFClassicCars

    • Mileage: 53977 mi
    • Engine size: 1.4
    For sale
  • Peugeot 205

    £300 £300


    • Mileage: 98380 mi
    • Engine size: 1580
    For sale
  • Peugeot 205

    £10,990 £10,990

    Mi 16 Conversion, Stainless Steel Exhaust, Alloy wheels, Metallic paintVVS are delighted to offer this rare and sought after 205 1.9 GTI with professional MI 16v engine conversion. This car is presented in Miami blue with full contrasting anthracite leather interior with red stitching and has had a no expense spared professional conversion and restoration at well known GTI specialist, with brake upgrade, 16v bonnet, bilstein suspension and custom stainless steel sports exhaust, bills total more then £12k on works conducted to the car, including full bare metal respray, rolling road tested at 155 BHP and really is in superb condition, one to lock away, call for more details, Please visit www.vvsuk.co.uk for 20 High Definition photographs of this car.

    • Mileage: 113000 mi
    • Engine size: 1905
    For sale
  • Peugeot 205

    £5,995 £5,995

    12 Months MOT From Point of Sale, Free 6 Months RAC Warranty and Breakdown Cover, COMING SOON, Electric Windows, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Cloth Upholstery

    • Mileage: 91000 mi
    • Engine size: 1580
    For sale
  • Peugeot 205

    £10,990 £10,990

    Mi 16 Conversion, Stainless Steel Exhaust, Alloy wheels, Metallic paintVVS are delighted to offer this rare and sought after 205 1.9 GTI with professional MI 16v engine conversion. This car is presented in Miami blue with full contrasting anthracite leather interior with red stitching and has had a no expense spared professional conversion and restoration at well known GTI specialist, with brake upgrade, 16v bonnet, bilstein suspension and custom stainless steel sports exhaust, bills total more then £12k on works conducted to the car, including full bare metal respray, rolling road tested at 155 BHP and really is in superb condition, one to lock away, call for more details, Please visit www.vvsuk.co.uk for 20 High Definition photographs of this car.

    • Mileage: 113000 mi
    • Engine size: 1905
    For sale
  • Peugeot 205

    £7,795 £7,795

    FOR SALE A remarkable Peugeot 205 1.6 CTI with one private owner and 54,735 miles EQUIPMENT Tinted glass, laminated windscreen, black/red inserts in bumper and body side mouldings, wheel arch mouldings, halogen headlamps, two halogen driving lamps, padded roll arch, rev counter, water temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge, oil temperature gauge, leather trimmed sports steering wheel, interior courtesy lamp, glovebox lamp, digital clock, panel light rheostat. Factory Options: Central door locking, electric windows. EXTERIOR This polished 205 CTI is finished in Azurro Blue Metallic, (Code EMC) and has a beautiful smooth gloss finish. The simplicity and purity of the design is amplified in this chic colour which attracts much attention. The bumpers and bold bodyside mouldings remain in excellent condition other than a tiny scuff to one plastic arch. The factory tinted glass still has security stickers attached and is number plate etched. The original snug fitting black hood is quick and easy to operate and owing to heated garage storage from new remains in excellent undamaged condition with a zipped clear plastic rear screen and tonneau. The two SIEM halogen driving lamps have slight internal discoloration and all lettering, including the side Pininfarina logos, are present and in excellent order. Non-replica supplying dealer number plates are fitted front and rear. An amazing survivor in a usable show condition. INTERIOR Benefiting from the later model interior revisions, this genuine example looks amazing. The Quartet velour seat trim in black and red offers hip hugging support. All the clear sports dials operate faultlessly as do the push button switches. The sports red carpeting is vibrant and spotlessly clean and unique features such as the red stitching on the leather gear gaiter are clear to see. A period immobiliser is fitted and the correct Peugeot Clarion cassette stereo tuner with code card is in situ. An iconic interior exactly as the manufacturer intended. ENGINE & TRANSMISSION This model is fitted with the newer XU5JA 1.6 litre engine so produces 115BHP at 6250 rpm which equates to a top speed of 121.7mph and 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds. With a Kerb weight of just 935kg and a rev happy eager power plant, tremendous fun is guaranteed! The transmission is the later special close ratio 5-speed BE-3 gearbox with a short fifth gear to exploit the total power available. Its operation is precise and smooth. WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES Instantly recognisable Speedline SL201 alloy wheels are unmarked and display manufacturer markings clearly. The centred chrome polish finish is slightly tarnished and the wheels are shod in branded 185/60 R14 tyres. Servo assisted front vented brake discs with floating calipers and rear drum brakes with a pressure limiting valve to avoid premature locking provides an effective braking system. HISTORY FILE Registered new as a demonstrator on the 24th October 1990 by Peugeot Main Dealers, Warwick Wright Motors, it became the first and only other private owners pride and joy on the 1st April 1991. Mr Vernon Slaney was absolutely fastidious in the upkeep of the car with a memo book revealing every oil change using only premium Castrol GTX. These oil changes were carried out annually, the last being on the 15th March 2016 at 54,672 miles. The memo book even documents dates of tyre pressure checks and the PSI readings! To supplement this extraordinary home care, visits to the Peugeot Main Dealer, mainly Evans Halshaw in Mansfield, for larger jobs such as timing belt changes were carried out with invoices included in the history file. All handbooks, owner guides, pamphlets and business cards are contained in the black Peugeot A5 wallet. A period sales brochure and spare keys are also included. A wonderful opportunity to experience 205 CTI wind in the hair fun with an increasingly difficult to find original example. MOT April 2017 and HPI Clear. To see a video of this car please click on the link below: https://youtu.be/yP_LzMWvV6c To see a complete set of photographs of this car please click on the link below: https://www.flickr.com/gp/kgfclassiccars/71gh84 'Like us' or 'Follow us' for exciting new cars coming soon at KGF Classic Cars: https://www.facebook.com/KGFClassiccars https://twitter.com/KGFClassicCars

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