PEUGEOT 205 REVIEW

The Peugeot 205 is a chic Eighties number, and it isn’t just the legendary GTI that deserves the plaudits. Classic motoring doesn’t get cheaper.

Peugeot launched the 205 in 1983, it was as great to drive as it was to look at. It’s no wonder Car magazine crowned the 205 its car of the decade for the Eighties – this was the car that had it all. Affordability, reliability and a wide choice of engines meant there was a 205 for everyone, from ultra-economical diesels to the storming GTI.

While the GTI gets all the column inches in the classic press, there was a whole range of 205s which are still worth a look. A car that’s still seen as everyday cheap transport by many, the Peugeot 205 can be far more than that. Diesels are especially frugal and long-lived.

There are still lots of low-mileage cars about, so find one and cherish it. You’ll pay peanuts for it, you can maintain it yourself and every drive will be a blast. Buy now because interest in the Eighties is growing.

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Transmission

Most 205s came with a five-speed manual gearbox, although 1.0 and some 1.1-litre editions featured a ratio less. There was also an automatic transmission offered, initially with three speeds, later with four. Transmissions are strong, but clutches usually last just 30-40,000 miles; wear manifests itself as a difficulty in selecting reverse.

Engine

Three ranges of petrol engines were fitted, starting with the XV/XW/XY in 954, 1124 and 1360cc forms. The XU was used for the GTI, CTI and automatic models in 1580 and 1905cc guises, while the TU, evolved from the earlier range, came in the same displacements and was the only range which included a cast iron version (TU3/FM – 1360cc). All other petrol engines were alloy with cast wet liners.

The earlier units faced the bulkhead; with the gearbox underneath, you had to remove the engine to open it up. Later engines sit upright and have a timing belt instead of a chain, with a gearbox on the end.

The all-alloy engines can’t cope with neglect. Camshafts and valve guides wear within 60,000 miles if the engine is thrashed. Treated well, they can easily clock up 130,000 miles.

Every 72,000 miles, or five years, the cambelt should be renewed; if the belt has been changed recently, but the engine isn’t happy, make sure the ignition timing has been set up properly. The distributor is driven directly off the camshaft and it’s easy for it to get knocked out of adjustment. There was also a diesel which has a cambelt. This ran for the life of the 205, eventually being offered in turbo form. It’s a strong unit.

 

OUR VERDICT

The 205 was a best seller for several reasons – practicality, affordability, choice and reliability were just some of the key ones. While it may seem rather modern to be badged as a classic, and the car that saved Peugeot’s bacon in the Eighties, the 205 deserves some recognition as an all-time great.

It’s unlikely that any 205 will ever be valuable; even the much sought-after GTI editions are unlikely to ever be worth a fortune. So buying any 205 as an investment will probably only disappoint – but if you’re after a great-looking modern classic than you can use every day and maintain yourself, you’ll have to look hard to find a better candidate.

Recently Added

Silver mercedes 2Sponsored Ad
2004
£8,850
500
  • 73,000
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104729
What amazing value these SLs are now. Just a few years ago they were fetching a premium over list...
9
01296 509887
View details
Img 6463Sponsored Ad
1983
£10,950
  • 100
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104731
She is finished in one of the most classic colour combinations Marine Blue with the Limestone Whe...
20
01296 509887
View details
P5200325Sponsored Ad
£12,995
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104725
More Stags coming in soon!!! Mk11 Manual in White had full restoration £14,995. Mk11 Manual in ...
1
01564 718 630
View details
Img 0859Sponsored Ad
£20,000
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104724
Triumph Stags WANTED. Looking for low miles, low Owner Original Triumph Stags, or ones that have...
1
01564 718 630
View details
Blue stagSponsored Ad
£25,995
Show Winning!!!
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1090757
Triumph Stag Mk11 Manual in Blue. Here we have a stunning rebuilt Stag from the last owner, come...
6
01564 718 630
View details
TriumphSponsored Ad
£24,995
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1102887
Triumph Stag Auto in White Here we have an original Low miles White Triumph Stag in Auto with ...
1
01564 718 630
View details
Dscn3325 (copy)Sponsored Ad
£7,950
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104722
MG Midget 1275cc 1971 Older Restored
33
01707 428 158
View details
Dscn3250 (copy)Sponsored Ad
£13,950
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104721
MGB Roadster 1974 Restored
27
01707 428 158
View details
Dscn2933 (copy)Sponsored Ad
£8,750
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104720
MGB Roadster 1979 Chrome Conversion
47
01707 428 158
View details
Dscn0013Sponsored Ad
1989
£6,991
230TE
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104719
MERCEDES BENZ W124 230TE ESTATE 7 SEAT AUTOMATIC RHD - COLLECTOR QUALITY!
68
01423 895 316
View details
See All Classic Cars for Sale