It’s hard to know where to start when discussing the 205GTi. Prior to its arrival back in 1984, Peugeots represented tough and dependable – if utilitarian – transportation; the sort of car you could drive to the equator and back without it breaking. Peugeots were not, however, equated with fun or fine handling. The 205GTi changed that perception. And how. In 1.6-litre guise, this was – and remains – a superb car; one that is more than capable of beating up on more youthful performance saloons should roads get gnarly and testy. It’s rev-happy, if a bit thrashy, and a laugh a minute with it. The torquier but lazier 1.9-litre variant, by comparison, lacks that essential fizz. The truth is, though, a poverty-spec 205 Rallye is almost as much fun, although you will need quick reflexes to get the most out of one. Those, and earplugs.
Of course, Peugeot went on to build many other cars with sweet handling that same decade and into the ’90s, not least 206, 309 and 405 models, but the 205 is the one that ignited that fire. It’s only a pity that Peugeot has since forgotten how to make cars go around corners without falling over. SPECIFICATIONS engine 1580cc/4-cyl/ OHC POWER 113bhp@6250rpm TORQUE 99lb ft@4000rpm TOP SPEED 121mph 0-60mph 8.9sec FUEL consumption 28-34pg transmission Front-wheel drive, five-speed manual
WHAT TO PAY // ConCours £25k // ExCEllEnt £9k // usablE £4k // ProjECt £2k