The classic hatchback turns 40, but we leave the most sincere soliloquies to someone else. This is how to celebrate 205 properly: buy yourself a good one
Today the peugeot 205 is 40 years old. That’s right: February 24, 1983 was the day Peugeot launched the car that would define it, win countless plaudits, and remain on sale in one market or another until the final days of the 20th century.
And, of course, form the basis of a hot hatch That, decades after its introduction, remains the yardstick by which hot hatches – and any number of supposedly sports cars – are measured. And many times they fail to coincide, if we are honest.
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Now, we could continue the lyric with waning returns: its lasting impact on Peugeot, on hatchbacks, on diesel power in small cars, on hot hatches, etc. Or we could just continue talking about the car itself. Well, guess which one we chose?
What are the Peugeot 205 engine and transmission options?
Our first two thoughts are: “many” and “varied.”
Because the 205 had such a long life (from 1983 until the 206 finally replaced it in 1998), it also had a long list of engines in the intervening years. In fact, the entire engine range was revised in the late 1980s, replacing the old PSA-Renault ‘Suitcase’ engines with new four-cylinder ‘TU’ engines. Some 205s made in Spain even came with Simca-Poissy engines, until they too were replaced by the new TU units.
Because of this, a 205 could have one of 16 different engines under the hood (more or less; remember, we’re the ones counting here), ranging from 954 cc to 1905 cc, diesel or gasoline, carbureted or injected. . Some had catalytic converters, some had turbos and one very special one had the engine mounted in the middle.
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The 1.6-liter and 1.9-liter gasoline engines of the GTi and CTi stand out, the first being the old ‘Suitcase’ and the second the ‘TU’. Niche points for the T16 limited to 200 units, which had a 1.8-litre turbo version of the original GTi’s 1.6, and the Rallye’s 1.3-litre, which was an improved, higher-revving version of the TU. engine.
What do I need to check on the Peugeot 205 body?
The obvious to start with: is it related to the car you want to buy? What proportion is formed from automotive filler? Do you have new and interesting patterned lines and folds in the metal structure?
More seriously, the obvious problems with cars of this age are rust, accident damage, and indifferent owners.
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Rust was less of an issue on the 205 than on many of its contemporaries, but we’re talking about cars that are in their third (and moving into their fourth) decade on this planet. Rust checks will be carried out in the places you would check any other car: battery tray, wheel arches, around the windows, in the footwells, under the trunk floor and along the seams and the part bottom of the doors.
Accidental damage, unforgiving use and lack of maintenance can open more avenues for rust: the joints between sills and panels can crack enough to allow water in and the inevitable.
Contrary to popular opinion about flimsiness, the 205 is actually a well-designed car, but failing to maintain the mechanical parts (particularly around the rear suspension and axle) can place additional stress on the body. But it would have to be a particularly unpleasant example for that kind of damage to manifest.
How do I check that the Peugeot 205 suspension is okay?
In reality, it is a fairly simple operation.
The first step is a visual inspection. If they lowered it or ruined it, it’s almost certainly ruined – Peugeot did it so well from the factory that keeping things in stock and in good order is usually the best idea. If the suspension is standard, but has the kind of camber that would warrant an entry on Speedhunters, there is almost certainly an issue with the rear trailing arm setup (bearings, generally) that may require anything from a simple repair. to a fairly solid corrective action. , of the ‘replace rear axle assembly’ variety.
The second is a hearing evaluation. Creaks or knocks from the front may indicate worn ball joints on the drop links, but there is also a possibility that the bushings or other ball joints have reached the end of their useful life.
The third is tactile. He should feel great driving. As in choosing a cool superlative. According to the Big Book of Motorsport Cliches, steering should be comparable to razor blades and katanas, the phrase “cornering balance” should be invoked without any additional context, and feedback and road feel should trump it.
What are the common problems inside the Peugeot 205?
A common problem you will find inside the GTi is the presence of its owner and the fact that it is not you.
As for parts that break? Well, the driver’s seat bolsters will always take a spanking that the other seats avoid (such is the nature of the beast), but sometimes the seat itself can eventually collapse under the weight of decades of butts. Shift knobs can break (always fun when you’re 400 miles from home) and some interior trim pieces will wear worse than others (again, a function of additional wear), but secondhand trim pieces can be more harder to find than yours. I would think. Luckily, Peugeot now makes replacement parts.
What equipment levels does the Peugeot 205 come in?
Many. Depending on where you are in the world, you can find 205s with spec levels as prosaic as ‘Junior’ and ‘Base’, or as esoteric as ‘Look’, ‘Style’ and ‘Sunset’. Oh, and any number of signed versions: XE, GE, GR, SR, XT, XS, XR, XLD, GRD…
That said, from a modern point of view, there are really only a few that we need to keep clear.
There’s the GTi, of course, as well as its CTi convertible version.
The 205 Rallye is having a surprisingly good time, in that it “even rivals a GTi”, with a powerful 1.3-litre engine, a curb weight of 793kg and a full complement of GTi suspension and brakes. If there were ever a car that would reward you for keeping the tachometer above 4,500 rpm…
The Turbo 16, better known as the T16, is legendary in its own right. As it should be, given that this is a turbocharged, mid-engined, four-wheel-drive homologation special that’s more or less the civilized road version of a championship-winning Group B maniac.
What is the best Peugeot 205 I can buy?
You probably have a good idea of what we’re going to say, right?
Yes, it’s the 205 GTi, a hot hatch in its own right, and also a useful criterion for the central tenet of what makes a hot hatch great: that it should be fun to drive. It sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many stray into speed or ruthless ability, forgetting the essential ingredient in the mix.
Now on to the obvious dilemma facing 205 GTi buyers: 1.6 liters or 1.9?
Well, greetings like “drive both and see which one you like better” and “it’s a matter of personal preference” can get stuck, even if they don’t utter responses. We’ll plant our flag for the 1.9: better torque suits modern roads and driving styles, while the better specification level suits modern tastes. The fact that it’s a faster, more intense experience doesn’t hurt either.
That’s all? Forty years of 205 and not a moment to appreciate it?
Oh, come on. You already know us better, right?
But we are not going to muddy the matter with words. Instead, let’s take that moment to appreciate the 205 with some old press photos we found in the Peugeot vault. Yes, our nostalgia nerve was also hurt…