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Buyers Guide to:

Peugeot 205GTI

Useful Info


1984 to 1994

Fuel Type


Engine Sizes

1600cc, 1900cc

Engine Type


Drive Con guration


Club Peugeot UK

205GTI Drivers

Just Kampers

01256 862288,


The 1980s was the decade of the hot hatchback. Launched in April 1984, the Peugeot 205 GTI added sporting exterior touches to the pretty Gerard Welter-designed bodywork and featured a revvy 1.6-litre, all-aluminium ‘XU’ engine. With 105bhp, it sprinted to 62mph in less than nine seconds. June 1986 saw the arrival of the convertible CTI variant, while December that year the more powerful 1.9-litre model was launched, boasting 130bhp and a 0-62mph time cut to 7.8 seconds; the 1.6 remained on sale but with power boosted to 115bhp. Production of the 1.6 ended in September 1992, and by April 1994 the 205 GTI was gone. Often voted the best hot hatch ever made, it has something of a cult following today.

  1. Sills, including the seams where they meet the floorpan
  2. Plastic wheel arch trims can hide corrosion, so check carefully
  3. Bottom of the doors
  4. Bottom edge of the tailgate
  5. Check for bubbling beneath the front and rear screen rubbers
  6. Rear quarter panel. A weld at the rear of the door aperture breaks, allowing muck to collect
  7. The front panel behind the headlights/ bumper, and the bumper mountings
  8. Around the sunroof aperture; ensure the drain holes aren’t blocked

The Checklist

  • The inner wings, boot floor, and front chassis legs for signs of rippling. Accident damage isn’t uncommon
  • The floorpan and the point where it meets the front bulkhead, along with the inner wings/suspension turrets. The body shell was galvanised from 1987 but these are rot-spots
  • The box section around the fuel tank which can hide serious corrosion. Examine the car on a ramp
  • For signs of overspray on trim and window rubbers. Paintwork quality wasn’t great when new, and many examples have received attention
  • For dents and evidence of previous repairs. Replacement panels are very hard to find now and filler-laden bodges should be avoided
  • That plastic exterior trim isn’t missing or damaged. Parts are scarce and you’ll be relying on second-hand or new/old stock
  • For blue exhaust smoke which is likely to be valve stem oil seals or guides in need of replacement. Check the history for evidence of recent cambelt renewal – it needs doing every 48,000 miles. Engines are fundamentally robust, but need proper maintenance
  • For oil and water leaks as head-gasket failure isn’t uncommon. A tired cooling system will lead to problems, too, so keep an eye on the temperature gauge
  • That the engine runs cleanly. Fuel injection problems lead to poor running, with the air mass meter and cold-start valve likely culprits. And listen for a ticking that signi es a cracked exhaust manifold
  • Whether the car has been tuned or modi ed. It’s not necessarily a problem but make sure you know what’s been done and how well. Ask the vendor about any work done
  • For crunching between third and fourth gears as the gearbox is a weak point. A baggy linkage can be overhauled at a reasonable cost. Clutch wear can be an issue on hard used cars, while a stiff pedal means the cable is due for replacement. 1.6 models can suffer failed outer driveshaft joints; lowering the suspension exacerbates the problem
  • There are no knocks over bumps caused by worn front wishbone and anti-roll bar bushes. The rear axle needs close examination as failure of the radius arm bearings can damage the axle and replacement is around £800; excessive negative camber on the rear wheels is a warning sign
  • The brakes for wear and tear, and ensure the Bendix ABS system is working on post-1990 models. Heavy steering of non-PAS cars can accelerate joint wear; power steering improves the driving experience but check for leaks from the pump and pipework
  • For cracks in the dashboard as cabin trim can be fragile and is hard to find now. Worn seat bolsters can be re-trimmed, but leather makes this easier as the striped cloth is almost impossible to source. Electric windows and central locking can fail so check they are working
  • The condition of sunroof seals, and for evidence of water leaks. The sunroof was optional and used a clever vacuum system for sealing. Convertible hood was powered from 1990 – examine the hood and mechanism for damage. Also, check the carpets for damp caused by failed seals as it can lead to corrosion

Everything Check Out?

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