Peugeot 106

25 Jan, 2005 4:10pm

A hit with young drivers, but does the Peugeot 106 meet everyone's needs as a second-hand buy?

Sometimes the smallest of cars prove the biggest hits with young drivers. And the 106 is just such a model. Back in 1996 Peugeot facelifted its entry-level car, strengthened the body and remarketed it as a city car. Instant success - and proven mechanicals plus bargain prices make it a popular first buy today.

Most 106s feature the adequate 1.1-litre engine. A little faster is the 1.4, while diesels offer better economy at the expense of refinement. The 1.6-litre models are the thrillers, particularly the 120bhp GTi, but insurance is costly.

Troublespots are easily avoided if you're alert. Used 106s are becoming overlooked for more advanced, newer models, but are still good buys at the right price. Just ensure it provides adequate comfort for you, as it's fared badly in our Driver Power car reliability and satisfaction survey in this area.

Checklist

  • Engine: all petrol top ends rattle with time - worry only if it's excessive. Diesels are susceptible to leaking hoses and radiators; overheating can lead to failure.
  • Gearbox: very problematic. Linkages become sloppy, making first and reverse hard to engage; many owners have needed replacements due to failure.
  • Brakes: these are poor, and they wear quickly. A judder under braking can indicate warped front discs. Front tyres also wear rapidly, as do windscreen wipers.
  • Suspension: noise at the front is common; wheel bearings and driveshafts also wear out. New anti-roll bar linkages will often cure knocks. Poor wheel tracking can cause uneven tyre wear, though.
  • Exhaust: prone to corrosion, particularly back boxes, and new ones can be tricky to fit. Catalytic converters also fail - particularly in GTi. Replacements from around £300.

Driving impressions

The 106 feels awkward due to cramped pedals and non-adjustable wheel. Yet the steering gives good feedback, and the car corners with gusto. Refinement isn't great, but for low-cost excitement the Peugeot takes some beating.

Glass's view

Since Peugeot pulled the plug on the 106, an increase in dealer demand for good, clean examples has kept used values steady. It's getting somewhat long in the tooth now, but the 106 still appeals to first-time buyers because of its low insurance costs and fine availability. Diesels, however, are not so sought after and have proved hard to move on. Zest models are around in good numbers, and make the best choice. Examples from 1998 R and newer are preferred by the trade.
Jeff Paterson, senior editor, Glass's Guide

Life with a 106

My Peugeot 106 is a small and simple car, but it has been reliable and is perfectly adequate for the things I use it for.
F Parker, E. Molesey, Surrey

A nice vehicle, with good handling - which I think is very important in a supermini. But mine is starting to feel old, and the performance isn't enough. I am now considering swapping my 106 for something bigger and faster.
Adrian Bollard, Bristol

Verdict

The 106 range was slimmed right down after the arrival of the 206, to avoid crossover and leave the smaller car playing to its strengths. This Peugeot is not the class-leader it once was, but it is still a contender. Its major weakness is its size, but on a more positive note, it is bright, zippy and pleasing to drive, thanks to a taut chassis. The GTi is an impressive, fast and engaging hot hatchback, rivalling fashionable baby coupes such as the Ford Puma.

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