Peugeot 205 GTi (1.6 & 1.9) - best ever Peugeot Sport cars

To some, the 205 GTi is the greatest hot hatch of all time, and for many more it’s a car that’s never been bettered.

To some, the 205 GTi is the greatest hot hatch of all time, and for many more it’s a car that’s never been bettered. One thing is for sure; this Peugeot, with either its original 113bhp 1.6-litre engine or the later 128bhp 1.9, was an instant hit. It was also the de facto choice among those who craved lightweight cars with armfuls of feedback and a sense of the driver being an integral part of its dynamic make-up.

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What made the 205 GTi stand out from its rivals was its scintillating driving characteristics, with its direct steering, punchy performance and a chassis that was closer in spirit to that of a sports car than a family hatchback. Some rivals were quicker in a straight line and more powerful, but none appealed to the enthusiast in quite the same way as the 205 did. 

It was the GTi’s willingness to engage you in every process that was at the core of its desirability. To experience elsewhere the sensations and rewards the diminutive 205 provided, you would need to spend twice the amount on a car less practical, no quicker and, in many cases, less capable, too. In the 30 years since the 205 GTi’s launch, it’s still the benchmark for all new hot hatches. Peugeot even returned to it for inspiration when developing the new 208 GTi 30th Anniversary.


Engine: 1.6-litre (1.9) in-line 4cylPower: 113bhp/6,250rpm (128bhp/6,000rpm)Torque: 134Nm/4,000rpm (161Nm/4,000rpm)Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel driveWeight: 900kg (910kg)Top speed: 121mph (124mph)0-60mph: 8.9 secs (7.9 secs)Built: 1986-1988 (1988-1991)

Top 10 best ever Peugeot Sport cars

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