1985 Peugeot 205 GRD 1.7 diesel from UK and Ireland


Definitive economical diesel hatch, with almost sporting handling


Persistent water leaks into the boot - I consider that there is a basic design fault with the rear hatch - any water that finds its way inside the hatch drains into the boot.

Head gasket failed at ~35000 miles.

Air in fuel line from filter to fuel pump cured by fitting later type (horizontal) pipe run from filter head.

Outer drive shaft gaiters have failed 3 times.

Vacuum pump failed at ~70000 miles - emitted high pitched whistle, although still worked the brakes.

Persistent problems with front brake pistons sticking - need regular servicing.

One rear brake shoe delaminated - brakes still worked (!)

Most of the glow plugs failed at ~83000 miles.

One of the front wheel bearings is in the process of failing at the moment - it's on the 'to do' list.

Speedometer needle fell off a while back, glued it back on...

Interior mirror has fallen off several times...

Offside rear door window winder mechanism has partially rusted away.

Rust hole under rear seat squab - there's a bit of a mud trap underneath.

Rust appearing in the front doors between the hinges and in the rear lower corners.

Headlight dipping switch failed.

Stitching on seats now needs regular mending - probably a UV (sunlight) problem as the car is kept outside all the time.

General Comments:

Comfortable, economical (54mpg), and reliable (never stranded - yet!).

Excellent, precise handling (I was brought up on oversteer...) and torquey engine make it a delight to drive.

Now getting a bit noisy, with various trim rattles and squeaks.

Steering effort high at parking speeds - but only if you are used to power steering - and clutch heavy, but a new cable might improve this (based on our other 205GRD).

Ease of maintenance not its strongest suite - probably related to Group 8 insurance rating.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2003

22nd May 2009, 16:17

Awful car. I had a 205 GRD and the only saving grace was the good fuel consumption at 55mpg, and that's it. Very unreliable, with mechanical failure all too often. I had it 3 years and had one clutch, complete rear brakes including pipes (rotten), heater rheostat, washer motor, sump gasket (leaking), front tyres. I traded it in at a dealer and met the next unfortunate owner some time later and she explained it had continued to consume parts quickly. She fitted a radiator, exhaust and various pipes.

A dreadful car.

1985 Peugeot 205 GRD 1.7 diesel from UK and Ireland


Ideal cheap and cheer-full car


A few small electrical problems.

The glow plugs needed replacing.

The front brakes needed replacing after I brought it as the left side pad had seized up and got totally worn away.

General Comments:

The car has been fantastic since I only paid £400 for it.

It's quite fast, has plenty of power and the engine is fantastic. It starts first time and now messing about with the choke in winter.

It's an ideal cheap car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st December, 2002

1985 Peugeot 205 XR from Netherlands


The cooling system has been renewed.

Drove through a large splash of water, which resulted in only 2 working cylinders.

General Comments:

This car is 17 years old and still wants to drive!

The gearbox takes a few months to control.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2002

1985 Peugeot 205 Lacoste (XR) 1.4 from Norway


Nothing essential before:

Steering shaft, 115.000km/11 years.

Fuel gauge.

Electric windows, motor.

R. bearing arm (in English?), 125.000km.

Clutch, 125.000km.

Gear transmission, 128.000km.

Distributor (regulator), 130.000km.

Exhaust pipe rusty, 130.000km.

L. bearing arm, 135.000km.

Washer pump front (electrical fault).

Heater regulator (electrical fault) 139.000km/15 years.

Leakage, sun roof (since new).

A bit of rust here and there (extremely damp surroundings).

General Comments:

Great car for snowy, steep Norwegian hills, always gets me where I want to go.

Quick, fun to drive.

Easy to repair (use your ears!).

First model in '83, but still got "the looks".

She was my second 205 and my 4th Peugeot. My 5th Peugeot is a 309. Five Peugeots out of seven cars says it all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2001

7th Jul 2001, 09:02

Like your Norwegian reader, I have had a Peugeot 205 XR since new in 1986, and have covered a similar distance (84,000 miles/ 135,000km).

I have kept a detailed record of all expenses since new. Fuel consumption has averaged 46 mpg. It has always seemed a bit fragile (its construction is very light - only around 720kg - compared with modern cars) and partly because of that has been only averagely reliable. But it has never left me stranded (save when I once left the lights on - flat battery).

The list of major items replaced over the last 15 years is as follows:

Two batteries, brake master cylinder, two sets of pads and both front discs, nearside drive shaft earlier this year, speedometer cable, four new tyres (at 70,000 miles), two pneumatic hatch supports, and a new silencer every two to three years.

Its saving grace is the ease with which repairs can be carried out by unskilled owners. e.g. the speedo cable, brakes discs and pads, hatch supports, various minor electrical repairs (interior light switch, boot light switch), and a recent carburettor overhaul, a leaking windscreen surround, armed with nothing more than a modest tool set, a Haynes manual, and some common sense.

The engine has got noticeably noisier over the last year, which adjusting the tappets (difficult, because the engine reclines by 70') has not cured. I wonder if this is valve seat recession caused by the switch to unleaded petrol in the UK last year? The interior trim has lasted a lot longer than I thought it would.

The car has benefited from being kept in a garage since new. Annual hosing underneath and Waxoyling behind panels seem to keep most rust at bay, though it keeps creeping back along the upper edges of the door window frames, and the seam in front of the nearside rear wheel.

I think I shall keep it until something very major goes wrong with it. Then I might get a 206.