Probably the best 'driver's car' available for the money
But nothing too serious.
Still on the original engine - they're v. strong. Gearboxes aren't though (mine lasted about 100k).
Considering it's age/mileage/ (ab) use, car is v reliable, but it's never long before you've got another job to attend to with it.
Main niggles are with keeping the engine in tune and general wear and tear with suspension - rear axle has been rebuilt; but the front suspension components seem to wear fairly quickly.
The enthusiast's magazines eulogise the car - and it really is that good.
There'll never be anything like it offered new again!
They're cheap to pick up, and, if you're reasonably careful, it's not difficult to find a good one.
Insurance is obviously an issue for some, but, otherwise, you just have to accept that it's going to require some maintenance. Parts are cheap though, and they're reasonably easy to work on. Plenty of decent specialists around as well.
To drive, it's just such a fun package. Torquey engine (3rd will pull all the way from 20mph to 90mph) ; so-so brakes; but the highlights are the (unassisted) steering and the handling.
Everyone says you'll be fired off the road backwards if you lift off whilst going too quickly - but you'd have to be an eejit to experience this.
For the most part, it's perfectly controllable and no where near as fearsome as some make out. You sometimes have to be quick when the roads are greasy, but, in the dry, it's just good fun.
I've had mine for 5 years and have covered 100k in it - it's unmodified (apart from a rude boy exhaust - I like a bit of noise!) and I use it for the daily commute, the occasional track day (the brakes fade v quickly), and also sprinting/hillclimbing.
I've tried the 206GTi180 and MiniCooperS (but not any of the Clios yet) - but the initial impressions were uninspiring.
If you're into cars and fancy some cheap fun, the 205 GTi has got to be one of the best ways of going about it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 2nd April, 2005