2004 Peugeot 206 GTI 180 2.0 from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

It's french. Love it or hate it. A fun drive, once you get used to it

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong with the car. Touch wood. I bought it a couple of months ago with 80k on the clock.

There is a weird readout from the fuel gauge. The gauge drops the 1st 1/4 of the tank really fast. No fuel leak, I still get good economy. But other than that, it's been very reliable and tidy.

The only thing is I had to replace the headlights, which couldn't have been easier.

General Comments:

It's a French car, so it's going to have character, and you're going to either love it or hate it. The build looks a little cheap, but my 206 really does hold together well under pressure, it feels solid. The seats are great, very comfy, but the ride itself is quite firm. You notice the bumps on the road a lot.

The engine & gearbox combo are a bit to get used to. It drives around the city like a normal car, but then if you have the room and hold the gears out, it gets fun. The ratio is so short, it really needs a 6th gear for highway driving. And the engine only takes off after 4.5 - 5.0rpm. You really have to push it to get the benefits, where as other cars give you peak power a lot earlier. It redlines at 7.5rpm so you get the picture. It's really like 2 cars in one. So yes, it goes fast, but with not without a lot of fuss and noise.

The handling is the cars strong point. It really grips the road. You point it and it follows without fault. I have giving it a bit of push, but its hard in Sydney traffic. It's getting crowded. Unfortunately it's not much of a people mover though. There's enough room for 4 people with legroom (for a small car), but the firm ride makes no compromise for the passengers. As a driver, I get the steering wheel to hold on to, but the passengers simply have to use their core muscles. It can be a bit of hard work to be the passenger.

But I love it, it handles great, and when pushed, goes like a rocket. It might not be the quickest 1100kg sports car out there, but once you get used to it, it sure is fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd November, 2010

18th Jan 2014, 20:52

Hello.

I live in Sydney and am contemplating purchasing a 206 GTI - has your 206 been reliable, or have you found it typical of many European cars, and expensive to run and service? Where do you get your car serviced, and can you share your thoughts/opinion on your 206 with me?

Many thanks!

2004 Peugeot 206 GTi 2.0 naturally aspirated from South Africa

Summary:

Great pocket rocket, but robbed of the voom voom due to low kilowatts

Faults:

It used to display a "anti-pollution fault" notification on the LCD.

It is very noisy inside, especially on uneven roads in some places here in south Africa. I just cannot point out the cause of the noise with precision, but I always get someone to travel with me, that way it is less noisy, I guess because of the weight being exerted on the passenger seat by my passenger.

I had a problem with the battery last week. When I tried to start it, it took some time to start, and when it did finally start, it displayed "ESP/ASR not functioning" or "Passenger Airbag fault".

General Comments:

The car has appealing designs outside, especially those air intakes on the bonnet. They look real cool.

The metallic alloy fuel cap is a classic touch indeed, it adds a sporty look to the car.

However, I feel the mirrors should have been chrome-coloured. That way the flagship would be differentiated from its normal siblings.

The acoustic emitting from the oval performance exhaust is appetising, especially with the rear and front windows opened. It gives such a sound that you just want to floor the pedal and ignore the fuel consumption.

Talking of fuel consumption, the 2 litre machine really consumes fuel. I'd advise drivers not to overly indulge in robot-to-robot racing. I know it is always tempting driving this kind of vehicle. You can easily exceed the 8.3 litres per 100 KM figures claimed by the manufacturer.

It is a Gran Turismo Injection (GTi for those wondering), so I know hot hatch fanatics want to hear about the performance. Nothing fancy at 100KW, 190 NM of torque and a top speed of 210 KM/H. However considering the weight quoted at 1050KG, the car suddenly has a good power to weight ratio. That translates into 8.4 seconds from stand still to 100 KM/H, and depending on who is the driver, I think better figures than this can be achieved.

The long throw gear lever is a disappointment for me. I think a short throw and more direct gear lever would go a long way in enhancing the 0-100 KM/H aspect of the car. That the car hosts a 5 speed gear box is also not good news to the enthusiasts out there.

Stretching this "big little french machine"'s legs also has an impact on your tyres. It just loves screeching tyres. In after work moderate moving traffic, I usually drive with gear 3. If I want to show off, overtaking is not a problem, I just revert to gear 2 and flatten the pedal. The sudden powerful exhaust sound, screeching tyres and power delivery amazes all around. Within a second I'll be in front of the car I wanted to overtake.

Besides the impressive overtaking, you just have to admire the road grip and maneuverability of the car. The steering is pin point and puts the car where you want it within the time you want. A lot of this owes to the small size of the car. Thus, you can easily squeeze it into small spaces in traffic in a flash.

In long distance trips, I just feel that the fun is no longer there because there are speed cameras everywhere. So as a law abiding citizen, I just find myself always driving 120 KM/H as required. But when I get a chance to drive where there are no cameras, the performance is amazing, the overtaking impressive, and the roadgrip marvellous. Just be sure to always keep your eyes on the speedometer, lest you find yourself driving at 210KM/H without knowing it.

Overall, an impressive little car. but in today's world of the ST, S3 Megane RS LTD, Cupra, MPS, OPC, GTC etc, all which are turbo charged, the space for 2.0 naturally aspired hatches in the hot hatch scene is gradually becoming extinct. But if Peugeot want to be a force to be reckoned with in the hot hatch scene, they'll produce a 2.0 turbocharged hatch with a targeted power out put of at least 150 KW. Till then, this GTi will be recognised as such by those driving standard hatches.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th February, 2010