14th Apr 2011, 13:50

The 205 GTi was the benchmark in the 80s. The 206 GTi 180 is a car for the 21st century.

14th Feb 2017, 20:58

You can pick a nice one of these cars up nowadays pretty cheap. I got a immaculate, well maintained 206 GTi 180, 52k miles, 2004 reg in that sexy blue colour for £900, plus my 01 VTR which was falling apart.

For the performance you get and the extras like air con, auto lights, rain sensing wipers, electric folding mirrors, good looks even today, awesome seats, and great handling, I feel it was a bargain... Importantly mine has been very reliable and only needed the expected maintenance for a car of this age.

A Clio 172 or 182 I considered, but they don't come close on looks inside or out, and only an extra half a sec more acceleration or so on paper. I would defo go for the 192 Clio (08 reg or so) though.

Downside is tyres wear fast and aren't cheap for decent ones, exhaust systems can be pricey, cam belt is a pain in the ass to change, higher insurance and tax, and it's thirsty if you give it a lot of pasty, but these aren't things that put people off who like a bit of fun in their cars. The ride can be quite harsh too, but guess that's the trade off for the better handling from the suspension setup.

Either way, I have plenty fun in it and people often comment on how nice it looks, how nice the seats are, how it moves etc. Most people have no clue what a GTI is, but when people get a lift in it, they know it's not just a standard boring car.

OH! Now as these cars are so cheap, the chances of a previous owner being an idiot who has thrashed and abused it, and not giving it proper car care, are much higher, so make sure to check over every inch of the car, and it's better if there's plenty of garage repair/service receipts for it.