1983 Peugeot 505 STI 2.2L 4 cylinder from North America
Legendary reliability lives on! (2018)
Since I've owned it, the only things that have broken are the tube around the sunroof cable, and the A/C belt. I've also replaced a wheel bearing.
Existing issues are mostly with the interior due to sitting for several years before my ownership. The stitching on the seats is very brittle, there's cracks in the dash, the rear windows are seized, and there's a couple of spots pulling up in the (seemingly tweed) carpet from shrinkage.
It currently needs new tie-rod ends (dry rotted boots), and it leaks a small amount of oil when running.
I've adored the look of the 505s ever since I was a kid, and as a 23 year old car enthusiast (particularly of Volvos and Saabs) with 25 previous cars of experience, I can say without the slightest bit of doubt that at 35 years old, this is THE single oldest, reliable, and the most unique car I have EVER owned!
I bought it cheap after watching it sit for 4 over years, and other than some typical maintenance (plugs, wheel bearing, battery), and topping off some fluids, it's proven itself to be just as reliable as the day it rolled off the assembly line.
It runs great, drives straight as a bullet, and raises questions more than any other car on the road! The body is pristine, the drive is quiet, upholstery wear is minimal, and the completely stock 35 year old "Professional Series" stereo is still fully functional, and though it lacks a bit in bass, it surpasses most newer vehicles in terms of clarity and separation. The 3spd auto transmission isn't the fastest, or most fuel efficient on the highway, but what it lacks, it more than makes up for in power; I can drive through the Adirondacks without ever downshifting from 3rd gear!
I've taken multiple trips across the state with it, and with new tie-rod ends and tires, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to drive across the country! The parts for it may be a bit hard to find, but fortunately, you'll rarely have to replace anything. This car is comparable in its wonderful ride and tank-like reliability to Mercedes and Volvo models of the era... while also retaining the ability to make their owners drool upon sight!
This is the perfect car for someone looking for their first classic, and from my experience, an excellent backup car for when your daily driver breaks down (I've seen 505s as dailys with over 500,000 miles). Keep in mind - the prices will only go up from here, so get while the gettin's good!
My only real complaint is that you have to special-order oil filters, so don't expect to take it anywhere to get your oil changed in a hurry. For this specific engine, order the NAPA 1340 oil filter... it's the only shop I can find here in NY that can get one quickly.
I would happily recommend this car to anyone, and I really hope this review helps future Peugeot owners. Be sure to comment with how your experience goes, I'll be periodically checking in on this post!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th October, 2018
29th Oct 2018, 15:38
Peugeots from that era, including the one I once owned, had some qualities, but "legendary reliability" was definitely not one of them. Their rarity in the US used car market now is certainly understandable, considering their low sales volume even when they were still available new (nearly 30 years ago). Difficulty finding parts/service in the present would seem to limit the appeal, of the few still available, to Pug fanatics.
Like the reviewer.