1986 Peugeot 505 turbo diesel from North America
These cars take a little effort, but they are well worth it.
Mostly just the regular maintenance things, like alternator, motor mounts, and the driver's seat wearing out. The electrical is a bit of a mess; the tachometer, gas gage, radio (I think whoever installed the radio messed up everything previously mentioned), the cruise control, some of the blinkers (sometimes) and brake lights, the heater only works on high (but it really works then), the AC is taken out and the belt is removed, the power steering belt is removed (the p/s unit has a substantial leak) -- all of these things are currently wrong with it (save the alternator and mounts and maintenance, which I have replaced and kept up on religiously). None of them bother me enough to fix.
This car is pretty awesome. You have to be comfortable with the "accessories" (everything but the drive train) not working all the time, or with problem solving the ones that need to be, or the ones you want fixed. The existing manuals for this car suck. I was brought up on old VW's so checking the oil and learning to listen to the engine to check out how it is running (ie. valves, different rattles and ticks, and feeling out the shifting) are all second nature to me. If you want a car that you don't have to pay attention to, you better buy one of those new BMW diesel's. If you want a well made classic for not too much money, this is for you. A fellow enthusiast just reported his rolling over 400,000 on the original engine (with no rebuild). I only wish more were manuals (both transmissions, and how to types). These make great biodiesel cars, but once again pay attention to the seals, fuel filter (it takes a allen wrench, incidentally, to take the fuel filter off), and fuel lines. They won't necessarily need replacing (the filter will), but they might. Gasoline versions of this car are idiotic, and I think are really only around for replacement interior parts, and to steal the manual transmissions off of to put into the sacred diesels. I don't know about the cloth interior, but my leather interior has held up amazingly well. Parts are difficult to find. I have my sources, and I'm sure with a little effort other people could secure their own. Help save the world with biodiesel (not made from virgin soybeans though!), and buy one of these cars. The station wagon is prettier than the Mercedes, and cheaper.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 19th March, 2008
I can embarrassingly say that I have owned 2 of these vehicles. I don't know why I bought the second considering I had nothing but trouble with the first, but I think I admired the comfort of the ride that coerced me to buy the second.
I have to admit each one of them were being repaired more than they were on the road. From the air conditioning to the brakes and even transmission on one of them. Not only did they break down often, NOBODY knew how to work on them, and when I finally did find a shop, it was outrageously expensive for every little thing.
I would never recommend one of these vehicles, but I don't think there are any still on the road.
Just picked up an 85 diesel STI, just barely broken in with 130k and a 3 speed auto. This is my 6th Pug. The V6's were/are a nightmare the 4's gas or diesel always treated me just fine. I do have a mechanic with a 3 car garage full of parts that makes life a little easier. Two of them went to my daughters for a first car in high school; one a 504 diesel wagon did hold 17 of her best friends once on the way to a football game (admitted to years later).
The cars have phenomenal suspension and steering touch. The STI has a little stiffer suspension than the GL and with the alum rims corners on rails. The seats are legendary, this one leather and true wrap around buckets. Drivers 6 way adjustable. Not bad for the mid 80's.
I'm happy to have number six in the garage, and after a few months working out the kinks from the super senior prior owners and blowing the carbon out of the turbo, I'd be happy to cruise the old girl just about anywhere.
27 mpg around town.