Peugeot 205 (1983 – 1994) Review

Peugeot 205 (1983 – 1994) At A Glance


+The most perfect practical design for a small car ever, diesels economical, GTis huge fun, no rust traps, last well

-Minimalist construction crumples in a crash

The Peugeot 205 was launched on 15 February 1983. The deux-cent-cinque was the latest in a long line of 2-series Peugeots, but what made this one so special was that it looked and felt right for its time, and was perfect for the buyers who grew out of their Renault 5s and into this.

The 205 was conceived to plug the gap between the 104 an the 305, and therefore was always going to be a little larger (3705mm) than the established supermini norm at the time, so epitomised by the Ford Fiesta (3648mm) and Renault 5 (3540mm). But it launched initially in five-door form, and just seemed that little but more mature, grown-up than the opposition. Style of course had something to do with the 205′s appeal, too.

It was originally known internally as Projet M24, and it had been in development since 1978. It was designed to use the existing Douvrin four-cylinder transmission-in-sump drivetrains as well as a number of new engines in development – and was planned to work well with petrol engines spanning 954-1580cc (the 1905cc GTI 1.9 would come later) and three diesel power units. The 205 was designed by a new in-house team led by Gérard Welter and its interior was done by Paul Bracq, whose family designs had strong brand identity. Peugeot also utilised the expertise of Pininfarina for the Cabriolet (and it’s probably from here, as well as because of its genuinely handsome styling, that the urban myth that the 205 range was styled by Pininfarina came from).

When it was launched, the 205 took a little time to gain momentum. Perhaps that’s why it failed to win the 1984 European Car of the Year award, coming a close second to the Fiat Uno.


Ask Honest John

What is my father's 1993 Peugeot 205 worth?

"My father needs to sell his 1993 Peugeot 205 automatic as he is no longer able to drive. It is in good condition with an MoT until Feb 20. What value could I expect and where would be the best place to sell it?"
Prices for the 205 GTI have gone stellar over the past five years and that has dragged values of the more humble models up a bit. Depending on the condition you're looking at about £500 to £1000.... maybe a bit more if it's FSH and in first-class condition. There is some appreciation of these glorious happy shoppers, but you might have to be patient if you want to sell it for more than a few hundred quid. As far as where to sell it, we'd recommend getting it in as many outlets as possible - try traditional classic print newspapers and magazines as well as websites. We've got some tips on selling a car here:
Answered by Keith Moody

Where can I get an original headlight for my Peugeot 205?

"I own a 1993 Peugeot 205. How do I find an OEM headlight online?"
Are you looking to replace your headlight? If so, try GSF or Eurocarparts for a replacement item - a new headlight unit is about £60. Alternatively, try the online auction sites like eBay or Club Peugeot ( if you're after a secondhand item.
Answered by Keith Moody

I want a bit of 1980s nostalgia - what do you suggest?

"I grew up in the 1980s in France and am now really keen to grab a piece of motoring nostalia from this era. I'd love a convertible ideally. I'm not a motoring expert at all, but probably can learn to do basic stuff. I've got a budget of up to £5K. Do you think it's realistic to find something matching my criteria? And what would you look for in terms of make/model. I've always loved the Peugeot Roland Garros convertible but not sure you can get it in the UK?"
Have a look at our roundup of usable (and affordable) convertibles from the 1980s and 1990s for inspiration ( If you'd like to use your car all year round, Citroen XMs (launched at the end of 1980s) are good value or you could go for a Peugeot 205 convertible (but watch for rust). There are few guidelines to follow when buying a car of this era. Although most were well rustproofed, the tinworm can still strike - especially if a car's been damaged in an accident. You'll also want to make sure that it's been well looked after so history is a must. Finally, try and find one that's been used - it's all well and good finding a timewarp low-mileage model but modern classics like these suffer from lack of use and their more complex mechanical components such as fuel injection can suffer, which will cause running and reliability issues. Go for something quirky and French and you'll come in well under budget - unless you go for a popular high-value model like a Citroen 2CV, Talbot Matra Rancho, Renault 5 Turbo, or Peugeot 205 GTi. You'll also enjoy the support of a great bunch of petrolheads via the club scene.
Answered by Keith Moody

How much is my Peugeot 205 CTI cabriolet with a dimma kit fitted worth?

"I have a Peugeot 205 CTI cabriolet with a dimma kit fitted. My husband started to restore but couldn't finish it. I don't know where to begin. Please could you advise. What is it worth? Is it worth restoring? How much will it cost to restore? Please help so I can make a decision."
I'm emailed my contact at a Peugeot club. These cars are quite rare, so he's in a better position to advise.The Peugeot Sports Club UK thinks there were only six original Peugeot CTI made Dimma back in the day - so if it's an original one (or has an genuine kit on) then it's very worth saving. To check authenticity, look for Dimma marks on the rear bumper behind numberplate. If it's a copy kit, then it sadly won't be worth very much. Club member Chris Hughes says, 'Value is very much dependent on condition - anything from £1000 to £25,000, depending if it's an original Dimma and if it's restored to original condition.' If you want to get in contact with the club, they're on Facebook ( and respond to messages quickly.
Answered by Keith Moody
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