As a small car, the 205 had plenty to go for it; it offered a reasonable amount of interior room, decent trunk space and was actually a nice-looking car. With the introduction of the 1984 Peugeot 205 GTI, everything took on another aspect, as the strengths inherent to the 205 came to the fore, namely its incredible chassis. It turns out that with a properly tuned suspension (and on the GTI, it was), the 205 was actually a very capable car, with superb handling and grip. This is what in great part explains the models’ longevity, as it was in production for over 10 years, and even after cancelling it in 1994, had to bring it back a few years later, by popular demand!
Under the hood, the 205 GTI was equipped with a powerful 1.9-liter inline four-cylinder engine, that developed 130 horsepower. This put the GTI right there among contenders for the title of top hot hatch; it could reach a top speed of 125 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in less than 9 seconds, with awesome pickup. Truth be told, the chassis was so good, that even the stock 1.1-liter and the 1.9 diesel were fun to drive!
The car, of course, had its faults, and most of them were in the area of creature comfort. Overall, the GTI felt a bit ‘raw’, and its interior appointment seemed flimsy, to say the least. No one bought the 1984 Peugeot 205 GTI for its comfort, however, so its reputation was intact for those for whom it mattered.