SOTW: Peugeot 106 GTI


Once upon a time there was a carmaker in France called Peugeot and they made really good fast cars. They don’t do that anymore, they make small heavy cars with Star Trek doors that no one will buy. But many years ago people who were more interested in cars than their hair used to go to their dealerships and buy hatchbacks with illustrious names like 205 GTI and 306 GTI. So confident of its cars’ sporting credentials was Peugeot that it even called them ‘Rallye’ sometimes and it wasn’t even a joke.

But those days are sadly gone and all we have to remember these happy times are the memories of half-leather seats and dodgy graphics. That and cars like the 106 GTI. It is very small but very, very good. Google it and you will find terms like ‘best handling small car ever made’, ‘better handling than any supercar’ (steady on), ‘excellent handling’. You get the picture – this car could go round a corner. I don’t care if it is made of tin foil and my head would stick out the sunroof, the 106 GTI it is one of those cars you just have to drive.

It had a 120bhp 1.6-litre 16-valve engine that was enough to give the 950kg Pug 128bhp/ton. The interior was made of recycled Evian bottles but that didn’t matter because it drove brilliantly. As Evo once put it: ‘The car is so focussed it’s almost on fire.’ It was hardcore, hyperactive and supplied so much lift-off oversteer that you’d think it was rear-drive.


The 106 GTI took on and beat pretty much every new hot hatch even when it was past its sell-by date. Not long ago these couldn’t be had for less than a few thousand pounds but recently they have dipped into Shed territory. It doesn’t even seem that long ago when they were making them new and Peugeot managed to do a good job of keeping the age-old 106 design looking fresh.

The one we found here on Autotrader is a 1998 and has 110,000 miles on the clock. There’s not much info about it and the pictures have been taken using a mobile phone wrapped in cling-film but who cares? I would love to have this car in my drive. Just a shame it hasn’t got sliding doors.

Ad says: '1998 PEUGEOT 106 1.6 16V GTi 3dr Hatchback, 110,000 miles, 3 door hatchback, blue, petrol, manual. £999 ono.'

Comments (130) Join the discussion on the forum

  • georgel 30 Oct 2008

    The dampers are the same part number.
    The rev limits are the same 7200rpm soft 7400rpm hard cut.
    The gearboxes are the same
    Saxo VTS/106 GTi:
    CC12
    CCA2
    CD08
    CD46
    CDD6
    CN03
    CNK3
    CP29

  • savvas 27 Sep 2008

    999pounds=how many euros?smile

  • savvas 27 Sep 2008

    hi mate i afford 2k euros and i want buy this awesome peugeot...email me..for etc...smile

  • Shropshiremike 15 Aug 2008

    CampDavid said:
    Shropshiremike said:
    Peugeot Pete said:
    The GTi and VTS have the same ratio's and same final drive afaik.
    Were on the early ones at least - Saxo also went through at least 3 different types of ECU, Bosch initially, Magneti-Marelli and Sagem depending on point of production.
    The higher rev limit on the ECU of the Pug accounted for the speed differences initially. VTS didn't go onto 195/45x15s until about T-reg - both cars came out on 185/55x14s at launch - Peugeot with P700-Zs and VTS on Michelin Pilot SX GTs
    Boxes are the exact same, only major difference is a thicker ARB and 14" wheels on the GTI

    Very few ever came with the Bosch unit, I've never worked on one.
    Soem of the early ones did David, a friend's got fried and that's when we found out about the different types! smile

    I think Peugeot did the fine tuning on their dampers for the 106 in house as well

  • CampDavid 15 Aug 2008

    Shropshiremike said:
    Peugeot Pete said:
    The GTi and VTS have the same ratio's and same final drive afaik.
    Were on the early ones at least - Saxo also went through at least 3 different types of ECU, Bosch initially, Magneti-Marelli and Sagem depending on point of production.
    The higher rev limit on the ECU of the Pug accounted for the speed differences initially. VTS didn't go onto 195/45x15s until about T-reg - both cars came out on 185/55x14s at launch - Peugeot with P700-Zs and VTS on Michelin Pilot SX GTs
    Boxes are the exact same, only major difference is a thicker ARB and 14" wheels on the GTI

    Very few ever came with the Bosch unit, I've never worked on one.

    The "single plug" Mag Marelli followed near enough as production started and is a hard basic ECU. It controlled the fuel and air mix, when the cylinders needed a spark and that was about it. It worked, which is really what you want from an ECU

    Sadly, Mr Single Plug died in 2001 and was replaced by Mr three plug. Mr 3 Plug is very cleaver and can manage the rear brake distribution (fropm 2002) and everything. Sadly, whenever he finds a fault with one of his 2000 sensors it all becomes too much for him and he uses the coil pack driver to electricute himself.

    How do I know all this about the 3 plug? Because the fking thing has lunched itself 3 times now.

    Other faults include diff bearings in the gearbox which die quite easily and the rear beam radius arm bearings are a bit pap, but to be honest, elecrtics aside on later ones, they are a very, very solid little car.

    The engine is insanely strong at the bottom end, so big power can be had, but to be honest they are sweet as standard and a great tool to learn Europes favourite tole road in

View all comments in the forums Make a comment