We’ve become accustomed to some of Peugeot’s greatest hits commanding serious money now. The 205 GTI has been out of reach for most of French hot hatch lovers for yonks, and even the lesser-loved models such as the 205 XS are now starting to creep up in value. So if you wanted a slice of a lightweight, front-wheel drive Pug but couldn’t stretch to a 205, then the 106 was your next best bet. Well, it used to be.
Acting as the spiritual successor to the 205 GTI, the 106 GTI absolutely nailed the fun French hot hatch formula. Peugeot managed to shoehorn a rorty 1.6-litre, dual overhead cam 16-valve four-pot under the bonnet, sending 120hp to the front wheels. It was coupled up with a snappy five-speed manual ‘box, giving you the sense you were going a lot faster than you actually were. And with speed cameras now littering most roads in the UK, isn’t that all you really need from a hot hatch today?
Peel back the skin and you’ll find MacPherson struts for the front suspension, plus anti-roll bars at either end of the vehicle. And just look at the thing. Plastic bumpers aside, the bolt-on wheel arches give it some muscle, while the boot spoiler compliments the boxy rear end perfectly. The wheels? 14-inches, and yet the 106’s tiny footprint means they look nicely out of proportion. But the important bit is this: it only weighed 950kg, not a whole lot more than its 205 predecessor. Of course, that’s mostly down to today’s cars being considerably safer than the 106, but you certainly get the point…
It would also turn out to be one of Peugeot’s last brilliant hot hatches for well over a decade. The 206 GTI wasn't fit to clean the Renaultsport Clio 172's back bumper, and while they make an extremely cheap buy on the used market, there's a good reason for that. The same can be said for the 207 GTI, which again was left wanting on the performance side. Yes, the 208 GTI was a return to form and is still considered a brilliant and (relatively) cheap hot hatch, but the days of sub-1,000kg GTIs are long gone and, therefore, values are rising ever higher.
It wasn’t that long ago when the 106 GTI was dirt cheap. In fact, a completely stock (albeit very leggy) version made Shed of the Week back in 2014, while tidy examples could be found for a few grand. Now, though, you can expect to pay five figures for one, although at least you get a very clean example in the process. This GTI has only covered 42,000 miles over the past 24 years, and boasts a full service history as well as a folder brimming with receipts. Doesn’t look half bad in metallic red, either.
Does that make the £10,995 asking price a little more bearable? Probably not, but bear in mind that you’ll still fork out even more for a clean Rallye version. That, and it’s the fact that it’s the last of its kind. A properly quick and nimble hot hatch the likes of which we’ll never see again. Happy Monday, everyone.
SPECIFICATION | PEUGEOT 106 GTI
Engine: 1,587cc four-cylinder
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 120@6,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 107@5,200
Year registered: 1998
Recorded mileage: 42,000
Price new: £12,835
Yours for: £10,995
1 / 5