Peugeot is the hot hatch car maker. No other automotive brand more consistently delivers small, sporty cars that are so amazing to drive. From the original Peugeot 205 T16 to the sleeper Peugeot 405 Mi16, this is our list of our favorite Peugeot road cars.
Peugeot 205 T16
The original hot hatch and one of the most iconic Group B rally specials. This mid-engined, turbocharged, all wheel drive 205 T16 is the most extreme road car Peugeot guys has ever made. Acceleration was 0-60 mph in 6 seconds. There were only 200 road cars ever made.
Peugeot 205 GTI
Many people believe the 205 GTI is the greatest small hatch of all time. With the 128hp 1.9 liter engine (the original has 113hp 1.6 liter), it was hugely popular. Lightweight, agile and brimming with feedback, this dynamic hot hatch captivated everybody.
The thing that stands out with the 205 GTI is the way it drove. Direct steering, strong performance and a sports car chassis, it just “felt right”, engaging drivers in every part of the driving experience. The benchmark hot hatch even till today.
Peugeot 106 Rallye
Magic. That’s how we would describe the brilliant 106 Rallye. With a 100hp 1.3 liter engine and ~1,500 pound curb weight it was punchy and fun. A rock solid chassis and awesome damping with a playful back end and you had a car that delivered big smiles in a small package. This is the car to have on a quiet, tight, back road on a Sunday morning.
Peugeot 306 Rallye
Take a standard 306 GTI and take out all the stuff that makes life comfortable. Add a 167hp 2 liter engine that is built to get the most out of the amazing chassis and you have a legend. With lots of mid-range torque and a rev-happy top end and this is the car you can really drive at 9/10s all the time and not be disappointed. Great fun.
Peugeot 208 Gti Sport
This was the 30th anniversary special and boy was it special (and rare). With only 100 units made, the Peugeot Sport got more power and more torque, shorter gear ratios, a stiffer and lowered chassis, bigger brakes and stickier tires. We loved all the enhancements. A true hot hatch.
Peugeot RCZ R
A reworked 1.6 liter made this car special. Enhancements included a stronger block, better turbocharger, new exhaust manifolds and forged pistons and it all worked amazingly well, resulting in 266hp and 243 lb/ft. Add a lower and stiffer suspension with a Torsen limited-slip diff and the base car was transformed into a genuine sports car capable of competing with the big boys.
Peugeot 205 Rallye
This is the original Rallye. The funny thing about this car is that it had the same power as the base car, yet had much better performance. The key was removing a sh-t load of weight. Trim, interior sound proofing, radio – all gone. The result was a 794 kg car that was like driving a go-cart. We wish cars like this were made today. Sigh.
Peugeot 405 Mi16
Ok, so this isn’t a hot hatch. Powered by a 1.9 liter 160hp engine, the 405 was a real technological benchmark in its day. It was also a sleeper, with no outward trinkets to let people know it was a serious sports car. As always, this car shines on back roads with its direct steering and amazing balance all complemented by accessible performance levels that won’t kill you.