We’ve been trawling far and wide through the classifieds to try and find a varied range of interesting metal. Here’s what stood out to us.
Peugeot 205 GTi, £6995: Whether you’re Team Volkswagen or Team Peugeot, you’re bound to respect the pedigree carried by those famous three letters. The venerable nameplate first appeared in 1961 on the Maserati 3500 GTI, but it was Volkswagen that made GTI synonymous with mainstream performance hatchbacks after the Golf GTI hit the market in 1976. Peugeot followed suit, eventually, and released the 205 GTi in 1984 – and it was worth the wait.
The 205 GTi was a more than capable opponent for the Golf. Indeed, it arguably set the benchmark for its German counterpart and many enthusiasts still describe it as one of the greatest hot hatches of all time. Initial prices undercut the Golf significantly, too: the 205 GTi was over £1000 cheaper, launching at £6245.
Peugeot’s hot hatch charmed keen drivers with its combination of agile, engaging handling and an engine that rewarded exploration of the upper reaches of its rev range. The model was launched with a 105bhp, 99lb ft 1.6-litre engine, which doesn’t sound much today but the car weighed just 850kg so it felt lively enough.
A 1.9-litre version with 130bhp, disc brakes, softer suspension and longer gear ratios joined the 205 GTi range in 1986. This cut the 0-62mph sprint from 8.7sec to 7.8sec and raised the top speed to 127mph. The 1.6-litre was also uprated to 115bhp.
So which engine should you choose today? That’s a question petrolheads will continue to debate hotly for many years to come. Fans consider the 1.9 to be a more capable daily driver and prefer the model’s increased power and suitability for longer-distance drives, but the 1.6 is believed by many to offer the more authentic hot hatch driving experience on twisty B-roads thanks to its nimbler handling and higher-revving engine.