When we ran a poll on Twitter (or ‘X’, if you insist), Ti’s followers voted the Peugeot 205 GTI the greatest hot hatchback of all time. The 205’s legend is such that every high-achieving hot hatch since 1994 seems to live in its shadow. Perhaps every Peugeot since then, too.
It’s all been said before, of course, but the 205 GTI’s landmark status shouldn’t be overlooked. In 1988, Car magazine (then edited by Ti contributor, Gavin Green) pitched one against a Lotus Esprit Turbo, driving them both 5000 miles in a week. You can guess which car came out on top.
In recent years, the 208 GTI and RCZ R coupe have recaptured some of that magic, while the clunkily named Peugeot 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered combines performance with plug-in hybrid efficiency. You’ll find Dan Prosser’s review below.
We’re hoping to see more from the Peugeot Sport Engineered sub-brand in future, including more hot hatchbacks. If not, there’s always the restomod 205 GTI Tolman Edition, which Stephen Dobie compares with the original car here. A perfected 205 GTI? Many would argue Peugeot did that job to start with.