Peugeot and diesel go together like bread and butter.
The popularity of diesel in mainland Europe during the 70s and 80s meant the French manufacturer gained a strong reputation amongst those who filled from the black pump. Here Diesel Car selects its top 5 Peugeots.
Peugeot were riding the crest of a wave in the 90s and the 306 continued the good work began a decade before by the 205. Intended to succeed the legendary 205 it was designed by Pininfarina, meaning the 306 is great to look at, but it’s even better to drive, the 306 was a high water mark for small hatches of the time. Still great looking today, especially in three-door form.
No list of top Peugeots would be complete without the 205. Yes the GTi and T16 rally car might take all the glory but the 205’s diesel were equally as important. The little Peugeot was every bit as stylish as sportier models, just as much fun and all the more frugal. The 205 diesel used such little fuel that many owners didn’t even know how to put diesel into them – Peugeot claimed an impressive 72.4mpg for the 1.8 diesel.
Traditionally Peugeot gained a reputation for building big, comfort-focussed saloons and the 505 typifies that traditional Peugeot image. The 505 mixed strong, imposing styling with the kind of kit any 1980s executive would have demanded. And, in the case of the estate, huge load lugging capacity. A rare site these days.
The car that marked a return to form for Peugeot. When Peugeot unveiled the 308 RCZ concept in 2009 nobody beleived a production model would carry across those stunning looks. They were wrong. With drop-dead gorgeous styling and a punchy diesel power plant the RCZ turned heads for all the right reasons. In 2013 Peugeot did the impossible – they facelifted the RCZ and made it look even better. The best Peugeot of the last decade? Probably…
Look at the 405 alongside the 309 and 205 and you’ll realise just what good cars Peugeot were making in the 1980s and 1990s. While it went on to win the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in rally trim the road-going 405 has proved so popular it remains in production in Iran and Egypt, with over 2.5 million examples sold worldwide.