Peugeot 206 Review

The Peugeot 206 is a small hatchback sold between 1998 and 2009

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Out of 5


  • Attractive styling
  • Fun to drive
  • Economical diesel engines


  • Low build quality
  • Not the roomiest interior
  • Awkward driving position
Model review

Peugeot has a stunning history of producing excellent small cars, and it’s the 205 that’s one of its most memorable. Famed for the GTI hot hatch versions, which are now impressively valuable, the 205 was a massive success, and was discontinued in the UK by 1996. 

While Peugeot hadn’t originally planned on directly replacing the 205 – it hoped the smaller 106 and larger 306 would do the job nicely – the French firm soon realised a model in the class was needed. The result was the 206, which was launched in the UK in 1998. 

Bringing a far more modern design inside and out, the 206 arrived as a three- and five-door hatchback, though the range would soon grow to include an SW estate version and CC convertible. Interestingly, this Peugeot was even manufactured in the UK at a factory in Coventry, which was closed in late 2006. 

Latest model

Peugeot chopped and changed the 206 range quite noticeably over the years, with the engine line-up regularly being revised, with the most noteworthy versions introduced being the 206 GTI hot hatchback. 

A 2003 facelift saw new lights being introduced, along with a smarter honeycomb grille at the front. Though Peugeot would officially replace it with the 207 in 2006, the 206 would continue to be sold after this in just a single entry-level ‘Look’ trim level, designed to offer affordability. Despite this, production of the Peugeot 206 would actually continue under licence in Iran all the way up to 2021. 

Value for money

Key to the appeal of the Peugeot 206 when it was new was its low pricing, and with models available from around £8,000 at the time, it proved to be an accessible choice for many. Though entry-level versions aren’t dripping in equipment, all models get an audio display and electric windows, with air conditioning included from mid-range models upwards. 

But if you want a used runabout on a budget – or a first car – there’s plenty of appeal to a used Peugeot 206. Though these cars might be getting on now in terms of age, if you’re not fussed about that, a good, usable example can be picked up for as little as £1,000, and you won’t need to spend much for a really well-looked after and serviced car.

Looks and image

Looks and image

The Peugeot 206 might not be the newest supermini on the market, but its design has aged quite well, with its sleek, bubble-like shape meaning it doesn’t look like the 25-year-old model that it nearly is. Look out for examples with alloy wheels and front fog lights if you want something that comes with a bit more street cred. 

However, the interior of the 206 certainly hasn’t aged as well, with the hard and scratchy plastics and cheap design being very reminiscent of small cars at the time. That said, the layout and controls are neat, and also easy to use on the move. But one of this Peugeot’s main weaknesses is its driving position, which can make it hard for some to get comfortable. It’s certainly worth having a test drive, as the close pedals and lack of steering wheel adjustability don’t suit all. 

If you can live with the driving position, though, the Peugeot 206 is actually quite accomplished to drive. Light steering makes it nimble around town, while it handles well, if not quite so well as a Ford Fiesta of the same year. Comfortable suspension and a slick gear change on manual versions mean it’s a very pleasant steer, though. 

Space and practicality

The 206 itself isn’t one of the roomiest cars in this segment in hatchback form, with a relatively small interior and a 237-litre boot. Interior storage is also quite limited, though it fulfils most of the requirements needed for a small car. 

If you need more space, you can also take a look at the 206 SW estate model, which gets a noticeably bigger boot and more practical shape, and is an ideal option for those wanting additional room without the dimensions of a large model. 


A great range of petrol and diesel engines were available in the 206, with something to suit plenty of buyers. First drivers are best-served with the entry-level 60bhp 1.1-litre petrol, though a 1.4-litre petrol is the pick of the range, and comes with outputs of 75bhp or 90bhp. A 110bhp 1.6-litre petrol heads up the top of the 206 range, and also comes with the choice of an automatic gearbox. 

If you fancy a diesel, a sluggish 70bhp 1.4-litre kicks off the range, followed by a 90bhp 2.0-litre engine. 

You could also take a look at the 206 GTI. Predominantly these are powered by petrol, and use a 2.0-litre unit putting out either 137bhp or 180bhp in top form, with the latter able to get from 0-60mph in just 7.5 seconds. You could get the GTI’s sporty styling with a more efficient 1.6-litre turbodiesel, too. 

Running costs

Where running costs are concerned, your best option is to take a look at a 206 with a diesel engine under the bonnet. The 1.4-litre HDI is the most efficient of the lot, returning up to an impressive 64mpg and 116g/km CO2 emissions, meaning it could be very frugal to run. 

Insurance groups are also low, particularly for the 1.1-litre petrol, which sits in just group five – making it an ideal choice for new drivers. Annual road tax will cost between £30 and £295, with petrol GTI models being the most expensive in this area. 

Things to look out for

While Peugeot might not have the best reliability reputation, the 206 has proven to be a largely dependable choice. When things do go wrong, they tend to be small niggles, which are generally quite cheap to fix. 

Interior quality is a weak point, so make sure no trim is damaged or missing, while ensuring the air con or fan works too. The central locking is also prone to failing, so make sure this works as well. With the 206’s age, there will likely be small issues with most cars you view, so it’s worth taking someone you trust mechanically with you when viewing or test driving an example. 


The Peugeot 206 has no shortage of rivals, with key competitors coming in the way of the best-selling Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. You should also have a look at a Renault Clio, while the excellent reliability reputation of the Toyota Yaris makes it a great used buy. 


As the Peugeot 206 hasn’t been sold in well over a decade in the UK, depreciation isn’t something you’ll need to worry about. Buy a well-priced example and look after it, and you’re unlikely to lose much money. 

Trims explained

Peugeot offered a huge range of trim levels on the 206 during its 11-year run, but here we’re focusing on the later and more popular versions available on the used market.

Look –

Equipment on the Peugeot 206 isn’t the most generous, though versions come with a driver’s airbag, folding rear seats, electric front windows and remote locking. An audio system is also included, along with power assisted steering and a space saver spare wheel.

From £800 (used)

Verve –

Mid-range Verve models bring air conditioning, a CD player and front fog lights. You also get sports seats and alloy wheels.

From £1,300 (used)

Sport –

Sport models bring useful electric and heated mirrors, more stylish alloy wheels, a height adjustable driver's seat and Isofix child seat anchor points.

From £1,000 (used)


Top-spec GTI models bring additional performance, though other features include revised alloy wheels, a CD multichanger, climate control and part leather seats.

From £2,000 (used)


  1. Small supermini sold between 1998 and 2009
  2. Smart design
  3. Low interior quality
  4. Driving position is a particular low point
  5. Great range of petrol and diesel engines
  6. Sporty GTI version available for those wanting something sportier
  7. Good to drive, seating position aside
  8. Estate version available for those needing more space
  9. Great range of trim levels
  10. Low prices make the 206 a cheap, affordable runabout

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