Peugeot 106 Hatchback 1996 - 2003

Peugeot 106 Hatchback 1996 - 2003

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • A quick little car, especially with the larger engines
  • Cheap as chips
  • Good handling

Cons:

  • Very crammed and uncomfortable
  • Lack of safety features

Overview

The Peugeot 106 Hatchback was a very popular and cheap car during the 90s. It was always intended as a basic car for budget buyers and Peugeot never put a lot of emphasis on refinement. Their aim was to establish inexpensive, mass produced vehicles that everyone could afford. The car was based on Peugeot's daughter-company's Citroen AX and compared to the latter it was a huge improvement both visually and in the level of comfort and usability. Later, the favour was returned and the 106 was redesigned and re-badged into Citroen Saxo.

Exterior and Interior

It's not a bad looking car for its age. The 106 is a typical Peugeot offering enough aesthetics and design flair, especially after the 1999 facelift. There's very little substance to the car ‐ it only weighs 1740lb and although it gives the car an excellent dynamic character its safety level is rather low by today's standards. There's nothing exciting about the exterior. Very basic and cheap materials have been used. The build quality is reasonable, but eventually something will start to rattle. That's almost inevitable with a Peugeot. This is not a car for tall people and space is limited both at the front and rear. Drivers with longer legs will struggle with the pedals and the lower edge of the dashboard. The minimalist theme continues into the boot, 215 litres of luggage space is hardly enough. Luckily, the rear seats can be partly folded increasing the boot space to 530 litres.

Performance and Economy

The smallest 1.1-litre engine is characterless, although it is powerful enough for a car that weighs less than a ton. One step up, the 1.4-litre makes the car feel exciting. You'll be surprised about the acceleration and agility. That's why many young people choose the 106s and Saxos as their first tuning projects. Top of the range, the 1.6-litre GTI transforms the placid city car in a little monster. It will reach 127mph if you are brave enough and will travel from 0-60mph in 8 seconds, a great result for a car that can be bought for less than £1000. The GTI is quite a noisy car and it is not very efficient. The best choice, probably, is one of the 1.4-litre versions that can achieve a respectable 35mpg. The 1.5-litre diesel is a great choice for people who're looking to continue saving money after buying the little Peugeot. With 57bhp it might be short on the power but 54mpg is great news for your purse. Don't attempt racing away from traffic-lights with the diesel 106, it will take 18.5 seconds to reach 60mph. The 106 is one of the cheapest cars to insure, they start at just group 7. The GTI, however, is placed in group 25.

Like to Drive

A tiny and light car with relatively powerful engines is a good recipe for enjoyment. You won't be disappointed, especially with the 1.4 or 1.6-litre petrol engines. The diesels are rather characterless but, on a plus side, very economical. This is definitely a car for people of average height. Make sure you can properly fit in the driving seat, otherwise handling the car can become a challenge. The responsive acceleration pedal comes with a keen steering system so there's a lot of fun to be had in this car, both in the city and on a highway.

Faults and Repairs

It is a very practical car and not a lot can go wrong. The engines go smoky and noisy with age, but if you maintain the oil and filter changes and make sure the timing belt is changed at the required intervals, the car is going to last a long time. The repair bills are likely to be low and the 106 can be fixed in almost any garage and spare parts will not be hard to find or cost much.