Rare Rides: A 1997 Peugeot 106 GTI From Our Canadian Neighbours

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

As we all know, our neighbors to the north keep things warm and tropical. Additionally, they have less government, and fewer regulations. This lack of regulation is what makes today’s Peugeot possible.

It’s a very tidy 106 GTI, from 1997.

Though the United States holds a vice-like grip on the importation of cars from other countries if they’re less than 25 years old, Canada sees fit to allow such importation after just 15 years. The seller reports the car was native to Japan, and he became inspired to seek out a 106 after seeing a Jeremy Clarkson review from 1999. I couldn’t find said video on the YouTube, so we’ll just take his word for it.

The car we have here is a second-generation 106, a revision to the first generation that debuted in the early 1990s. Peugeot needed a subcompact vehicle to fit in the lineup underneath the massively successful (and aging) 205 hatchback. Its prior entry here was the 104, which was a bit ye olde worlde by the time it ended its 17-year run (1972 to 1988).

In 1991 the 106 was ready. Though smaller than the 205, the hatchback was based on the same platform. Three- and five-door versions were available, and Peugeot experienced quick success with its new small entry. Updates in styling and safety arrived for the 1996 model year (known as Phase II), which would carry the 106 through the rest of its days, all the way to 2003.

Meanwhile, the 205 soldiered on above the 106, carrying the torch for Peugeot’s sporty hatchback offerings between 1983 and 1998. The sportiest version of the 205 was always the GTI — but that variant went away after the 1994 model year. 106, time to step it up.

Peugeot launched the 106 in GTI guise for 1996, featuring a 1.6-liter engine that was the largest of the range (gasoline engines started at just 1 liter in displacement).

Sporting special exterior details, unique wheels, festive Euro-chic 90s interior trim, and a manual transmission, the hot hatch also provided great handling. The 106 was a standout in its class: European motoring shows (from what I can find) seem to be in agreement that it was a great little car.

This one was well maintained by its owner, and listed recently on the Ontario Kijiji classifieds website. The ad was removed recently, but the 106 was asking just 5,995 Loonies. With just 98,000 kilometers on the odometer, I can’t help but feel someone got a pretty good deal. In the US, you’ll have to wait until 2022 to do the same.

[Images via seller]
Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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2 of 23 comments
  • NSX NSX on Dec 19, 2017

    Here in Europe the 106 was one of the most popular little hot-hatch during the 90’s, such as Citroën Saxo VTS.

  • Hawox Hawox on Dec 21, 2017

    back in the 90's the 106 gti or 106 rally was the car that every 18 years old wanted. it was much more fun to drive than the golf mk3 gti (wich i had), was cool and cheaper than the renault clio. the citroen ax gt used the same wheelbase and was even lighter. i preferred the suzuki swift, it looked more modern and practical but was slower. i was really impressed by the 106 rallye i test drove when bought the golf, sadly isn't easy to find one in original conditions. sadly modern peugeot are not as much fun to drive, and probably teenagers don't even care about cars

  • Urlik Multi level parking garages are going to be issues as well.
  • Dartman Nice job Healy! A genuine “truth about cars” instead of troll bait.
  • Charlie Oh by the way the steering is so rusted that it actually is loose, and the transmission makes strange whirring and scraping sounds. The car is falling apart from rust.
  • Charlie 78 for my ‘09 Mercury mariner. It has 850k miles on it and leaks oil. It has 9 scratches, deformed bodywork, and severely rusted frame and suspension. When you stand on the duct taped rear bumper, the suspension creaks loudly. Also it has a loud vibration and rod knock, and the driver rear window is falling out. Ps. Don’t they normally have a roof rack and display screen? Cause mine doesn’t.
  • Honda1 More disposable junk from Hyundai.