By on December 18, 2017

Image: 1997 Peugeot 106 GTIAs 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.

Image: 1997 Peugeot 106 GTIThough 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.

Image: 1997 Peugeot 106 GTIThe 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).

Image: 1997 Peugeot 106 GTIIn 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.

Image: 1997 Peugeot 106 GTIMeanwhile, 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.


Image: 1997 Peugeot 106 GTI

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).

Image: 1997 Peugeot 106 GTISporting 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.

Image: 1997 Peugeot 106 GTIThis 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]
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23 Comments on “Rare Rides: A 1997 Peugeot 106 GTI From Our Canadian Neighbours...”

  • avatar

    Those seats! Love it. I always had an appreciation for the 205, but the 106 kind of escaped my view. Nice find.

    • 0 avatar

      They remind me of Mk3 Golf “party seats”… I had a friend with one of these in non-gti form, and while it was slow, it was certainly a very nice handling car.

      I attribute a lot of that to the light weight, which gave it a second memorable characteristic: It was very loud inside.

  • avatar

    I rented a 106 5-door back in 2000 for a week. It was wonderful! Fluid, flowing handling, great steering feel, excellent ride, roomy enough for 5 adults. I really enjoyed driving it. The only negative was the horn button placement on the turn signal stalk, which made for a few tense moments pounding the airbag cover when someone was trying to back into me.

    • 0 avatar

      My mom always hated the horn button location on the 94 Voyager we had, as it was the only car she ever owned where the wheel cover didn’t activate the horn.

      I remember her punching at it, then remembering it was the buttons to the side. Every time.

      But I see that stalk button, and it’s too small.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve driven a few Fords that used the horn-on-stalk “feature”. Very irritating and potentially dangerous. I can’t count the times I pounded the steering wheel hub with no results.

    • 0 avatar

      “roomy enough for 5 adults” Spoken like someone who was doing the driving. ;-)

      While the cars are well-packaged, you’re not going to want to share a 106 or 205 back seat with two other adults for more than a drive across town. I’m not dissing them–almost nothing in the post-1970s market has good three-abreast room–I just don’t want to oversell their virtues. (A friend used to have a 205, and it was our official “park it within walking distance of a pub, drink, cab home, and pick the car up the next morning” car.)

      I like them on the whole and would happily do a 106 or 205 road trip with three but not four other people.

  • avatar

    Would drive and love. Nice find, Corey.

    I like spunky little Euro hatches, the Golf is my favorite VW and always has been.

  • avatar

    The 106GTI had an almost identical twin, the Citroen Saxo VTS, and for a few years that was the car of choice for “boy racers” here in the UK. The 106GTI was slightly prettier, and classier.

    • 0 avatar

      And a bit more expensive. I remember seeing Saxo ads on TV a lot when I was working in Ireland. In particular this one: “”

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Or a Fiat Panda 4×4 manual tranny. Oh wait…you could just buy a Jeep Renegade

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Or a Fiat Panda 4×4 manual tranny. Oh wait…you could just buy a Jeep Renegade

  • avatar

    There are two Peugeot 106s in my neighborhood. They are not particularly well-made cars but they are simple and cheap to maintain like most Peugeots.

    The Peugeot 205 GTI, especially the 1.6 model, was one of the most fun front-wheel-drive cars I have had the pleasure of experiencing. Well-balanced, lively and responsive and simply fun. Many automotive journalists at the time credited the 205 GTI 1.6 with being more fun and capable than the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

    But after the 205 GTI Peugeot lost its way and could not seem to build fun and exciting hot hatches. Renault took over that task with their exhilaratingly fun hot hatches. By all accounts the 106 GTI was not very exciting or fun. Thankfully it seems Peugeot is returning to their old roots and the current 208 GTI receives heaps of praise from car journalists.

  • avatar

    As a UK based petrolhead I’ve owned and enjoyed both a 205 GTi 1.6 and, subsequently, a 106 GTi, used as daily drivers and in amateur motorsport, and I knew other owners who did the same.

    These two cars are of different generations and different in character, but both have plenty of the driver appeal which used to be Peugeot’s trademark (sadly, no more).

    Agree that 205GTi’s in their time were probably the most fun thing on four wheels, their all-round ability came with an urgent, responsive character, plus the throttle-sensitive handling, which rewarded keen drivers but in less skilled hands could sometimes be hazardous.

    Although well engineered, with their 1980’s technology they did also develop a repertoire of maintenance needs, as the miles piled on. Talking with fellow owners would often lead to ‘Oh yes, mine did that, too’.

    By comparison the 106 GTi has a more civilised feel, and with its later generation drivetrain, needed much less unplanned maintenance. But a hearsay description as ‘not very exciting or fun’ is misleading. In its time, a normally aspirated, catalyst equipped 1600 hatchback doing 0-60 in around 8 seconds and topping out at 120 mph, with its go-kart handling enhanced by such compact dimensions, was certainly fun.

    If both in standard form, the 106GTi was a bit faster around any given course than the 205GTi 1.6.

    If I had to pick one, which would I have back ? Tough call, but OK, as a hobby car, the 205GTi. As a daily driver, the 106GTi. Both, great little cars.

  • avatar

    Peugeot even built a 106 much more interesting than the GTI. The 106 Rallye: a completely stripped out version of the GTI with an 8 valve 1.6 engine, without door cards and 14″ white steel rims. It was almost 100 kg lighter than the GTI and much more fun to fling around. You could only have the car in solid white, blue or black with a bright blue carpeting. You couldn’t order it with AC and even the power steering was optional.
    The concept of the Rallye was perfect, ditch anything a race car doesn’t need and change far less for the car than the fully loaded model (GTI). Pity no one does that today.
    I bought one new in 98 and used one as a daily driver for more than 8 years. My younger brother learned to drive in it and even had his first accident while driving it. The Rallye had enough power to keep you entertained and with a well balanced chassis and extremely direct steering it was a blast to drive. Although no match for the integra type r for the best handling fwd car, it was lively and like to lift it’s skinny 175 rear tire any chance it got.
    I didn’t have to heart to sell it after I bought a 320is as daily driver and the little Peugeot is still with me.

  • avatar

    Since you brought up the US, this isn’t the car I would drive from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles, but it would be the perfect car for errands to the neighborhood Trader Joe’s and Walgreens.

  • avatar

    I love living here in Canuckistan, we have a great country. But I had to laugh at this statement:

    “Additionally, they have less government, and fewer regulations.”

    Not sure about that….maybe in relation to importing an old car, but that’s about it!

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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

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