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205 automatic was far ahead of its time

How an ordinary car can be special. The modern 205 was introduced by Peugeot in 1983. This compact, comfortable car was initially only marketed in a manual version, but later also with an automatic gearbox. The 205 automatic was an addition to Peugeot’s existing range. There was no great demand for an automatic transmission, but for Peugeot it was enough to bring this version to the market. In 1986, for example, the 205 with a 1600 cc light alloy (XU) engine with 80 hp with automatic gearbox was introduced. The 205 automatic was a success. After the emission requirements became stricter in the early nineties, a modified, more environmentally friendly 90 hp engine block with automatic transmission was introduced. The demand for this type continued, even when the machine was no longer available in the Netherlands and new units were sold in the Netherlands through Spain.

Frido Modderkolk, 205 enthusiast, explains that this strong Peugeot number was a pricey and compact car at the time. “The strength of this car was that the 205 automatic transmission, as a luxury, compact car, was one of the few of its kind. Some form of competition, for example, came from the Renault 5 with a 1400 cc engine, but it could not really compete with the 205. The 205 had more interior space, more comfort and therefore performed better. In addition, there was a series of Japanese models that were also available in automatic transmission, but could not match the generous engine power of the 205. On the other hand, there was a hefty new price. Still, this was a foreseen look from Peugeot because small, luxury cars with automatic transmission such as the 208 are very popular nowadays. ” The 205 automatic was actually ahead of its time. Only in the early nineties, after the B segment in the automotive world became more and more popular, this trend was finally set in motion. ”

The two cars in this article are the ‘first’ and ‘second’ series. The red205 is the model as it initially came on the market with an 80 hp engine. Later, the 205 received a minor facelift and a renewed engine with 90 hp like the white 205. The facelift meant that the ridges on the tailgate and other rear lights disappeared. At the front, the orange flashing lights were replaced by white ones. The car got a more modern dashboard with different dials and a new steering wheel. The second series also became a bit more luxurious. For example, the window crank disappeared for an electric one and a digital clock was added.

“The chance that you can buy a 205 machine in good condition second-hand is not great. You can sometimes find a single copy on the internet. You will occasionally find one at the DNA (the dealer) and it always finds its way to a new boss fairly quickly. Usually these cars were well maintained and the average owner of a 205 automatic transmission took a long time with his car. Prices for a 205 machine currently vary between € 750 and € 3,000. Comfortable driving for few euros …

“What should you pay attention to with a 205 machine? A specific point of attention is that the oil of the automatic gearbox is changed in time. That means once every 60,000 kilometers or once every five years. But in terms of construction, the 205 is a strong car, timely maintenance ensures that you can drive many kilometers. Without shifting, of course… ”

Maarten van der Velden

Na mijn opleiding aan de Frederik Muller Academie ben ik jaren werkzaam geweest voor verschillende uitgeverijen zoals Elsevier en NRC Handelsblad. Daarvoor heb ik zelfstandig en met heel veel plezier het kwartaaltijdschrift Peugeot Expo Magazine uitgegeven. In mijn vrije tijd rijd ik graag in een Peugeot 403, ik Twitter graag over auto's en ik houd van hardlopen. Ik vind het leuk om mensen met elkaar te verbinden.

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