4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The ideal first car for someone who needs low running costs

Peugeot 106 (91-03) - rated 4 out of 5
Enlarge 16 photos

At a glance

New price £6,141 - £12,765
Used price £270 - £3,275
Fuel economy
Not tested to latest standards
View pre-2017 economy specs
Road tax cost £155 - £340
Insurance group 7 - 25 How much is it to insure?

PROS

  • Smooth ride
  • Economical petrols and diesels
  • Fun to drive

CONS

  • Lack of safety features
  • Feels very small in modern traffic
  • Tight in the back

Peugeot 106 rivals

Citroën
Saxo
3.5 out of 5 3.5
Ford
Ka
3.5 out of 5 3.5

Written by Keith Adams on

Considered by many to be the best small car of the early 1990s, the Peugeot 106 was developed from the Citroen AX and shares much of its technology with the Citroen Saxo.

The 106 offered robust construction, excellent ride and refinement for its time, plus superb fuel economy and lots of driver satisfaction. Well known in the past for having a wide choice of cars at affordable prices, time and scrappage has taken its toll, with numbers rapidly fallling off. Despite that, a good example is still a very nice thing to drive, and as such, it means the 106 is near the top of the retro supermini league.

Launched in 1991, the 106 was a long-lived champion. The facelifted range from mid-1996 was a step forward in terms of interior and equipment, and ended up being topped off by the exciting 106 GTI - which is a stonking car to drive.

Peugeot 106 known faults and common problems

The Peugeot 106 is better-built than the anti-French car naysayers would have you believe. There's such a wide range of models, but remarkably few issues to report upon. Which is a very good thing.

Top 10 problems

Buying guide – common issues, and what to look for if you're looking at getting one:

1. Engines

The TU-series engines are very tough, but they do suffer from some issues. Check for top-end engine rattles (tappets and camshaft) and oil leaks. They are also known for suffering from headgasket failure.

2. Gearboxes

These are tough and you'd be unlucky to find a standard Citroen Saxo with a tired or whining gearobx. However slipping clutches are a problem and more often than not if you end up replacing a clutch, you'll need to do the release bearing and cable as well.

3. Diesels

Another tough PSA-era engine which can really rack up the miles effortlessly. However, check for cold starting as glowplugs can fail, and can also be difficult to change if they have been in too long. Cylinder bores can wear poorly maintained 1.5-litre engines, and the giveaway is blue smoke from the exhaust on acceleration.

4. Interior

Generally pretty rugged and nowhere near as flimsy as a similarly-aged Renault Clio or Ford Ka. But some of the trim materials can feel pretty cheap and look lurid, and a rattly interior could drive you to despair.

5. Brakes

The brake linings are glued in place and can fall apart, locking the rear drums in the process. Pedal feel is good but be warned that you have to push the pedal quite hard to get proper stopping power out of them.

6. Electrics

Surprisingly good with few known issues. The seat can wear through wiring for seatbelt pretensioners and airbags, which will throw up a dashboard warning. The only other issues seem to come up as a result of poorly-fitted stereos and other sound equipment.

7. Bodywork

The 106 might not look rusty on the outside, but it is common for them to corrode in hidden place, so you need to check inside the wheelarches, the inner wings, suspension wishbone mounts and especially the fuel tank. Sporting models can also hide corrosion under their bodykits.

8. Spare wheel

Daft as it sounds, these can be missing from the cradle underneath the car, not least because it's either been stolen or the cradle mounts have rotted away.

9. GTi and XSi models

These pocket rockets are a steal compared with a Peugeot 205 GTi, although there aren't many examples left. The 1360cc engine is economical and can take lots of abuse, but abused examples can hide some horror stories as well as showing signs of bodywork rust.

10. Rallye models

There's not much to worry about over and above the GTi, but as they were (and are) popular trackday cars, so make sure there's no crash damage, and that all the interior is there (some replacement parts are near impossible to find these days).

Peugeot 106 rivals

Citroën
Saxo
3.5 out of 5 3.5
Ford
Ka
3.5 out of 5 3.5