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PEUGEOT 309 Hatchback 1986‑1993
2 owner reviews for PEUGEOT 309 Hatchback 1986‑1993
205 and Golf GTI beater
PEUGEOT 309 1.9 GTi Goodwood 3dr (Review date: 6th November '12)
As performance cars go the Peugeot 309GTI is a better driver's car than the 205GTI however it is rarer because less were originally sold and because it is often overlooked in favour of it's smaller family member. The whole feel of the car is very 1980s, raw fun and the car is generally light on its feet.
The 309 is a more practical choice as well because, whilst a considerable number of mechanical components are shared with the 205GTI, it has a wider body and has a larger boot. The wider body means it accommodates more comfortable seats. More weight at the rear provides the car with more handling balance than the 205 1.9GTI and this improves the urgency to turn into corners. Suspension is supple for a performance car but anti-roll bar settings are stiff allowing great control on rough roads during cornering. Handing, rather than outright speed is where this car shines. It is more fun than a Golf GTI but can be tricky to control in extreme conditions as it has lift-off oversteer as the 306/205/106 GTIs etc. Tyre choices are important.
Well maintained cars are reliable and mechanicals are long-lived - my car has a very large mileage (175,000) but starts first time even after being stood for weeks. Bodywork wise the 309 needs to be checked at the rear of the sills and leading edge of the bonnet. Many suffer from dents as panels are thin. Remember the 309 is an old car and most are showing there age in one way or another but there are enthusiast-owned gems out there in excellent condition. Most items are easy to fix and given mechanicals are shared with the 205GTI issues can be resolved quickly. A lot of parts are still available new from Peugeot main dealers.
Variants to look out for are the Goodwood special editions painted metallic green / black leather interior with various extras like CD autochanger, remote central locking and Momo steering wheel. Another variation is a Nintendo-style automatic transmission car which was 'special-order' - most of those cars seem to be red or grey.
Overall the 309 GTI is a great car to drive, reasonably economical to run and a bit different.