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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For It's a great town or country car. There's plenty of choice and it's cheap to buy and run

Against Lacks space; awkward driving position and thinly padded seats; basic design is getting on now

Verdict A spirited city car that will put a smile on your face

Go for… 1.4-litre Quicksilver

Avoid… 1.5 diesel

Peugeot 106 Hatchback
  • 1. Suspension may need repairs after 50,000 miles. Uneven tyre wear shows up problems
  • 2. The pedals are cramped and the steering wheel fixed, so tall drivers will struggle to get comfy
  • 3. If the car shows any signs of oil leaks, give it a wide berth. There are plenty others to choose from
  • 4. Watch out for signs of parking knocks and patched-up accident damage, especially on the GTI
  • 5. Clutches are often given a hard time, especially by younger drivers. If there's any clutch slip, avoid the car
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Peugeot 106 Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The 106 is very entertaining for scooting around towns and along country roads. It’s nippy (1.5 diesel apart), flexible and easy going, with light and responsive steering, and fluent and sharp handling.

The lively 1.6-litre 16v GTi is even more agile and fun. On narrow twisty roads, its composure and pace through corners can embarrass bigger, dearer hot hatches.

Forget long-distance journeys, though. All 106s hate motorways and don’t do refinement. The engines become tiresome at a steady 70mph, there’s not much sound deadening and the seats soon feel uncomfortable.

The driving position is badly flawed, too. The pedals are cramped and the steering wheel is fixed, so tall drivers will struggle. And, so will tall passengers, because there’s not much space in the front, and the rear seats are really for kids only. The boot’s a decent size, although only posher versions have a split-fold rear seat.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Bought by cost-conscious who go for a 1.1 Zest, or 1.5D Zest

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The 1.4-litre petrol is a sweet, eager engine and nippy enough without being heavy on fuel. The 1.6-litre eight-valve has more go, but there’s a marked dip in economy.

You’ll have stacks of choice if you want the 1.1-litre petrol – it’s the most common model. It has the same zingy character as the 1.4, but less pace and not much better mpg, so we favour the bigger engine.

Forget the 1.5 diesel. For all its 50mpg potential, it’s a grumbly old thing that creates too much din even when it isn’t working hard.

Five-door cars are slightly more practical, but if you plan to use the rear seats much, you shouldn't be buying a 106. Which is probably why the majority of 106s are three-doors.

Kit levels are modest, unless you choose Zest 3, Quicksilver or XT trims. Go for a car with power steering – not all have it. Classifieds and independent dealers are the place to buy.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates and repair costs - a great small car, but check the brakes

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

Small repairs aren’t that expensive, but if big stuff starts to go, your bank balance will take a beating. In extreme cases, you could fork out more in repairs than the car cost you.

That’s partly because the 106 is so cheap to buy, of course. Better still, the depreciation on all but the very latest cars will already have hit rock bottom, so you won’t lose much when you flog it on later.

Fuel economy is very good – more than 40mpg for the 1.1 and 1.4 petrols, high-30s for the eight-valve 1.6, low-30s for the GTI and 50-plus for the 1.5 diesel - but, you’ll pay a bit to insure it, although it's not too bad. The 1.1 and some 1.5 diesels are in group 3, up to group 13 for the GTi.

Scheduled servicing won’t hurt, either. Expect it to be cheaper than a Seat Arosa, Volkswagen Lupo or Fiat Seicento.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Bought by cost-conscious who go for a 1.1 Zest, or 1.5D Zest

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The 106 wasn’t really built to last forever and the suspension may need repairs at any time after 50,000 miles. Pay close attention to knocking noises, look for uneven tyre wear and check the car drives straight and true. According to Warranty Direct, suspension and axles give the biggest trouble.

Coolant and oil leaks aren’t unheard of. If the car shows any signs of these – particularly oil trouble – give the car a wide berth. There are plenty to choose from without risking ending up with something that could cost a small fortune.

Clutches can be troublesome, and the problem can be made worse because the 106 is a popular first-time car for young drivers, who often give the clutch a hard time. So check for any slip.

For the same reason, look out for signs of parking knocks, cracked lamp covers and patched-up accident damage. The GTI is a prime candidate for crash repairs.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates and repair costs - a great small car, but check the brakes

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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