RE: Peugeot 309 GTI | Spotted

RE: Peugeot 309 GTI | Spotted

Tuesday 30th July

Peugeot 309 GTI | Spotted

Oh look, another very (very) expensive classic hot hatch; could the famed 309 actually be worth it though?



Base anything on a 205 GTI and the end result will likely be a very good car; if the 80s were anything like today, some kind of small SUV could have been made from it and still delivered a lovely drive. That lusty, effervescent 1.9-litre engine would have provided all the performance required, its lightweight construction immediate responses, and something in the 80s' Peugeot design template would have surely looked nice enough. As it happened, perhaps the best car built using 205 GTI bits was not a 205 at all - it was, of course, the 309 GTI.

With so much carried over from the 205, the main explanation for enthusiasts' fondness for the 309 GTI came thanks to its finer chassis balance. Where the 205 GTI entertained with its madness and tendency for sudden and sometimes unforeseen lift-off oversteer, the 309 GTI and its 2,470mm wheelbase - 50mm longer than the 205's - was more consistent and less flamboyant in its handling. That wasn't to the detriment of nimbleness, either, because the 309 GTI was hailed as offering the sort of dependable adjustability that you can regularly exploit; the 205 GTI, by comparison, demanded more respect and a more delicate approach.


Then there was the added practicality of the 309 shell, which provided extra rear legroom and a generous boot thanks to the body alterations. Arguably (very arguably, Sam - MB), the model wore its wide arches and alloys better thanks to the dinky back deck that supported a touring car-esque rear wing. Although back in the 80s, the conventional hot hatchback design flaunted so well by the 205 GTI was at the height of fashion, thanks in part to the Golf GTI. The breed was so popular, in fact, that it was considered the main cause of death for affordable sports cars, particularly those from Britain. These were the days before the MX-5, of course.

This love for the smaller hatch shape was probably the main reason why the advantages of the 309 GTI didn't translate into higher popularity in Britain. The 205 had a trendier, prettier design for the day and it was slightly cheaper, plus there was the 1.6-litre version that extended its reach drastically, so the 205 GTI sold in far greater numbers. Today, where there are over 1,100 205 GTIs registered on UK roads, just 82 309 GTIs are currently on the system (according to HowManyLeft). There has been a very slight resurgence in numbers since 2017, however, with five more returning to the road, suggesting owners are realising the value of their retro hatches.

Certainly there has been an increase in values according to the market, where we've found an immaculate 1990 309 GTI with 54,000 miles on the clock that's being advertised for £15,495. That's £5,500 more than the similarly tidy and 59,000-mile-old 1988 car we saw two years ago, pointing to a big boost in used values - or an optimistic 2019 advert. Whatever your thoughts of the price, there's a strong chance that this is the finest 309 GTI in existence in Britain right now - and as the model drivers have long believed to be the best all-round Pug GTI from this era, it's only fair that it ranks among the very best 205 GTIs. Isn't it?




SPECIFICATION - PEUGEOT 309 GTI
Engine:
1,905cc, four-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 130@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 122@4,750rpm
MPG: 28
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1990
Recorded mileage: 54,000
Price new: £9,599
Yours for: £15,495

Click here for the full ad.

 



Author
Discussion

Turbobanana

Original Poster:

1,443 posts

145 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
Ad says it's JDM, but LHD... weird.

phil4

481 posts

182 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
"This is the most desirable Phase II 3-door coupe with 5-speed manual, having covered an equivalent of just 54,903 miles from new."

Yes, I think they might be right... I don't think there are any other Phase 2, 3-door coupes having 5 speed manual and having done exactly 54,903 miles on the planet. That's a damn small niche it occupies, and one it should rightly claim as it's own.

rossub

2,174 posts

134 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
Turbobanana said:
Ad says it's JDM, but LHD... weird.
Loads of European cars in Japan are LHD. Not sure why though.

MrBig

1,240 posts

73 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
Turbobanana said:
Ad says it's JDM, but LHD... weird.
Agreed. Also, weren't the JDM cars all Auto?

Leins

6,744 posts

92 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
Anyone know if that 5-dr low owner/miler from a while back ever sold?


rossub said:
Loads of European cars in Japan are LHD. Not sure why though.
Status symbol. Probably works better with an AMG Hammer than a 309 though. Especially given it's not even a 16v wink

MrHooky

92 posts

86 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
Surely this one a better bet with less than a third of the miles and a right hooker. 5 doors wouldn't put me off. Best lot list CCA have had for ages. 3 or 4 205s going through too I noted...

https://www.classiccarauctions.co.uk/1990-peugeot-...

MrHooky

92 posts

86 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
Leins said:
Status symbol. Probably works better with an AMG Hammer than a 309 though. Especially given it's not even a 16v wink
Think the link I posted sounds like the same car...

Leins

6,744 posts

92 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
MrHooky said:
Think the link I posted sounds like the same car...
Looks to be. They're a while trying to flog that then, unless it's being moved on again with an "uplift"

rastapasta

525 posts

82 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
Im fairly sure you could get these with A/C in Switzerland as a factory fitted option. Still jebus it looks absolutely mint

GranCab

1,511 posts

90 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
"Optimistically priced" ... understatement of the year.

Probably cost the dealer about 15,495 Yen.

Fastdruid

6,012 posts

96 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
I drove the BX19 GTi (the 8v not the 16v) and it was a peach of an engine in that but was about 80Kg heaver than the svelte 309 Gti (and 100Kg heaver than the 205 GTi). Plus of course some ~7in/~18cm longer and wider too. So while the BX was great I'm sure the 309 would have been better.

TBH I'd probably want the 16v/160PS version though.

Jon_S_Rally

488 posts

32 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
Wide arches? Where?

I do like these. I do actually prefer them to the 205 in some ways, as they're a bit more left-field.

On the LHD thing, I believe early Clio 172s that went to Japan were also LHD.

Drive Blind

3,157 posts

121 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
perhaps the years have clouded my memory but,

was the 1.9 GTi engine - in the 309 and the 205 - with the cat not considered the one to avoid? The non cat engine was stronger and sweeter ?

monkeymax

9 posts

106 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
The 1.9 weren't ones to avoid but many said the 1.6 was the better car to drive. I only ever once drove a 1.9GTi 205 and it was quick, but briefly owned a 1.6 GTi 205 and GTi 309, both of which were fantastic. Can't believe I sold them both for buttons (well, ~£1000 for both) but then neither were as nice (or low mileage) an example as this! (and I needed the money more than I needed the cars) Then there was my first car, a 309 XL that was bought for £125 and sold seven years later (okay, scrapped full of metal) for £170. Fun times!

Strugs

467 posts

173 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
Love, love, love the 309 GTi (owned two at once back in the day) but this is silly money, especially for a left-hooker..

crossle

1,504 posts

195 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
And it's not even a Goodwood...

TwigtheWonderkid

29,314 posts

94 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
I had a 309GTI, fantastic car. We also had 205.1.9 and 1.6 GTIs at work. The 309 was the best of the lot but the 1.6GTI 205 was better than the 1.9.

GOATever

1,077 posts

11 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
I had a 309GTI, fantastic car. We also had 205.1.9 and 1.6 GTIs at work. The 309 was the best of the lot but the 1.6GTI 205 was better than the 1.9.
I’d agree. The 1.6 205, had drum brakes on the rear. It had less propensity to do the understeer to snap over steer trick, of the 1.9, because it had less weight at the rear.

humphra

63 posts

36 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
I had a 309 twice as hire cars while my company car was in for work. Both times the squeaks and rattles from the dash almost drove me mad and I swore these must be the crappiest cars made. Never got a chance to think about how it drove because the noises were so annoying. For what it may be worth,
neither were a GTi variant.....

cerb4.5lee

12,142 posts

124 months

Tuesday 30th July
quotequote all
One of my old next door neighbours had one of these and he put a superchip on it. I thought that it was awesome at the time. cool

They always seemed to get overlooked though because of the 205 GTi.