It’s nice to have a car that saves the house and becomes an icon. But what to do when replacing it? This question, we turned it around at Peugeot when it came to giving offspring to the 205. And then, financial reason prevailed. Rather than designing a whole new platform, why not recover that of the Citroën AX? We reinforce it, we lengthen the wheelbase by 10 cm, and that’s it. As with the 205, to design the bodywork, we put Pininfarina and Peugeot designers in competition. The latter won out, and the little 106 was released in 1991.
The manufacturer announces that it will replace the low-end versions of the 205, the most upscale variants to be replaced later by the 306, which will succeed the 309. It too will be derived from a Citroën, the ZX: it there are no small savings! Even if it was presented at the end of 1991 as an affordable car, the 106 was initially not sold off at all, its manufacturer seeking to boost its margins by “premiumizing” itself as we say today.
In addition, it immediately benefits from a sporty version: the XSI. Under the hood, it takes the 1.4 l TU inaugurated by the AX and equips it with an injection. That boosts it to 95bhp, which sounds modest, but lo and behold, the 106 XSI weighs just 860kg. Hence a very interesting weight/power ratio of 9 kg/hp guaranteeing good performance: 190 km/h peak, for a 0 to 100 km/h run in 9.6 s.
A bit chic, this 106 sports a nice presentation (alloy rims, bumpers to your body, long range) and equipment… succinct. Indeed, if it benefits from a beautiful velvet interior, electric windows and central locking remain optional. Considering the price of 85,000 F (current €19,900 according to INSEE), it’s a lot of coffee. In addition, there is also ABS, sunroof, metal paint and electric mirrors. In fact, the 106 XSI costs only 6,500 F less than the otherwise famous 205 GTI 115 hp. So that she will only have a small career. With few changes to the key.
At the end of 1993, to celebrate Peugeot’s victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a Le Mans limited series was launched. Red in colour, it benefits from a few options (electric windows and mirrors, air conditioning) as well as beautiful leather/Alcantara upholstery. 1,000 will be manufactured, including 300 for France. Then, for 1995, we note the replacement of the TU 1.4 l by a XU 1.6 l of 105 hp, but not that of the 205 GTI. The XSI disappears in 1996 because the restyled 106 arrives, which will boost this block to 120 hp in its S16 version!
How much does it cost ?
Slowly but surely, the rating of the 106 XSI is climbing. Currently, for a healthy copy (therefore not perfect), it is necessary to count 5,500 €. A truly impeccable car can claim €7,000, or even €8,000 if the mileage remains below 100,000 km. The rare Le Mans require €2,000 more.
Which version to choose?
As there is only one, opt for the most beautiful copy possible, and in an original configuration.
Any 106 XSI in perfect condition will be a collector’s item, but obviously, from this point of view, nothing beats the Le Mans.
What to monitor?
Mechanically, the 106 is solid. Provided that the cooling circuit is in perfect condition because it heats up under the small hood. Regular fluid changes are essential, otherwise there is a risk of the cylinder head gasket breaking.
At the rear, a disease of the Peugeots with drawn arms, the bearings of these take up play and the wheels adopt a negative camber accompanied by squeaks. The change of train is then imperative.
In addition, note electronic concerns sometimes affecting the immobilizer, which can be annoying. Finally, the car being sometimes more than 30 years old, it can suffer from corrosion, even if it is not excessively sensitive to it. The 106 is overall a very enduring car.
The XSI is a first generation 106, therefore with non-raised seats. Also, for adults, its driving position is better than that of an S16! On start-up, the engine emits a very nice sound and, surprisingly, has good flexibility. Nevertheless, we will appreciate much more its pep at high speed, because it takes its 7000 rev / min: it is that this little TU is alive! And allows performance very close to a 205 GTI, even better in times, especially as the 106 pulls short. Amazing!
But less than the chassis. Just as precise as the 205, the 106 is also more stable from the rear axle to the foot lever, so that you attack full serenely. Lively and agile, the XSI is a delight to lead in the virolos, where it is very effective.
It is even very safe, even riveted to the ground, in a long curve, where the 205 requires a little skill. Only its direction would benefit from being a little faster. The suspension is very firm but not overdone, so the only real annoyance on the highway comes from the noisy engine. Fortunately, it is frugal, claiming about 7.5 l / 100 km on average.
The youngtimer alternative
Peugeot 104 ZS (1975-1985)
Appeared in 1972, the Peugeot 104 is very modern technically but of an austerity to cry. The opposite of an R5! Things got better in 1973 when the 104 Coupé appeared, shortened but more chic and fitted with a tailgate. Above all, at the end of 1975 it adopted a spicy ZS variant, whose 1,124 cc engine developed 66 hp. What point to 155 km / h, which is then very interesting.
In 1977, it gained large bumpers, while in 1980 its engine climbed to 1,360 cm3 and 72 hp, while combining with a 5 box. At the same time, we note the installation of new headlights and a remodeled table. In 1983, the last development, the ZS climbed to 80 hp, thanks to the addition of a second carburettor, and passed 160 km/h. The last ZS was produced in 1985: 80,000 were made, but very few remain! From €9,000.
Peugeot 106 XSI (1992), the technical sheet
- Engine: 4-cylinder in line, 1360 cc
- Food: injection
- Suspension: McPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar (AV) low pull, torsion bars, anti-roll bar (AR)
- Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
- Power: 95 hp at 6,600 rpm
- Torque: 117 Nm at 4,200 rpm
- Weight: 860kg
- Maximum speed: 190 km/h (manufacturer data)
- 0 to 100 km/h: 9.6 s (manufacturer data)
> To find Peugeot 106 advertisements, go to the La Centrale website.