Wednesday 11 March 2015
The Peugeot 505 is a large family car produced by the French manufacturer Peugeot from 1979 to 1992 in Sochaux, France. The 505 was Peugeot's last rear-wheel drive car. It was also manufactured outside France, for example in Argentina by Sevel from 1981 to 1995, China, Indonesia and Nigeria.
According to the manufacturer 1,351,254 Peugeot 505s were produced between 1978 and 1999: of these 1,116,868 were saloons/sedans.
Officially unveiled on 16 May 1979, the 505 was the replacement for the 504 with which it shared many of its underpinnings. It was originally available as a sedan/saloon, a station wagon/estate, including an eight-passenger Familiale version, were introduced at the 1982 Geneva Motor Show. The styling, a collaboration between Pininfarina and Peugeot's internal styling department, is very similar to that of its smaller brother the 305. It is known as the "Work Horse" of Africa today.
The 505 was praised by contemporary journalists for its ride and handling, especially on rough and unmade roads; perhaps one reason for its popularity in less developed countries. "Remember that the 505´s predecessor, the 504, had an outstanding ride. It took a British-market model on a hard charging drive across the green lanes of the Chilterns. The impacts were well suppressed and the car veritably floated over the undulations and potholes. I concluded that the 505 is as good as the 504 (but no better)." The 505 also had good ground clearance; if it wasn't enough though, Dangel offered a taller four-wheel drive version of the 505 estate equipped with either the intercooled turbodiesel 110 hp (81 kW) engine or the 130 hp 2.2 L petrol (96 kW) engine. The four-wheel drive 505 also had shorter gear ratios.
The interior styling was viewed positively in contemporary reviews: "Having settled into the 505's neat cockpit one notices how handsomely styled it all would appear to be. The tweed seats and brown trim look smart and less confrontational than offerings from a certain other French marque." But the ergonomics were criticised too: "The ashtray was competitively sized but is placed directly behind the gear stick. For British market cars, this will be a constant nuisance while our continental cousins will consider the placement quite logical and natural."
The range was given a facelift, including an all new interior, in 1986, but European Peugeot 505 production began to wind down following the launch of the smaller Peugeot 405 at the end of 1987. Saloon production came to a halt in 1989, coincidentally with the launch of Peugeot's flagship 605, and estates in 1992. There was already a 405 estate by this stage, but the 605 was never sold as an estate. In some countries such as France and Germany, the 505 estate was used as an ambulance, a funeral car, police car, military vehicle and as a road maintenance vehicle. There were prototypes of 505 coupés and 505 trucks, and in France many people have modified 505s into pickup trucks themselves.
The 505 was one of the last Peugeot models to be sold in the United States, with sedan sales ending there in 1990 and wagon sales in 1991. The last sedans sold had PRV's 2.8 V6 engine only. Unique to the US were turbocharged station wagons, both with petrol and diesel engines. 505s were also sold in Australia (where they were assembled by Renault Australia from 1980 to 1981, and by Leyland Australia from 1981 to 1983), Argentina, Chile, China, and New Zealand. In New York City, Peugeot 505s were used as taxicabs.
The car was summed up as follows by motoring writer Archie Vicar: "The 505 is a saloon with quite a pleasant appearance, quite efficient engines, quite comfortable seating, quite nice steering and a quite reasonable price. And it is quite well constructed. So, you might say it was merely average. But can it really be that simple? Have Peugeot in fact, played a very clever game where, instead of dazzling us with technology or breathtaking styling, they have decided to woo us with understatement of the profoundest kind?"
In Thailand, the Peugeot 505 was quite popular. They were available as a CKD version assembled in Bangkok, due to the restrictions on importing completely built-up cars.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1995 cc
- horsepower: 108 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 175 km/h