At $3,500, Could This 1989 Peugeot 405 Mi16 be the Quirkiest Daily Driver Deal There is?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The 405 was Peugeot’s last hurrah here in the U.S. and today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mi16 is an indication of what we have lost ever since. Let’s see if its price might just demand some French in action.

According to the Mayo Clinic about 10 percent of all heart transplant recipients show signs of rejection within the first year following their ticker transfer. That’s a fairly low number, especially in light of the 88 percent of you who rejected yesterday’s heart-transplanted 2008 Chrysler 300 SRT-8 at its $40,000 asking. *Dons sunglasses* I guess someone needs to have a “heart to heart” with that 300’s seller.


Do you like Pininfarina-designed cars? Of course you do. How about runaway European Car of the Year awardees? My guess would be that you’re okay with those. Lastly, what’s your attitude on small, sporty sedans with aggressive power to weight ratios and manual transmissions? Yeah boy! Who doesn’t dig those, right?

Well, this 1989 Peugeot 405 Mi16 is all of those things and much more. Well, maybe not that much more, but it is all those things.

Peugeot, the French car maker is presently threatening a return to the U.S. car market after a more than three decade absence. In preparation for that invasion, you might just want to test out the Peugeot ownership experience with the last new model introduced on these shores.


The 405 was introduced in 1988 and immediately became a wild hit in Europe, garnering noteworthy awards and racking up sales. The hot version—the 405’s GTI if you will—was the Mi16.

Unlike many sporty editions of covetable European cars, that version was offered in the U.S.. Here it came with a 150 horsepower DOHC 1.9-litre four and a five-speed stick. With a modest 2700 pounds to haul around, the 405 Mi16 proved to be both spritely and fairly light on its feet, even if the fun didn’t start until you got deep into the engine’s rev band.


Sadly, none of that was enough to keep Peugeot afloat in the U.S., and this model would be the last officially imported here to date.


That makes this a rare bird. Fewer than 5,000 were sold here and the car seemed to ride under the radar even back when it was new. Finding one now in decent drivable state makes this black on grey leather edition quite the unicorn.

There are 170,000 miles on this Peugeot’s clock, and the ad claims that it’s had “all the ‘daily driver’ maintenance stuff done.” The heating and A/C are working and it comes with a timing belt and water pump that are less than 800 miles new. That’s a big deal since the 16-valve alloy engine is an interference design and that’s a lot of valves to bend should the cam belt let go of its teeth.


The ad says the engine is in “good shape” but does note a leaking oil temp sensor. It’s passed California’s stringent emissions test for registration not too long ago so there shouldn’t be any drama in changing the title.


A major issue plaguing the 405 model was the paint, which tended to think it was working at a strip club near the airport. This one looks to be in okay shape, although there are a number of noticeable dings in the bodywork beneath that coat.


The interior is likewise not perfect but probably perfectly serviceable. There are some cracks in the dash and the driver’s seat is splitting at the seams, but it’s all otherwise intact and tidy. Those seats, by the way, are like Barcalounger comfortable. I mean seriously, I wouldn’t mind having a set in my living room.

The seller says he’s had the car for about a year and lists a litany of work that was done to it just prior to his taking ownership. It seems that pretty much every mechanical system in the car has been touched or replaced. That’s all just within the last 1,000 miles.


All in all it’s positioned as a car that you could jump in and start driving on the regular without much problem. It’s also a car that at present day you will definitely not see on every corner. Well, that is, unless you’re me in which you see a couple of them here and there. Still, you’re not me, for that you should count your blessings.


We should also count the cost of owning this rare and sporty Peugeot. The asking is $3,500, which appears to be a reduction from $4,500 as the seller left that price mid-point in his ad. The question of course, is whether or not he’s reduced it enough. What do you think, is this seemingly well maintained 405 Mi16 worth that $3,500 asking? Or, does that price have you saying just say no to Pugs?

You decide!


Los Angeles, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to FauxShizzle on the Twitter for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.