In many ways, I think the little Peugeot 206 that I bought in 2003 might be the best car I've ever had. Maybe it seems that way because I don't drive nearly as many miles per year as I used to. Or maybe it's because it's a small car with a big diesel engine.
When you look at the photos of the Peugeot here, you'd never think it was 14 years old, but it is. Its engine is going strong, and the car looks good inside and out.
I've owned a lot of cars since 1971, when I got my first one: a 1966 Ford Fairlane. My father gave it to me as a graduation present when I finished college. I kept it for one year. Over the years, I've owned a 1973 Opel, which I bought new in North Carolina back then for about $3500 U.S. It was pretty basic. And for a year in Paris I owned a 1972 Renault R4, which was nearly ten years old when I paid $350 for it. That's not a typo. The R4 was even more basic than the Opel, but it was more fun to drive.
Subsequently, I owned two Subarus (one used, one new), three VWs (all new — a Jetta and two Passats over a 12-year period), and now the Peugeot. The new Subaru (1984) was a great car and lasted nine years, and the last Passat (1996) lasted seven. It was almost a luxury car.. Now I've had the Peugeot for more than 11 years, after buying it used here in Saint-Aignan.
The Peugeot 206 was the best-selling car in Europe for many years. It's too bad that French cars don't get much respect in America. You can't even buy one over there.