- Peugeot Badge (credit: Pinterest)

Why does Peugeot have such a bad reputation?

As an American I was always curious on why my European friends made fun of this car so much

6w ago

If you're an American like myself, then you probably have never heard of Peugeot. Peugeot is a French car company that was never sold in the U.S. It is known for being unreliable and ugly. They typically have the stigma of being cheaply made with poor quality parts. But why does Peugeot have this reputation, and is it accurate?

I decided to read on OSV survey about Peugeot. And the results seemed to be the opposite of what my friends in Europe had told me. OSV claimed that Peugeot was regarded as a good quality car maker, known for being relatively reliable, which is the opposite of what I had heard. So, I went to read some reviews on Autocar. And what I found confirmed what OSV had said.

2021 Peugeot 508 SW, one of the few cars rated at 3 stars (credit: autoexpres.co.uk)

2021 Peugeot 508 SW, one of the few cars rated at 3 stars (credit: autoexpres.co.uk)

On Autocar, Peugeot seemed to have a common rating of 3 to 4 stars. Certainly not the best rating, but not the worst either. Unsatisfied at seeing this, I decided to look at the company's past to find out why they had such a bad reputation. After all, a company doesn't get this hated by all my European friends for nothing.

What I found was that in the 1980s, Peugeot was booming as a company. Winning rallies against Ford, Audi, Lancia, and all the other competition. This put Peugeot on the map as a maker of good, high-power performance cars, and they were for a good long while. But later on, they began making poor quality cars with bad electric problems, horrible suspension, terrible ride and comfort, and were generally not the best-looking cars.

2004 Peugeot 206 (credit: autoevolution.com)

2004 Peugeot 206 (credit: autoevolution.com)

This led to many recalls, and according to an owner's review of the Peugeot 206 that he bought at 49,000 miles, it was a terrible car. For context, the Peugeot 206 was a fairly well selling car from 1998 to 2006. This particular 206 however, had poor electrical system and mechanics. But the owner does complement the looks of the car. But looks are unimportant compared to reliability if you ask most people. And for what else was available at the time, Peugeot seemed to have been beat by the competition. Which was making, better, more reliable cars.

So, if according to the modern reviews from OSV and Autocar, Peugeot seems to have changed how it has done business. And even seems to be making some pretty decent cars. But even though Peugeot may have fixed itself, its reputation for making poor, unreliable vehicles still stands. Please let me know what you think about Peugeot, as I have never had any real-world experience with them myself and would love to learn more.

Sources: Is Peugeot reliable? An unbiased look at the French brand - OSV and Peugeot Logo, History Timeline and List of Latest Models (globalcarsbrands.com) and Peugeot 206 (1998 - 2006) - Owners' Reviews | Honest John

Join In

Comments (64)

  • Great article. I am pretty sure that Peugeot did sell cars in the US, briefly (but I could be wrong)

      1 month ago
  • I looove Peugeot.

    By market standards I wouldn't say they account for much, but there's great love for their SUV range in particular at the moment

      1 month ago
  • The German roadside assistance service ADAC keep statistics on which cars are most and least reliable, and for many years the lower places would be overcrowded with French car brands Peugeot, Renault and Citroรซn. While they have recovered somewhat over the last years, their image hasn't caught up with them yet. A good reputation takes years if not decades to build, but can be gone in the blink of an eye if you're not paying attention.

      1 month ago
  • How old are u guys ? Peugeots were sold in the US once upon a time . Back in 1996 in a Los Angeles university marketing class my professor asked : โ€œ what is a good car brand ?โ€ It was early, I was bored and I said PEUGEOT with a French accent , funny times โ€ฆ

      1 month ago
  • I know that during the 80's, Chrysler sold Peugeot 505's in Canada. Being an import, prices were rather high. I did like the top of the line model though, I think it was called STi or V6.

    I don't think Peugeot ever made a car that topped the durability of the 504.

      1 month ago