Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- Good level of equipment for a car of this age
- Comfortable ride
- Good handling on the sportier models
- Lack safety equipments
- Small cabin space
- Poor internal build quality
The Peugeot 306 entered the second phase of its life after a successful launch of the original 306. In 1997 Peugeot launched an updated cabriolet, estate and hatchback to continue with the success of the 306. The 306 cabriolet is a stylish car which was a refreshing option for consumers and convertibles were suddenly more affordable. The Hatchback and estate were both practically designed and nice to look at, but they were never going to set the world alight.
Exterior and Interior
The exterior delivered enough style and versatility to make the 306 an iconic car. At one point it seemed like every 3rd car on the road was a Peugeot 306, it really was that popular! With the choice of the three body styles consumers were able to make a choice between practicality and desire. The estate was a highly practical car, the cabriolet was the version most people would have wanted if there were not constrained and the hatchback was a happy medium. The level of trim really helped to determine the style of the vehicle, ranging from steel wheels to alloys, and standard and sports (slightly lowered) suspension.
The front of the car will provide enough space for most people. The rear on the other hand is a tighter squeeze, especially on the hatchback and cabriolet versions so tall passengers will find themselves searching for comfort due to lack of headroom (although the cut out roof space did try to combat this). There is a good amount of boot space which makes the vehicle ideal for doing the weekly shopping, but you may want to use another vehicle to get the family and their luggage to the airport.
The cabin inside the vehicle is average and even the GLX doesn't provide enough refinement to even come near the German cars of the time. The interior is well laid out, but storage space is limited. The level of trim will vary depending on the version of the car, but some will come with electric windows, air-con, sunroofs and a cd-player.
Performance and Economy
Of the diesels the best engine in the range is definitely the 1.9-litre Turbo Diesel which provides a good level of torque. You will struggle off the line, but once it gets going it will provide a lot of fun. It also will deliver a strong return mpg return of 45mpg. There was also a HDI 2.0-litre engine that was released later on during the life of the 306 and added a bit more power, refinement, smoothness as well as a faster drive than any another engine in its class. There was also a non turbo diesel engine which provided excellent economy, but should be avoided unless you don't mind not having much power.
The petrol engines provide a good mix, although some will feel underpowered. The 1.4-litre entry-level engine will deliver 75bhp of power and will not impress. The next petrol engine in the line-up is the 1.6-litre that adds something that resembles acceleration. Again, this isn't going to blow you away though. Next is the 1.8-litre petrol engine that gives much better performance and offers a good mix of economy and performance. This is the only petrol engine that really competes with the diesel options. The two other engines are both 2.0-litre petrol's. The stand out one is used on the GTi-6, has 16valves and 167bhp. This car is extremely fun to drive and is highly recommended as it makes the most of the 306's excellent handling.
Like to Drive
This will vary depending on the engine type and trim you choose, but overall the 306 is excellent to drive. The handling is just right making the car nimble and fun to drive, especially in the cabriolet and the hatchback where the handling excels. Even the estate version handles well but due to the size of the vehicle isn't quite as good as the other two versions. Some of the engines do lack power so depending on what you are looking for from the car you may want to avoid the smaller engines. All versions allow users to feel comfortable during the ride. One area of caution is that drivers should pay attention on driving fast around wet corners as the car has been known to spin. The real benefit of the 306 is that it can be used easily for everyday life and will provide everything that the owner needs.
Faults and Repairs
The 306 is a strange car as mechanically most of the models were very good. The car can not be classed as reliable though due to the terrible electrical faults, poor interior build quality and numerous issues that have been flagged by owners.
Some of the problems faced by owners are the suspension causing problems, the gearbox knocking the driveshaft. Another common problem for the 306 are paint work issues where the lacquer will come off and also models with sunroofs tend to leak after time.