Peugeot 306 Hatchback Special eds 1997 - 2000

Peugeot 306 Hatchback Special eds 1997 - 2000

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Good level of equipment for a car of this age
  • Comfortable ride
  • Good handling on the sportier models

Cons:

  • Lack safety equipments
  • Small cabin space
  • Poor internal build quality

Overview

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.


Overall Rating:
Review by Mark H
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"Cool 1st or 2nd Car, Great Engine!"

Exterior and Interior

My Peugeot 306 was the second car that I owned and was the first diesel that I bought. The exterior styling of the 306 was ok, it didn't set the world alight. It was nice that this version came with alloy wheels. The inside was average, although it was great that for a car of this price you got electric windows, sunroof, and even a stereo control on the steering wheel. Not that it competed with cars of today, but these little extras made life more comfortable. The plastics used in the car were not great to look at and were not hard wearing. The seats were comfortable though and the car was good for long journeys!

Performance and Economy

The car was actually quite slow despite having a turbo. The great thing was that you got excellent economy from the engine though and therefore the running costs were really low. I used to do a 100 mile commute to work and this car was excellent. The only real downside is that overtaking could be difficult as the engine really had to be worked hard to gain any serious speed.

Like to Drive

It is a good car to drive. The driving position is comfortable although it is quite low so might not be everyone's choice! You will not be particularly excited by this car but it will be a solid little runner that will easily get you wherever you need to go. You will also feel fine when you get there as the steering and clutch are light making it an easy car to drive. <

Faults and Repairs

The car was fairly reliable. There were a few rust issues around the arches and particularly on the bonnet catch, from what I have read that seemed to be fairly isolated to my car though and not a common problem. As with all cars there were the usual maintenance costs. When things did go wrong parts were also cheap to get hold of which was a bonus.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value