1989 Peugeot 305 Van 1.9 diesel


One of the best cheap, small utility vehicles you can buy


Gearbox self-destructed at 170k, sourced a spares-or-repair 305 van with good 'box and engine for a mighty £50.

Usual niggling items like tailgate release (replaced with comedy padlock), rattly interior trim, and come winter, non-functioning wipers.

General Comments:

This vehicle is virtually indestructible, we took it far off-road, when only the tyres (ancient remoulds) let it down. The suspension travel is pretty good, and the approach angle is probably better than that of some proper off-roaders. Ground clearance is good too, though the exhaust silencer is something of a worry. I just wish I had invested in some mud/snow tyres.

The cabin, unfortunately, is dreadful. The vinyl seats become very sticky in hot weather, and it becomes unbearable to drive a mile in the thing. The general interior trim is OK, but the plastics are of a very poor quality, but they seem to be fairly solid.

This car is seriously fun to drive! Never underestimate the frolics you can have in a vehicle with pitch and dive akin to a small trawler in the high seas. Like most front-wheel-drive Peugeots, lift-off oversteer is something you have to get used to. Though saying that, the unassisted steering is very communicative and direct, so getting yourself out of a sticky situation isn't too difficult. And the tyres squeal on twisty roads, much to the amusement of the slightly terrified passenger..

The engine is unburstable, it feels faster than the bare figures suggest. You can rev it as far as it'll go (as I did often), and it won't complain.

Sadly, I had to let it go in favour of a Renault Clio van, which has none of the character, off-road ability, long-term reliability or fun of the ol' Peugeot. As for the Peugeot, it's still chugging away in its new owner's hands.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2002

1986 Peugeot 305 srd estate 1.8


A small rugged economical deisel with plenty of room for its size


Drive shafts, front suspension bushes, rear springs, brake calipers, gearbox/final drive, cabin leaked badly filling driver's foot well, rear tail gate catch broke.

General Comments:

The xud7 Peugeot diesel engine is brilliant. Its quiet, economical and very reliable with lots of low ratio torque when pulling heavy loads. It towed my 16cwt caravan as well as my previously owned Volvo 240, which is testament in itself. It is let down basically by all its other supporting components like the gearbox, final drive, suspension and brakes which were always needing attention. The bodywork was good for its age and there was only a little superficial rust showing through. None of which was in a critical place where it would fail its annual road fitness test. It was a good load carrier with plenty of space inside. It gave the appearance of being much bigger than it really was. It never let me down at the road side, but it did need a lot of attention at service times and annually for it road fitness test (MOT).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd September, 2002

1981 Peugeot 305 SR Estate 1.5 petrol


Better car then most competitors... but far too expensive to run, and in the end proved unreliable.


Rear radius arm bearings failed due to water ingress into the taper roller bearings through inadequate seals, fixed on later cars (identifiable by having 4 bolts per road wheel).

Engine overheated from new.

Cylinder head gasket failed twice.

Access to ignition distributer is very difficult.

Starter motor solenoid failed.

Engine eats spark plugs.

Serious tailgate rust, fixed on later cars by redesign.

General Comments:

Very good bodyshell assembly and paintwork quality.

Excellent transmission, though there is some gear whine.

Engine is at best, adequate for the job.

Cabin is very good in terms of design, materials and accessibility.

Grossly excessive prices charged for genuine OEM parts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th April, 2002

1987 Peugeot 305 GRD Estate 1.9 diesel


It just keeps going, I love it


Exhaust replaced, front wishbone bushes replaced.

General Comments:

So cheap to run, uses little fuel and takes a huge load in the back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th September, 2000

1988 Peugeot 305 GLD Estate 1.9 diesel


Drive shaft.


Gearbox faulty from new.

Rear suspension arm bearings.

Blown head gasket.

General Comments:

The car has done 205,000 miles (330,000 km) and has let me done only once or twice in seven years. When it has gone wrong normally it gives me lots of warning and doesn't actually stop. Most of the things which have gone wrong have been due to the extreme hard driving I subject it to, and the high mileage. A practical, tough, comfortable load carrier, but heavy to drive. Best diesel engine of the 1980s.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 1999

1984 Peugeot 305 GT 1.6 petrol


Cam belt broke at 100,000 miles.

Carburettor problems at 100,000 miles, (cost £1000 for it not to be fixed by an English Peugeot dealer, eventually cured by a French Citroen dealer and a hairgrip.)

General Comments:

212,000 miles and still going strong!

Bodywork will give in before the mechanicals do though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd December, 1998

20th Feb 2001, 07:18

I have a 305 GTX 1921cc 1985. Electric sunroof and windows, and a steal to buy for £275! I've travelled from Bristol to Scotland in it twice, very comfortable. The automatic choke put the fuel consumption through the roof, but with a manual choke in it it's running much better, and for less. I'm about to take it to France for my holiday, whilst there I'll treat it to a full French Peugeot dealer service (they have more parts and less costs).