Great fun and sorely missed!
I had the 306 for 3 months as a temporary company car, and I loved it.
Although the performance was not what you'd call rapid, the engine was very sweet and eager, and positively encouraged you to explore the upper part of the rev range. The steering was also.
Handling was stunning, especially as this was just the LX variant, and had no sporting pretensions at all. Like a lot of Peugeots the tail felt very light, but it turned in beautifully and responded so well to throttle and steering tweaks that I could push the car to the absolute limits with total confidence, then just play with it to my heart's content. Ease off the gas, the nose would tuck in and, when really pushing, the tail would slide too. Then by simply feeding power back in and winding lock on or off, I could place the car millimetre perfect on the road. I can count on one hand the cars I've driven, including exotica that are so beautifully balanced. Ridiculously, hugely, beyond-the-call-of-duty-ly impressive for what is basically a £12,000 shopping car! And it even rides comfortably.
The disc/drum brakes on this 1.6 version were pretty awful, and not a patch on the all-disc set up fitted to the larger engined models. The pedal was soggy with very little initial "bite", and the car also had a tendency to trigger its ABS ridiculously early. Steering though is in the Porsche / Lotus league with bags of feel and perfect weighting.
The revamped 306 interior is quite attractive with its silver trim and revamped dials. Driving position is good with supportive seats and all major controls are sensibly placed. People slate the 306's build quality, but I can't honestly see why. Granted, it's no Mercedes, but it's certainly no worse than a Ford, Vauxhall or Rover. By the end of 6,000 hard thrashed miles, everything worked, nothing had failed, and nothing rattled.
I cannot believe this car is no longer made, and that the 307 will be as much of a laugh to drive. The 306 is a pretty, reliable, sensible, cheap to run and cheap to insure family hatch, that, once you've unloaded the kids, shopping and other paraphernalia, is quite capable of providing big entertainment! Highly recommended!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th July, 2001