I had to have both lower ball joints replaced on the front suspension shortly after purchase, it had done about 40,000 miles at this point. This was done by a dealer under an extended warranty, so it didn't cost me anything. They were quick to respond with no quibbling. It took about a week to replace from the first time I told them of the problem. The car was in the dealership for just one day.
I did have a persistent oil leak around the sump when I first got the car. Again this was repaired under warranty. Unfortunately, at first they tried to get out of it by saying that it was normal for this engine to use a litre of oil per 1000 miles. They eventually conceded that there was a problem, although there were a couple of trips to the dealer to resolve. They couldn't track where the oil was coming from. They eventually replaced the oil seals around the bearing assembly on the flywheel which cured it. My feeling is that they never really knew exactly what to look for and were in fact stabbing in the dark. The bearing oil seal was not the first seal to be replaced!
The only time the car hasn't started was due to a failed crank sensor. The computer doesn't pick up a signal from it when you try to start thus it refuses to supply fuel to the fuel rail. This was repaired under warranty, about 57,000 miles. Again a couple of trips to a main dealer to fix. They first thought that the battery was faulty so this got replaced. I thought this odd because the battery seemed to be OK and I had been told by my local garage (where I now get it serviced) that it was likely to be the sensor. I told the main dealer this and they checked the computer log for reported faults. The sensor did not report a problem. This. I have discovered is because the car won't start due to the fault with the sensor. The faulty sensor can't report itself until the car has started, bit of a design flaw that one. Anyway, I got the car back and it started fine for two days then went on the blink again. Back it went and this time they changed the sensor. They seemed especially pleased with themselves about this, as if it were a really tricky intermittent fault they had cured, not the simple fault I had told them about in the first place!!! They lost brownie points because of this. The car has started first time since then tough in all weathers.
Only other problem is a leaky water pump. It hadn't gone wrong, but was picked up as part of the 72,000 mile service. I had it changed while they had the engine apart to reduce time for repair at a later date. The engine was in bits due to the Cam Belt change, which is very expensive. The part itself is nothing, but the labour comes in at about 4.5 hours including all the other things, i.e. plugs, oil filter, air filter etc. etc. Be aware, the 72,000 mile service is not cheap.
The car itself is joy to drive. I hired one when I was a student and fell in love with the 306, I declared, as soon as I could I would buy one, so I did. The handling is in a class of its own. I have not only kept up with, but pulled away from Alpha spiders, Audi A4/6, big SAABs, even had fun with a Scooby Impreza and a Porche 911. Yes, a Porche 911, I couldn't believe it either. On the straights they can catch me up and overtake, but on twisty's or roundabouts they simple fall behind. The way this car handles corners is simply amazing. Its precise, goes where you want it, and instills massive confidence. When it does let go, back end in dry, front end in wet, it goes gently with plenty of warning to allow you to correct and carry on.
The power delivery is smooth and constant up to about 5200rpm. No point going above this as the power delivery drops off and its better to change up a gear.
Top speed is well into the range where the police are likely to ban you, there is minimal fuss to get there either.
Fuel consumption is very good, about 35mpg combined. Easy to park, nippy about town, cruises for 400 miles non-stop without complaint and very comfy with it.
I travel around the UK a lot with work and often have to spend several hours in the car, when I say several I mean up to 24hrs, not your couple of hours run up the motorway. I occasionally have to eat, sleep, work etc. in my car and its great except... No cup holders!
Plenty of room for four adults and a massive boot.
The car is now six years old and a few rattles have started, but nothing too bad.
The only down side is, erm, arr, the lights are a bit dim. That really is all I can think of, maybe some Xenon bulbs are called for.
Apart from the few problems I have had, and these were over the course of three years, I can't complain about the car. It is a cheap family runabout, or a delightful drivers car, which ever you want it to be. It never fails to put a smile on my face.