1997 Peugeot 306 SR 1.8 unleaded from Australia and New Zealand


Fun yet civilized


My first problem with the car was earlier this year when I parked the car on a downward incline with only 1/4 tank. There wasn't enough fuel to restart, and after many attempts the coil and injectors ended up needing replacement.

Since that incident though the engine continues to run poorly, with a lumpy idle and lack of power at around 2000rpm and is also very sensitive to air temp and dampness. Starts first time every time though.

Power windows are noisy.

For some reason the interior lights only go one when a front door is open, not for the back doors.

Windscreen wipers are painfully noisy and are very ineffective.

Brakes have awful feel.

Gear change baulks sometimes but is still quick and reverse becomes almost impossible to engage sometimes.

When it rains the central locking plays up. Try and lock it and it sometimes unlocks again straight away, requiring me to physically hold the lock down for a few seconds before it stays down.

Front seats are very stiff to move back and forth.

General Comments:

The sedan boot is seriously huge for a car this size, so much more practical than the hatch.

The only reason I only gave it a seven out of ten for performance is because of its recent faults, before that it was an excellent engine around town, holding fourth up hills where my 1998 Civic needed at least third.

The drive train is a little sloppy with a lot of play. Making a smooth start is difficult and any movement of the accelerator while at a steady speed will make a sudden jerk, no matter how slowly the pedal is moved.

Fantastic handler with the outer rear wheel biting in around a corner taken briskly. I make the most of every corner I come across in this car.

Ride is smooth for a small car, much better than the Civic and even a little better than our bigger Honda CRV.

The seats are comfortable for an hour or so, but by two hours I develop a sharp pain in my lower back.

Air conditioning is excellent (especially useful in Australian summers).

Cabin is a little dark and plastics aren't very high quality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2003

21st Dec 2006, 04:56

It seems that your car behaves like its worn out, but the kilometres are low for its age.

Do you thrash it?

1997 Peugeot 306 Meridian 1.6 Unleaded from UK and Ireland


A nice drive ruined by terrible reliability


Engine Cooling Fan when I bought the car. Got fixed, went again 2 months later, never bothered again (just put the heaters on full!) (fixed free under warranty)

Drive Shaft at 50,000 miles (£170)

Rear Exhaust / Back Box at 52,000 miles (£60)

Electric Windows / Central locking went due to corroded wire loom between car and driver door at 56,000 miles (£260)

Clutch went very bad at 60,000 miles - needed replacing (£195)

Internal Fan System - climate control - stopped working completely (didn't get fixed)

Intermediate Exhaust (£125)

Oil Leakages.

General Comments:

Extremely unreliable car, cost me a fortune and that was within 10 months.

Was a great drive in dry conditions, but terrible grip even with new tires in wet conditions, and without ABS, the brakes were keen to lock.

Would not buy another Peugeot after this experience, they just don't understand good build quality - either electric or mechanical. Only the engine was reliable.

Will stick to Japanese cars in future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th June, 2003

1997 Peugeot 306 LX 1.9 diesel from UK and Ireland


Wonderful used car - rightly praised


Nothing at all has gone wrong.

General Comments:

The car was bought second hand from a Peugeot dealership, and is excellent!

Externally, it's a five door hatchback, in an unusual shade of green - "Venetian" which also has a metallic finish. "Florida" wheeltrims (now extensively used on the 206) complete the look, as do body coloured bumpers.

I was anticipating seeing the interior because I've heard many criticisms of its styling and quality. However, I and my family have been pleasantly surprised. While the dash design is a little dates, it's all screwed together well and rattle-free. Nothing flimsy or "easily scratched" about it at all. Materials could be a little classier, but pleasant enough. Seats are comfortable and easily adjustable - a height adjustable drivers seat and steering wheel help the driver. Upolstery is velour finishes, and although the dark colours are fading slightly, it's all complete and supportive.

Equipment is generous, with remote central locking, electric front windows, electric sunroof, stereo cassette and power steering. Performance is VERY SURPRISING considering the bad press that non-turbo powered diesels get - but this one has plenty of pull in it and copes admirably on the motorway as it does around town.

And to close, the chassis! A work of genious. A gorgeous car to drive and so refined.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th June, 2003

5th Mar 2004, 12:36

Not sure about being nice to drive? My 306 1.4LX handles more like a wobbly wheelbarrow than a luxury limo, engine is asthmatic-even for a 1400, but has so far proved reliable over the last 2 years and 20,000 miles.

9th Mar 2004, 09:46

Well, in reply to the comment above, I've heard the 306 knocked (and deservedly so) for build quality, niggling faults and sometimes for performance, but never before for handling. If your 306 handles like a wobbly wheelbarrow, there is something seriously wrong with it. Get it looked at. I'm not surprised it's slow being a 1.4 (and neither really should you be), but the chassis on all 306's is a masterstroke.

I've had three 306's (a 1.6 GLX, 2.0 XSi and a 1.9 D-Turbo) and I currently drive a 2.0 Focus - the supposed dynamic king of the small hatches, and my view is that the 306's chassis still blows the competition into the weeds. To the uninitiated or inexperienced it feels a bit intimidating due to the light tail (which WILL step out if you close the throttle mid bend when you're "on it"), but once you get used to it, it makes anything else feel dull and slow witted. When cornering hard in a 306, you use the throttle as much as the steering to tweak the line. If you like your cars to just go where you point them, a modern equivalent like a Focus will be preferable. If you like them to be driver dependent, beautifully balanced and to ooze feel, any remotely straight 306 cannot fail to delight.

Your car either has accident damage, starship mileage, or needs a damn good suspension overhaul. The other thing that 306's hate are cheap tyres. This is one chassis where you really can feel the difference between a decent set of boots (Good Year Eagle Venturas or Continental SportContacts work well) and cheap/crap ones.