1998 Peugeot 306 LX 1.9 XUD turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Get one while you still can, but watch for the wheels leaning!

Faults:

The rear beam has faulty bearings (very common), which means the rear wheels sit at a camber angle like this: /------\ .

The rear seat belt on the passenger side stopped working. On closer inspection, the metal that the seat belt reel is bolted onto, has rusted so badly that the reel fell off with the slightest touch! Leaving a big hole where you can see the rear wheel. The hole is as big as an orange, and that means there is no way to add another seat belt without welding in another metal plate. I recommend you check this if you intend on buying a 306, as it is a known but not much spoken about issue. It has something to do with Peugeot neglecting to put plastic wheel liners in that side (so I have heard).

General Comments:

Other than the faults, I'm happy with the car in general. Economy is on par with a 1.1 petrol car, but with a bit more poke. I tried to drive economically, and the best I could do was 50 MPG, but apparently the HDIs do 10 MPG better.

I chose an XUD turbo 306 for a few reasons:

1. Easy to tune.

2. It can deal with veg oil instead of diesel when needed.

3. Less to go wrong than a newer diesel.

Going to the first reason I chose this car, I was disappointed to find I had a GT15 turbo fitted. It's the hardest to tune; even fitting a MBC is next to impossible without the use of good lighting and ramps. Also, the GT15 runs out of puff very fast; a quick spool is nice, but to find it just has no oomph at 3000 RPM and beyond is very hard to swallow.

Having had a Citroen ZX, and 3 other 306 TDs, I can say for definite, the earlier cars had better turbos, and pre 96, better Bosch fuel pumps. A T2 with a Bosch was the best setup. The ZX, which has the same engine, usually has a KKK, and I like them - they are almost as good as a T2.

If you want a Dturbo, or DT 306/ZX for performance, ignore the 98-on models, they will mostly come with the smaller turbos and be disappointing. Get something 1997 or before, trust me!

As for economy, I found the Phase 1s better. I guess this is because they are lighter. The Phase 1s up to 96/June-ish, made 55 MPG combined.

If I was to buy another 306, I would seek a ZX instead! Labelled as the 306's ugly sister, but it's lighter, shorter geared and definitely faster! :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2014

1998 Peugeot 306 XSi 2.0 petrol twin cam from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Great little car, feels like a big go kart

Faults:

Had a couple of bent valves + broken valve springs upon purchase. Suspected timing belt failure at some point.

Engine mount support broken at 148,000km.

Starter motor failed at 156,500km.

Left rear anti-roll bar link broken at 162,500km; led to some interesting handling characteristics briefly.

Idle air control stepper motor failed at 170,000km; found a replacement for $50.

Certain bushes in the front suspension, along with the front strut mounts, are on their way out, at 173,000km.

General Comments:

Not an ideal choice if you are after a cheap daily driver in Australia; parts can be rather costly (a new starter motor was $315, not great for it to suddenly fail), along with some tasks requiring quite a bit of patience/labour costs to complete.

Fantastic handling. With a competent set of tyres, this car is a huge amount of fun once you hit the twisty stuff.

Cabin built quality isn't 100%; peculiar noises from the interior are rather apparent, but don't really bother me.

If tyres aren't looked after, can be quite a handful in the wet, particularly on roundabouts, so it pays, as always, to check tyre wear/pressures regularly.

Visibility from the driver's seat is rather good, very easy car to park, apart from the somewhat stiff clutch.

Lastly, if you are a taller driver, I'd recommend steering away from 306's equipped with sunroofs. Being 6'2 myself, attempting to sit up perfectly straight, results with my head being shoved against the ceiling.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd June, 2012