1998 Peugeot 306 XSi 2.0 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Wolf, well more of a bit of a hound, in sheep's clothing


Remote key flaky.

Fuel pipe leak.

General Comments:

This car is not right. I mean 306's in their droves are driven by those who use their cars for shopping, or for displaying their latest handywork in the form of a croched cushion; usually at 50mph in the middle lane of the M3.

Thankfully, it's not as girly as the Clio, because what lies beneath the 'street sleeper' exterior will make you want to come back for more - providing you take lots of corners in it.

Sure, the shopping trolley, docile characteristics are evident at low speed, the taught suspension and excellent feedback accompanied by the throaty exhaust note are the only real giveaways to its sporty capability. And plenty of room to take myself (at 6 feet) and swallow the golf clubs in the boot with relative ease.

Of course, also translates into the car having not even the power to see off lesser minions such as XR3i's and some GTi's below 2500 rpm. But spin the motor up above 3000rpm - to around 5000rpm and the once dozing fairground mules under the bonnet turn into true, snarling thoroughbreds. Not grand national winners make no mistake, but certainly enough to show the Golf GTi a clean pair of heels.

The chassis handles the power with ease, and even after modifying my engine to 150BHP, added Toyo tyres and Tar Ox brakes, it's still lapping up the corners as if on ice skates. I say ice skates because the squat configuration of the car means cornering is best left to those who like to slide their cars. Take a corner too fast and the front pushes slightly, let the throttle go, let the back come round and stamp on the loud pedal. Loads of grip, and it lets go with gently with plenty of warning.

Build quality however, is sadly typically French. Rattles have started to appear in places that really shouldn't rattle - the driver's window being the source of many scarey moments at motorway speeds with the window opens slightly. My speedo died, the rev counter could have done with a prescription of Viagra and my fuel and oil gauges were so upset by it all, they came out in sympathy. 2 mins with the soldering iron and a burnt finger (not from the iron, I was smoking and dropped my tab) and they all sprang into life, but it shouldn't happen to your Grandma should it?

Running costs are good for this type of car - the levels of grip generated by the chassis means tyre life is good, fuel is 35ish to the gallon, much better on the motorway, but it did drink oil until I changed it for Mobil 1 fully synthetic - only recommended for engines in good condition but it's done the trick.

Finally, servicing. 9000 miles for every service means I'm in my local Peugeot dealer every 6 months, which is far too often if you ask me. The fact the service manager is developing a new form of fungi under his armpits is not my main gripe, it's the prices accompanied with the long waiting times and the fact that if you want your car serviced on a Saturday when you don't need the car you can forget it, I'm not overly excited about the prospect.

On closing I'd just like to say to all the mechanics out there, stay open on a Saturday, when most men are trying to avoid an afternoon of shopping with their girlfriends eh? You'll be rated up there with gods like Jack Daniels, McDonalds, and Mr Playstation. We are not worthy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th November, 2000

1st Apr 2001, 15:41

Are you a journo??? This is a great review, and reads just like it came off the pages of Max Power, Revs or Evo.

21st Apr 2001, 16:27

The review managed to correlate all the whispers I'd heard on the 16V SXi. Although tempered with caution as to the build quality I think it might be my Vauxhall's demise into the free ads.

-good review, cheers.

1998 Peugeot 306 GTI-6 2.0 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


A fun car to drive if your not too fussed about solid build


Engine rev sensor faulty (same fault on my sister's 306 1.8).

Exhaust baffler rattling.

Factory fit mudflaps had to be removed because they dragged on tyres at full lock.

Engine cuts out when doing a sharp turn or if revving the engine and moving off swiftly. Never been fixed and common to all Peugeot petrol engines.

General Comments:

A fun car to drive and lots of power once you wind it up over 4000 revs.

Great handling. Always gets admiring looks.

Poor interior feels cheap and that you have to treat it with kid gloves.

Interior fan still stays on at the OFF position - the same on all Peugeots I have driven - eventually they start making noises and then break down - why have Peugeot not fixed faults that have been common for so many years on so many different models??

Gearchange can grate especially when cold and on high rev changes.

Paint finish is poor and chips and scratches easily down to the primer (and I treat it with great care!)

Body panels are made of thin sheeting making door knocks in car parks very unsightly.

My Peugeot main dealer (the largest chain in the UK) did not have the equipment needed to balance the special alloy wheels fitted - they told me to go to a normal tyre outlet.

Turning circle is also very poor and at full lock you get a slight grating noise - CV rubbers are OK though.

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

Review Date: 17th November, 2000

8th May 2001, 13:48

Wow, are you sure you don't drive my GTI-6, and there's me about to buy a new Clutch to get rid of the grating.

11th May 2001, 11:12

Original poster here. Don't change the clutch - Change the cable first. I am going to do the same on the next service (when I get robbed again!) The RHD 306 models had the cable re-routed near the exhaust manifold and tend to become inefficient quickly due to the heat, I am told. Selling mine after that.

1st Jun 2004, 15:56

My GTI 6 turning circle is poor when turning right, but is fine when turning left. what is that all about? Is it something to do with the larger gearbox and its position? help i'm stuck on a roundabout

28th Jan 2005, 00:04

The issue with the right-hand turning circle is the sixth gear. Apparently it's sort of bolted on the end of a 5 speed gearbox, and gets in the way when turning right.

I've been told you can have sixth removed and a cover plate bolted on the end. but why would you really want to do that? :)

Alternatively move to a country where they drive on the wrong side of the road. ;)