1998 Peugeot 306 L 1.9 diesel (non-turbo) from UK and Ireland


Economical, comfortable, recommended, but not for performance


Priming pump unit failed, hairline crack allowed air into the fuel system and starved the engine of diesel. Unit was made of plastic and took Peugeot 3 weeks to order and fit a replacement.

Numerous bulb failures, front main headlamps, dash bulbs and courtesy lights.

Dealers were prompt and reliable, providing a 406 courtesy car.

General Comments:

Excellent economy, squeezed almost 600 miles from a full tank during the fuel crisis of 2000.

Lack of any urgency or performance, although pulled well in low gears or when driving uphill. Not so good when laden with 4 passengers and a full boot. Would struggle at motorway speeds over any gradient.

Handling was superb and the ride was comfortable. Ride comfort ruined after light frontal accident.

Above average build quality both in and out, better than equivalent Ford and vauxhall back in 1998.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2004

1998 Peugeot 306 Meridian 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Nice looking car, shame about its engine!


My head gasket blew at 36,000 miles.

Six months later, the car had starting problems. It began to chug and lose power and idle erratically. It went to local garage who suggested it may have been a faulty spark plug and offered to change it free of charge as they had done the service a few months before.

I continued to experience starting problems for months after until one morning when it failed to start at all. It was not the battery. It went to a dealer and they replaced the manifold and something else to do with the oxygen intake. This cost me £220!

Even after these repairs, it was not running right and still cut out in the morning when attempting to start the car. It went back to the dealers 3 times in all, having a stepper motor fitted and lastly a new coil pack.

The car was on the road for a couple of weeks and the something else occurred. The dials on the petrol gauge, rev counter and speedo went to nil. This has just been repaired.

General Comments:

When this car is running OK it is a lovely car to drive, but due to nearly a years worth of faults, I am reluctant to keep the car.

It is a real shame as the car looks nice and has a lot of extras plus air conditioning.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th July, 2004

20th Aug 2004, 12:09

You made the mistake of buying the 1400 petrol. it's the old TU series engine they've been sticking in cars since the late 1970's. I believe that Renault 14's even had them!! next time try Diesel they are Peugeots main strength.

9th Feb 2005, 14:10

Sorry to hear of your bad experiences with your 306. Sad to say that head gaskets failing are a result of overheating. The excess heat causes the alloy cylinder head to warp allowing the fluids to seep out under pressure. Bad/lack of maintenance is the cause regardless of engines manufacturer. The starting problems you describe are usually a result of defective ignition components or incorrect ignition timing. Mal-adjusted ignition timing invariably causes overheating.

The garage looking after your 306 would seem to have some explaining to do. The engine itself is fairly standard so any faults or potential faults should have been noticed and rectified by them.

1998 Peugeot 306 L 1.9D from UK and Ireland


Economical, good to drive and practical


Anti-Roll bar bushes started to wear so I had them changed.

Drivers' side headlamp adjuster.

Sump gasket starting to leak, -will be done at next service.

General Comments:

I had reservations initially about buying a Peugeot due to older cars' poor build quality. However, I have been pleasantly surprised with this car.

Its extremely economical, has a great chassis and hence handles very well indeed, the steering is positive and gives good feedback, though is not as sharp as that of the Mondeo it replaced. But for a small family car, it feels very solid on the road, even at motorway speeds. To top that, group 4 insurance saves you even more!

Not a performance car by any stretch, however I did not expect it to be. Though the excellent and well respected Peugeot Diesel engine provides excellent torque from very low down (as most diesels do) and hence makes climbing hills very easy, leaving many 'more powerful' everyday cars the rear view mirror.

Overall, performance is more than adequate, though its not as refined as a modern diesel engine such as Fords' TDCi or indeed Peugeots' newer HDi, which can only be expected with these newer technologies. Manufacturers have really developed Diesel technology of late and my next car will definitely be Diesel powered, but probably with the help of a Turbo this time.

The clutch is a little heavy, though this could be down to wear due to the miles it has covered. But the brakes are good and give useful feedback.

The seats are adequate in terms of comfort, but could be improved. Though, considering the miles it has covered, the interior is wearing well with no notable problems.

Build quality is only average, the dashboard is well laid out, however, not up to the standard of some rivals. Has the odd small rattle, but nothing to really annoy.

Peugeot 306's are famed for their electrical problems (according to my brother who is an Auto electrician), but touch wood, this car has been fine, though it has very little in terms of electrical gizmos to go wrong, -PAS, Remote central locking (a godsend when you have your hands full!), and a drivers' airbag is about all that this one has over and above the essentials.

One of the Peugeot dealers in Cardiff who shall remain nameless, though polite and helpful, tried to convince me that a wheel bearing needed replacing, as well as the steering rack, and they wanted £580 for their efforts, I duly declined and asked a local specialist for their opinion. End result, there was plenty of mileage left in the steering rack which had hardly any play, as for the wheel bearing -it seemed a nut was loose and was hence giving play. I am not saying that they loosened it as I have no proof of this, but surely they could have tightened it and not try to sell me a new bearing plus labour to fit it when the one on the car was perfectly fine, the car recently passed an MOT first time -6k after the supposed 'worn wheel bearing'. I`ll be using the local specialist from now on, not the main dealer... a lot cheaper too!

The car still feels very tight and considering the car has covered 102k, I`m expecting some replacement parts to be required. Though I am not too concerned as I have seen some examples with 180k+ on, and this one will be replaced within the next year or 18 months.

I've been surprised and impressed by this car, which has changed my opinion on Peugeots. When it is due to be replaced, I will be having a look at their latest offerings as one of the first ports of call.

If you need a sensible, economical, practical car, a 306 diesel is well worth a look.

Good points: Chassis, Sharp handling, Economy, Diesel Engine.

Bad points: Build quality could be better, seats could be more comfortable. Not a great deal more in my experience.

...I just hope this car does not go bang tomorrow now that I have praised it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th June, 2004

25th Jul 2004, 11:38

Might interest you to know that Ford's TDCi is actually a Peugeot HDi unit renamed to suit. 1.4 available in the New Fiesta is same engine as 206/307 and Citroen C2/3's HDi unit. Two-litre TDCi is a Peugeot dervived unit also and is found in Volvo's too! only 'Ford' diesel is the 1.8 litre unit most common in Focus's this is a upgraded version of the old TDi first found in Mondeos circa 1994.