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!