7th Jul 2001, 19:10

Glad you're enjoying your XSi. A friend has an 8 valve version as a company car, which has stayed in service a bit longer than planned. It has now covered 125,000 miles but still goes and handles brilliantly.

The 8 valve engine has a different delivery, being all about mid range torque. It delivers strong pull between 2,500 and 5,500 RPM, but sounds a bit strained if you push it harder.

I totally agree on your handling comments. I've driven this car and it made me giggle like a complete idiot. Lift the throttle, out comes the tail, plant the throttle again, wind off the lock, and catapult out of the bend. Brilliant, and makes most of its rivals feel leaden and slow witted! I love the way you can play with the car, and it responds exactly as you wish. The steering is also superb - one of the best set up PAS systems at any price.

I just hope the 307 is as talented!

24th Oct 2001, 06:56

I agree with all the nice comments... but what about reliability. My 1998 XSi has cost over £1000 in repair bills in the 18 months I've had it. Not impressed at all.

26th Jun 2002, 09:39

Our company has run 306's since they came out, including several XSi's and 1.8 GLX 16 valves, and I have a soft spot for the 306, currently running an XSi 16 valve myself. Our overwhelming impression is that the 8 valve XSi's (old shape) were much more reliable than the newer 16 valve ones.

I'm sorry, but the Peugeot 16 valve unit is a joke in both 1.8 and 2.0 form. It starts leaking oil past about 40,000 miles and is breathless over 5,000 RPM. It also lacks the 8 valve units superb mid range torque, and suffers from all manner of problems. Over 100,000 miles most of our 16 valve cars had problems with head gaskets, ignition coils, ECU's, idle quality, inlet manifolds, catalytic converters, poor cold starting, stalling and oil leaks of almost epidemic proportions. None of which ever arose on the 8 valve engines.

The 306 is a cracking car to drive (miles better than the 307 IMO), but the shocking engineering does let them down. It's a shame, especially when the old ones always seemed to keep going. It's also worrying that this dog of an engine has been carried over to the new 307.

11th Aug 2002, 04:40

Not very much to say on this except "Buy a 306XSI and you will not be disappointed!" I have had no problems with my Peugeot and it's the first one I have owned. The car is black, looks good and handles great! Considering chipping it soon which should give me another 10BHP all in all can't wait!


5th Dec 2002, 05:19

I bought my 97/r-reg 16v xsi over 2 years ago with 27,000 miles, and since covered just under 20 thousand mile without any problems, the only part that I needed to replace was the axillary belt which cost £50 supplied and fitted by peugeot. It cost little to run, it's also very reasonable to insure, is great fun to drive and offers swift acceleration over 3'000RPM. Overall the car is excellent and offers a good compromise between cost, performance and comfort.

4th Jan 2003, 09:00

I've had a few so called hot hatch's including Astra SRi's (OK not that hot), Golf GTi 16v's, and whilst the Golf had more power I find my XSi 16v is far more usable especially when coming out of corners. It does tend to run out of steam at around 5,500 rpm though - a bit more like an 8v motor in that respect. Agree about the build though both the VW and dare I say it the Vauxhall were much better put together.

24th Nov 2004, 16:19

I have had my 306 xsi for 18 months and have tuned the nuts off it.

It now runs 385 bhp and does 0 60 in 3.5 seconds and hits out at 176mph not bad is it cost £16000 to do I bet mines better than yours.

23rd Nov 2005, 07:24

Knocking on 400BHP from a Pug engine? In your head, little boy. Grow up and stop wasting bandwidth. Maybe one day you'll even own a real car!

8th Oct 2006, 14:03

Of course you can have 385 BHP out of a FWD 2.0, it's a 2.0 turbo just the same as an EVO, Impreza or cossie, but no way would you get 3.5 seconds to 60 MPH from a FWD car. If you planted your foot down like you can in an EVO or scooby, you would just end up sitting in a plume of tire smoke, and if you skillfully applied the right amount of throttle not to spin the wheels, you would not get 3.5 seconds. Good at high speed though.

4th Feb 2007, 08:47

I agree with all the comments on the 306 XSi 8v. I've had mine a month and it has done 120000 miles, and it still drives and starts like a dream. It's fun to drive, and I love the mid range torque.

8th Aug 2007, 17:37

I have just bought a 306 and I can't lock it as the central locking just locks it and it unlocks immediately, can't lock it manually either. Also it has no radio or speakers. Any advice appreciated. I live in Norwich, but would be prepared to travel even to France if I can get help?

9th Aug 2007, 12:19

Going back to the original review; it's complete rubbish. No way will a 306 XSi beat a Focus 2.0 Zetec. I own one of them and have wasted one of these, both on straights and down country lanes. The stats back this up as well; the standard 2.0 Zetec will do 0-60 in 8.9; the XSi 10.1. That is slow; it's slower than a Saxo VTR for goodness sake.

I've had a Bluefin remap on mine and it is exactly the same as a Saxo VTS 0-80, and then I start to pull away. And as for the 306 gti6, the 0-60 time for that is only 8.5, so I would beat one of them too, because the VTS will hit 60 in 7.7, plus the 2.0 Zetec is only group 8 on insurance and is the fastest car in the lower insurance groups.

30th Nov 2007, 03:32

The 306 is a far more fun handling car than the Focus. That's based on my own experience having covered 100,000 miles in each between 1998 and 2004. The 306 has more throttle adjustability and better balance on the absolute limit. It also rides better.

As for performance, there is little in it between the XSi and the 2.0 Focus in the real world.

30th Nov 2007, 11:23

Every review you read of the focus says it's the best handling family hatchback of its time. I used own a 1.6 306 SSX and the handling was awful; body roll and understeer. And it looks ugly and it's dated. The only reason I had it was because I got it for £200 as a first car.

12th Dec 2008, 19:33

I currently own 306 XSi 8v and previously owned a 16v, and have raced a GTi6 with both. The 16v eats them alive ha ha. I would say my 8v has a lot more bottom end torque due to de-cat chip and re profiled cam, but poor top end compared to the 16v.

As to Focus owners, they are a poor attempt at a hot hatch. The 306 is old school and rule.

Only problems I have had with mine is the stepper motor on the 8v made the idle a bit rough.

As for handling, it's better to leave the ride height normal. Mine was slammed when I got it and was awful to drive, but sorted now.