Used Peugeot 307 review: 2001-2005
- Peugeot 307 2001
- Peugeot 307 2002
- Peugeot 307 2003
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French carmakers have long had an on-again, off-again relationship with this country, which has made buying one a test of faith in the brand.
Following victories in rallies such as the Round Australian trials dating back to the 1950s Peugeot has been held in high regard, but periods of absence or little activity have pushed them to the back of the market to the point they often get overlooked when buyers go shopping. For that reason the 307 was pushing uphill in a very competitive market segment when it arrived on the scene in 2001.
At its launch it was only available as a five-door hatch, but a wagon was added to the range a year later. The 307 followed the styling trend of the day. It was rather upright and had a long sloping bonnet that merged with a steeply raked windscreen. Inside, it was quite roomy with the driver and front seat passenger enjoying a comfortable ride in well-shaped and supportive seats.
Rear passengers weren't afforded quite the same comfort with legroom a little restricted, forcing those in the front seats to compromise by sliding their seats forward a little to accommodate them. Luggage capacity was reasonable, with the 60/40 split-fold rear seat adding to its load-carrying flexibility.
There were three engines on offer at the launch of the 306, a base 1.6-litre four-cylinder that left you feeling a little flat, a 2.0-litre four that pepped you up, and a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that left you feeling good at the end of the week. A choice of five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions was available, one of the autos had sports shifting, and the final drive was via the front wheels.
If French cars struggle to match their Japanese rivals in value-for-money terms they appeal when it comes to their on-road manners and the 307 was no different. With a nicely balanced chassis it handled well, steered nicely, and rode comfortably to boot. It was a treat to drive.
Feedback from 307 owners varies from super critical to heaps of praise. Some love the comfort and general driving experience they have had, others report nightmares of unreliability and expense. From what we've heard the fit and finish of the cabin is variable and bits and pieces of trim fall off with regularity. It also seems that the 307 is plagued by electrical gremlins.
Mechanically it appears quite robust, although we had one report of a blown head gasket at around 150,000 km. With most showing around 150,000 km on the odometer it's necessary to thoroughly check any car before laying out your cash. Check all systems to make sure they are working; you don't want to get home and find the air-conditioning is on the blink.
You should also go on a reasonably long road test taking in as many road conditions as possible, listening for any suspension knocks or clunks, rattles or pinging from the engine, whining and the like from the transmission and drivelines. Along the way head to a car park or open area where you can drive the car slowly in a tight turning circle in both directions while listening for any noises or shuddering that might suggest worn drive shafts.
Also make sure your potential purchase has been regularly serviced with regular oil changes. It's also worth finding a Peugeot mechanic to service your car, many owners complain about the cost of Peugeot dealer servicing and the price of parts.
Can be rewarding to drive, but can also be a nightmare if you choose the wrong car.
Peugeot 307 2001-2005
Price new: $28,190 to $33,690
Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder, 80 kW/147 Nm; 2.0-litre 4-cylinder, 100 kw/190 Nm; 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, 66 kW/205 Nm
Transmission: 4-speed auto, 5-speed manual
Economy: 6.4 L/100 km (1.6), 7.9 L/100 km (2.0); 5.4 L/100 km (2.0 TD) Body: 5-door hatch, 4-door wagon
Variants: 1.6, 2.0, 2.0 HDi, XS HDi, XSE, XSi
Safety: 4-star ANCAP
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