Product Type: Peugeot cars
Newest Review: ... it myself. Fast, comfy and most importantly immense fun to hustle down a country road! Having come from a Clio 172 that I kept for less ... more
*** Updated *** 306 GiT?
Peugeot 306 GTi
Member Name: LegendaryMrDude
Peugeot 306 GTi
Date: 24/09/01, updated on 16/08/02 (3543 review reads)
Advantages: Engine, Gearbox, Handling
Disadvantages: Bodywork, Fuel Consumption, Servicing / Maintenance
18 months on and the best part of £2,000 in servicing costs, what do I think of this car?
Fun, expensive, fast, good looking, expensive, fast, awful turning circle, expensive.
The above is a pretty good summary. The latest service, for 45,000 miles, should have been a quick change of the oil & filter, a quick once over and away. No such luck, one phonecall from the garage later and I was looking at being an additional £500 lighter in the wallet! A new clutch is the culprit this time, the factory-fit one having worn out in barely 45,000 miles! I know it's a six-speed gearbox and that gear changes are a more than frequent ocurrence but I would have hoped for a bit more than 45k miles out of a clutch!!!
Add to that the new front brakes, battery, radiator and air-con compressor that have all needed replacing and the repair bill has so far been almost £2,000. Hence the reason for expensive!
Still a cracking car to drive, but I'm going to be a lot gentler with the gear changes from now on. Downgraded from 5 stars to 4 simply because of the cost/reliability thing.
=== Update Ends ===
It took long enough but earlier this year I had (finally) managed to save enough to buy a car to replace the 16 year old Vauxhall Astra that I'd been driving since passing my test. But what to get? I wanted something sporty, somthing with a bit of oomph. But I had grown used to the convenience of a hatchback car with a large boot. I also wanted something no older than 3 years and preferably with average (or lower) mileage of around 36,000. Colour was no problem as long as it wasn't white. Add to this the upper limit of my budget (£8,000) and I was ready to hit the streets.
Armed with nothing more than a Parkers Used Car guide and a couple of car magazines with reviews of sporty hatchbacks in I started to trawl the Internet to see what was out there. Quick scans of the Autotrader and Exchange-and-M
art websites were encouraging. Peugeot 306s, Volkswagon Golfs, Renault Meganes and cars of a similar class all appeared to be readily available (nationally), and within my price range. I narrowed my list down to a Peugeot 306 XSi, Golf GTi, Megane Coupe or a Fiat Bravo HGT and set off to the parts of town that bristle with used-car dealerships to see what was available locally.
At the first garage I visited, there was a red 306 on the forecourt. 3 years old, cheap enough etc, etc. What's more it's a GTi-6, one that didn't even make it on to my list because there weren't too many around. Hmmmmmm. Interesting. Time to arrange a test-drive.
Later that afternoon I arrive back at the garage... pick up the keys and take it for a drive. Oh Dear. So much for impartial decision making. This had to be the most fun I'd had in a (moving) car, ever! Anything after this was going to feel boring, surely. 20 minutes later (and with the fuel-gauge dangerously close to negative figures!) I return to the garage and play it cool. I still have a number of other cars to look at, I'll give them a call later in the week. Suffice to say I scurried off and tried to find some other cars to test. Having spent a similar amount of time in both Golf GTi and a Megane Coupe, I was still dead-set on getting the 306. Excellent. Phoned the garage up the next day, put a deposit down and the rest, as they say, is history (including an AA inspection etc, etc).
So now I've had the car for 6 months.
It is still a joy to drive. The handling is crisp and responsive, the engine makes a wonderful noise and really kicks at above 4,500 rpm. The close ratio, 6-speed gearbox suits the engine perfectly and is one of the more positive gearboxes I've come across. It's fast and an makes light work of motorway journeys. The interior is fine, ride position suits me perfectly, the window-sill at just the right height for resting elbows on. Everything
is adjustable to make it fit 'just-so'. Even the factory fit speakers sound good (although the head-unit has been replaced). There's plenty of room in the back for 2 adult passengers (although 3 would be a squeeze and uncomfortable on a long run). The boot is big enough for a large suitcase (and extras) or a dozen bags of shopping. With the rear seats down the boot is incredibly spacious, capable of swallowing a 32" widescreen TV, fully boxed.
On the down side;
Fuel consumption maybe should have been a higher priority... around town I am lucky to get 20mpg. Things do improve on motorway journeys (up to 30 - 35mpg) but fuel costs are high for urban driving. Not that I'm complaining.
Servicing costs aren't the cheapest around. Services are due every 9,000 miles with major services at 36,00 and 72,000. The 36,000 mile service I just had done cost approx £350, regular services are around £200. As ever, service costs don't include new front discs & pads which, whilst doing a sterling job of stopping the car, wear down at a frantic rate.
As do the front tyres. 167Bhp through the front wheels, with no traction control can be a bit 'hairy' at times, especially in the wet. It took a bit of getting used to and it's all a part of the fun, but your tyres don't last too long.
Insurance isn't all that cheap either. It's a group 15/16 car, so a lot will depend on your age/where you live etc but even in 'safe' areas insurance is pricey.
The bodywork is another worry. Twice now I've left it in a car park to come back and find fresh dents in the doors where people have knocked it getting in to cars parked next to me, it certainly seems to dent a lot easier than most other cars I've driven. And the paint chips easily as well. Again not a massive complaint, but be careful where you park it!
Other niggles? The turning circle has to be the WORST I've
encountered for a car this size, 3-point turns are prone to becoming 4 or 5. Changing gear down to 2nd is a delicate operation and is the only problem with the otherwise excellent gearbox. Around town the 6-speed 'box becomes a bit of a chore, requiring more gear changes than you may be used to in heavy traffic.
Am I happy with it? Most definately! Driving is once again as fun as it was just after I passed my driving test! Part and parcel of owning a 'performance' car are the higher running costs so I can't complain about that and the niggles are just that, they're not problems or issues or defects, they don't even irritate me that much.
Would I recommend the same car to anyone else? Without hesitation.