Last Chance To Buy: Peugeot 307

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The Independent Online


Launched: 2001
Engine sizes: 1.4, 1.6, 2.0, 1.4 HDI, 1.6 HDi, 2.0 HDi
Performance: 1.6i – top speed of 118 mph; 0-60mph in 11.1 seconds
Economy: 39.2mpg
Safety: NCAP, 4 stars

When's it going?

In the autumn there is going to be a, yes you guessed it, all new Peugeot 308. As usual it will be better than the model it replaces, but it will have the uncompromisingly ugly front end of current models, plus it will be greener.

That's because Peugeot's first petrol/electric hybrid will be part of the 308 range. However, more than three million of the old 307s were sold, so it couldn't have been that bad.

What's good about it?

This was a huge improvement over the old 306s, even if it wasn't as good to drive. There's a wide range of engines, and the 2.0-litre's a lively performer. The smaller 1.4 and 1.6 petrols deliver around 40mpg, which isn't too bad. Most buyers would probably go for the diesels, but the larger 2.0-litre model is the best bet. Peugeot did a great job with a stiff bodyshell and tuned suspension, resulting in fairly quiet progress.

Because it is styled like a people carrier you do get a decent amount of space inside and the split-fold rear seat helps. The 307 has generous levels of specification so at the very least you get a fully adjustable driver's seat and remote locking. You certainly should not drop below the S level of trim if you can.

You also get plenty of safety kit, including six air bags, emergency brake assist and headrests and pedals which are designed to minimise injuries. The hazard warning lights come on when you brake hard to save you the bother.

What's bad about it?

The magazine road-testers never liked the fact that this was a Peugeot that wasn't necessarily fun to drive. This was no disaster as it was designed to be a practical family vehicle, but that sloping roof compromised rear headroom and worst of all the quality and reliability of the vehicle were found wanting. This is unacceptable to many owners who have also complained of the indifferent attitude of the dealers in sorting out these niggly problems. All that refinement came at a price which meant a much heavier vehicle than before. In all, a competent but dull car.

How much?

Getting money off Peugeots has never been a problem with an average of at least £2,000 off. Peugeot themselves are offering zero-rate finance on the entry-level X-Line range.

Indeed, Peugeot dealers, such as Peugeot St Albans (0845 375 2426) can supply low-mileage 2006 1.6S models for £7,995, saving £5,800 on the new price. Meanwhile puts you in touch with dealers who will knock off at least £2,000 from the X-Line model and £1,000 off any other one.

Any snags?

At the last count there were 19 recalls covering everything from mechanical issues to tyres and suspension. Others include the ventilation system, uspension, head gasket failures and faulty gauges, among many other gripes.