306 is many things: family holdall; sporty hatchback; stylish cabriolet; and load-lugging estate. Easy to own, good to drive and fairly economical to run, it represents sound value now.
- Big on choice, big on value
- Best ride in class for a mid-90s design
- Pleasant to drive and handles well
- Shows its age quickly, especially inside
- Older diesel versions can be noisy
- 1.4 and 1.9D are plodding and dull
Despite being an older design, 306 has big attractions for the value-conscious buyer. The line-up offers as much choice as Escort or Astra (1991-98); 306's excellent ride quality helps it rise above these rivals. And handling is way ahead of mid-Nineties family car standards - it's responsive and confidence-inspiring.
Engines start with 1.4 and 1.9D units, but it's the 1.6, 1.9 D Turbo, 2.0 HDi and GTi-style 2.0 XSi that make the best of 306's abilities. There are true 'hot hatch' choices, too: the 150+ bhp S16 and GTi-6.
Occupant comfort is above-average, boosted by the superior ride. Adults have reasonable rear legroom and seats are comfortable, though taller drivers may complain of tight headroom on cars with a factory-fitted sunroof. Interior trim looks good on newer cars but often gets rattly and tatty as the years mount up.
Recommended as a stylish yet sensible value choice.
Need To Know
Best Models: 2.0 XSi; 2.0 HDi turbo-diesels; cabriolets
Worst Models: Low spec 1.4 and 1.9D versions; saloons
Replacement: by Peugeot 307 in mid-2001
Quality & Reliability
Value for Money