Facelifted Model: The 2005 model Peugeot 307 HDi.
Facelifted Model: The 2005 model Peugeot 307 HDi.

Comfort not hard to handle

THE Peugeot 307 is sleek looking mid-sized French car that has proven successful in its class since being introduced to Australia in December 2001.

The Europeans frequently use cars in this class as family machines, though it Australia it's more often seen as a car for couples or singles.

To get good rear seat legroom you may have to move the front seats forward a couple of notches. The front seats are large, well-shaped and feel good even after extended trips. Comfort is what the French demand in their cars and the Peugeot 307 doesn't disappoint.

While the emphasis is on comfort, the handling of the Peugeot 307 isn't too bad, though some will find that it doesn't have the feedback or dynamic response of the smaller 306 that it replaced.

The boot is large and simple to load and can be extended by folding the rear seats in different sections. If you want really good luggage space, why not opt for a station wagon? These were launched here in October 2003 and are particularly popular in turbo-diesel format.

With the facelifted model from October 2005, the 307 received the ‘big-grille' look that had created such a stir with the launch of the Peugeot 407. A shape that has been further expanded in the Peugeot 308 which replaced the 307 in 2008. The big-grille Peugeot 307s are arguably the ones to go for if your budget is up to them as they had the handling and steering tidied up at the same time as the looks were changed.

Turbo-diesel engines have been strong in the Peugeot lineup in Australia for many years, since long before other European marques started to promote them in this country. These days a large percentage of buyers of Peugeots opt for them. You can buy diesels in 1.6 and 2.0-litre capacities. Even the smaller unit gives reasonable performance.

Petrol engines are also offered in 1.6 and 2.0-litre capacities. These engines are smooth enough in their own right, but somehow don't quite manage the silkiness of their Japanese competitors.

Petrol engines are sold with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. At this stage, the diesels come only with manual gearboxes, five ratios in some and six in others, but an automatic transmission turbo-diesel is soon to hit the new-car scene.

There's a large range of bodies in the Peugeot 307. A five-door hatchback is the principal model, but the station wagon, introduced in 2003, is selling well for its market segment.

A coupe-cabriolet version, the Peugeot 307 CC, has been offered since February 2004. It's a nice looking car with the top down, though as is often the way in this class the bulky tail (required to accept a large folding roof) doesn't do a lot for the looks.

Peugeots are built to a reasonably high standard but don't come near the Japanese cars in this regard.

Peugeot has consistently maintained a stronger presence in Australia than any other importer of affordable European cars. This has led to good resale values.

We haven't heard any real complaints about the cost of servicing, repairs or spare parts for Peugeots.

The 307 is a reasonably simple car in its mechanical layout. However, it's not really a car on which the amateur mechanic should attempt major repairs. age for an imported car in this class. That is, higher than for home-growns, but not unreasonably so.

Check that the engine starts easily and idles relatively smoothly. It should accelerate the car without hesitation even from low revs and not be too noisy or harsh while doing so.

Watch for an immediate puff of smoke if the engine is suddenly asked to work hard. Some smoke is acceptable in a turbo-diesel, but it shouldn't last for more than a couple of seconds. Any smoke in a petrol engine's exhaust is likely to spell trouble.

Manual gearboxes are generally long lasting but one which is reluctant to change down from a high gear when rushed may be in trouble.

Automatics should change quickly and not hold onto gears for too long. Nor should they constantly jump up and down through gears.

 

HOW MUCH?

Expect to pay

  • from $5500 to $9000 for a 2001 Peugeot 1.6 hatch;
  • $6000 to $10,000 for a 2001 2.0 HDi hatch;
  • $9000 to $14,000 for a 2003 XSE hatch;
  • $11,000 to $17,000 for a 2004 XSR hatch;
  • $13,000 to $19,000 for a 2005 XSE HDi Touring wagon;
  • $15,000 to $22,000 for a 2005 Sport;
  • $18,000 to $26,000 for a 2005 CC Dynamic convertible;
  • and $23,000 to $32,000 for a 2007 CC Dynamic convertible;


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