I used to own a 306 Rallye, but the engine is the same in the 306GTi6.
It was a brilliant car to drive and had everything you could want for in a hot hatch except for one thing: reliability.
The achilles heal of this car is the cambelt. You MUST change it every 30,000 because its woefully under specified for the power of this engine. If you don't you run the risk of a snapped cam belt.
If the cam belt snaps two things happen. Firstly the top end of the engine needs to be rebuilt (costs between £1000 and £2000 depending on the number of bent valves). Secondly the pistons, when they hit the valves, send a shock wave down to the crank shaft which can put it very slightly out of tolerance; therefore even if you re-build the top half of the engine the crankshaft damage is not repaired and the cam belt will suffer another failure very quickly, if you are unlucky.
As you can tell I had some very bad luck with my car. If you own a 306GTi or Rallye change that cambelt very regularly. If you are considering buying one, don't do it unless you know that the cam belt has never snapped in the past. So in other words, don't buy it!
I have owned this car for five years now and covered 80,000 miles on top of the 35,000 it had when I bought it at two-and-a-half years old. Even with 116,000 miles on the clock the engine is still solid as a rock.
It has a few niggles with age and mileage, though. My air-con is bust - there are two leaks in the radiator and a full days' labour to strip the front end off the car to sort it, including parts is circa £700 so not worth it.
The airbag lights like to flash - easily rectified by connectors under the seats. The dashboard/parcel shelf do rattle a bit but no more than you'd expect for an ageing French car. My speedo also cuts out intermittently - any offers on what this is?
The car looks great, just the GTi6 from the outside - sadly no leather seats inside. Froup 5 insurance and minimum 45mpg when pushed around town make it cheap to run - though brakes all round plus replacing standard pirelli tyres is expensive.
Even the 3-door is very practical - good size boot for moving stuff around with seats down - and room for 4 adults and a weekend's luggage. Rear passenger space is decent, but agree on long trips there are more comfortable ways to travel.
The car corners and handles brilliantly for what is it. The car is regularly serviced at the local dealership and touch wood - the services of the AA have yet to be called upon.
A lovely car to look at and drive. The fuel economy is graet, too. But it likes to eat gearboxes - mine had two in the space of a year on a 2001 model with below average mileage. I haven't spoken to local garages but apparently this can be common on them, especially the 2000-2001 models. So be warned!
Without doubt this is probably the best car I have owned in around 30 years of car ownership, it was actually a 306 D Turbo. I now have a 207 HDI but that is another matter. The 306 is a fabulous car to drive, not quite as economical as some would have you think but still quite good, though not a patch on the 207. Reliability was excellent with all servicing done by myself except for cam belt changes. I honestly think the XUD engine is far better than the HDI, it feels much stronger and is far less complicated. Take my advice keep yours if you can don't do what I did.
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