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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For It looks pretty cool and most models are packed with loads of toys and safety kit

Against The 307 is tall and heavy, so don't expect athletic agility or performance. Rear space also isn’t great

Verdict There are lemons about, but you can certainly get a lot of car for your cash

Go for… 110bhp 1.6-litre diesel

Avoid… Early 1.4-litre petrols

Peugeot 307 Hatchback
  • 1. The narrow boot opening can make getting bulkier items in easier said than done
  • 2. The sloping rear roofline makes headroom in the back tight
  • 3. The indicator stalks can fail, so make sure every function on them works and that they feel solid
  • 4. Head gaskets have been known to give up the ghost on some early 1.4 petrols
  • 5. Suspension faults are fairly common, even on recent examples
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Peugeot 307 Hatchback full review with expert trade views

There's lots of room up front, and, unless you're very strangely proportioned, you'll get a decent driving position, as the supportive seats have bags of adjustment. However, the long dash does nothing to help your view out, and it can make parking tricky.

You pay a further price for the design in the back, where the sloping roofline makes headroom tight, although there's no such problem with leg- or shoulder-room. The split-fold rear seats tumble to leave a well shaped and sizeable boot, but the narrow opening can make getting bulkier items in easier said than done.

The 307 is a tall, heavy motor – it's slow to respond and vulnerable to crosswinds. And, although the ride is firm, you won't be running off to the chiropractor. So, it's not exactly a rival for the Ford Focus in how it dirves, but it is at least safe and predictable.

On the plus side, the stiff bodyshell and soundproofing shut out most road noise, and the engines are quiet unless you're working one of the diesels hard. Unfortunately, the high body and large windscreen stir up plenty of wind noise.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Many around means low prices, 1.6 Rapier far too common

James Ruppert
Used car guru

There are three petrol engines, but you'll do much better if you pick one of the diesels. The 1.4-, 1.6- and 2.0-litre engines are all decent, but our favourite is the 110bhp.

If you must have a petrol, avoid the he asthmatic 1.4 that struggles with the 307's bulk. The 1.6 is a better option and our preferred petrol, as the 138bhp 2.0-litre engine is lively, but needs to be worked hard.

All 307s are well stacked with equipment, with a fully adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel, power-assisted steering, remote central locking and electric front windows.

However, the cheapest do without a CD player and wheel-mounted stereo controls, as well as air-conditioning. So, take one step up the range into an S model (our pick of the range), where air-conditioning joins the roster.

There are bags and bags of cars about, so you shouldn't have any trouble picking one up from a dealer, auction, supermarket or private seller. But, make sure you shop around.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Problems with the suspension and cooling system

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

You can expect to get some cracking fuel economy from our pick of the range – the 110bhp 1.6-litre diesel – to match decent performance.

Other diesels will also keep going for plenty of miles on a tank, while the 1.4- and 1.6-litre petrol engines are nice and thrifty, too. Get behind the wheel of the 2.0-litre petrol and you might spend more time at the petrol pump than you'd like, with combined economy dropping to 33.6mpg.

Insurance costs are reasonable for the class, although there's quite a significant step up in costs when you opt for either of the 2.0-litre models.

The 1.4 and 1.6 petrol have particularly low servicing costs, but every model in the range is reasonably cheap to keep happy. However, if something does go wrong, you can pay fairly dearly to get it put right.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Many around means low prices, 1.6 Rapier far too common

James Ruppert
Used car guru

JD Power customer satisfaction surveys show that 307 owners are most unhappy with mechanical reliability and interior quality, but they're also not chuffed with exterior quality, vehicle performance or dealer service either. So, there's a lengthy checklist of potential problems.

Indicator stalks can fail, so make sure every function on them works and that they feel solid when you take a test drive. Head gaskets often give up the ghost on some early 1.4 petrols, so avoid them unless you're handy with a spanner or fancy becoming a generous benefactor to your local workshop.

Suspension faults are also fairly common, even on recent examples, so if a car is noisy or lurches about on the test drive, walk away.

Finally, since 2002, Peugeot has recalled the 307 more than 15 times for various faults covering a range of items including the ignition, seatbelt anchorage points and fuel leaks. Visit www.vosa.gov.uk to find out what was necessary and then check the logbook to see it's been done.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Problems with the suspension and cooling system

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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