Used Peugeot 306 Estate 1997 - 2003 review

Category: Estate car

The Peugeot 306 Estate is a practical and pleasant-to-drive workhorse, but it's far from fault-free

Peugeot 306 Estate (97 - 03)
  • Peugeot 306 Estate (97 - 03)
  • Peugeot 306 Estate (97 - 03)
Used Peugeot 306 Estate 1997 - 2003 review
Star rating

What's the used Peugeot 306 estate like?

When the Peugeot 306 Estate appeared, it managed to retain the hatchback's pretty looks. Happily, the load-lugger also held onto the hatchback's fine driving abilities. Even in estate form, it has a lively, precise and involved feel to its steering and chassis.

The ride is comfortable, too, and the suspension is well set up to cope with heavy loads. However, you need to be careful on wet roundabouts because the car snap out of line if you corner too quickly and lift off the accelerator abruptly.


The Peugeot 306 Estate is a practical and pleasant-to-drive workhorse, but it's far from fault-free

  • The load area is large and practical and the ride and handling are very good
  • Early cars lack many standard safety features and the cabin hasn't aged well

Carrying cargo is no problem thanks to the generous load area, and passengers are also reasonably well catered for. However, there's not much headroom for tall passengers in the back, and the cabin has a dated and rather cheap appearance.

Ownership cost

What used Peugeot 306 estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Peugeot 306 estate?

With the range stretching back to 1997, prices are rock-bottom, especially if you go for the 1.4-litre. A good one won't be too expensive to run. Economy is impressive for a petrol engine at 42mpg.

The 2.0-litre petrol is best avoided thanks to its fuel economy of 31mpg. The 70bhp 1.9-litre non-turbo diesel returns 45mpg, while the 92bhp turbo unit is one mpg more fuel efficient.

The 90bhp, 2.0-litre HDi turbodiesel is the most fuel efficient at 54mpg, and its insurance is very reasonable, too. All diesels need to have an annual oil change, though. Peugeot dealers charge slightly more than the class average for service/repairs, but rates for independent experts are lower than for most makes.

Our recommendations

Which used Peugeot 306 estate should I buy?

A diesel engine is the one to go for, although not the 1.9 diesel. It pulls reasonably well low down the rev range, but it struggles in fifth gear on motorway hills. The turbocharged version has a more lively nature, but the best of all is the smoother, faster, more refined 2.0 HDi, which is our pick of the range.

As for the petrol units, the entry-level 1.4-litre engine produces 75bhp, but we wouldn't recommend it. Drive it on your own, and the performance feels reasonable, but once you factor in four more occupants and their luggage, it's all a bit of a struggle.

The 1.6-litre petrol restores some semblance of acceleration, and there are also 1.8-litre and two 2.0-litre petrol engines, one with eight valves and the other with 16.

Safety is not impressive by today's standards, with a three-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. However, if you get a car built after June 1999, it will at least have anti-lock brakes and twin airbags. At the same time, the range also received a face-lift with new headlamps and a more modern interior.

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