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Used car focus Peugeot 307 – 2001 onwards

The 307 had a tough reputation to live up to when it was launched in June 2001. The 306 had been one of the most popular small family cars on the market. When the 307 arrived, it ticked most of the boxes on buyers’ wish lists: it’s safer and more comfortable than the previous model and has an excellent range of petrol and diesel engines.

But with high prices and a lacklustre drive, it has failed to capture the imagination of buyers in the same way as the 306 did during the nineties.

LINE-UP

Five trim levels were initially offered: Style, Rapier, LX, GLX and XSi. There was also a choice of seven interiors and five ‘ambiences’, which gave a bewildering 79 different combinations of cabin finishes.

Estate and seven-seat SW (station wagon) models we added to the line-up in April and October 2002.

A shake-up to the range in May 2003 saw the five trim levels become four: entry-level Style and top-spec XSi/DTurbo remained, but S replaced Rapier, and GLX became SE. LX was discontinued. The CC (Coupe Cabriolet) with its electric metal folding roof was launched in September 2003.

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE

Owners trading up from a 306 to a 307 will immediately notice the difference on the road. The 307 is weighed down by a lot more safety equipment and comfort features, so doesn’t feel as nimble as the car it replaced.

But it’s safe, solid and easy to drive. Suspension copes well with bumps but doesn’t roll too much around corners. Although the steering is light, it is not easy to park – the chunky rear pillars restrict visibility.

COMFORT

Because of the 307’s tall styling, there’s plenty of headroom. It’s a bit more restricted in the three-door, but all cars have plenty of interior space, although getting in and out of the rear of the three-door elegantly needs some practice. Seats are supportive, but aren’t as comfy as some rivals. Air-conditioned glovebox is ideal in summer for keeping drinks and snacks cool.

ENGINES

The petrol engines (1.4, 1.6 and 2.0) are fairly lively, but a little unrefined. The best mix of performance and economy comes from the 1.6. Diesel models (2.0 with 90 or 110bhp and a discontinued 1.4) are both frugal and fun to drive, especially the D-Turbo 110bhp version.

SAFETY

Four-star Euro NCAP rating is good, but not class leading; six airbags (including front and rear curtain bags), ABS and Electronic Brake Distribution are on all models. An alarm is added to the standard immobiliser from Rapier models upwards.

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