1 Dec 2001
By CHRIS HARRIS
Another stunningly designed Peugeot, the front-wheel drive 307 certainly looks like a worthy replacement for the still-beautiful 306 range.
And in terms of safety, security, solidity, comfort and front seat space, it remains a front-runner in its class – although the also virtually monobox Honda Civic Vi hatch makes mincemeat of it for space efficiency.
But a big weight increase and a curiously uninvolving handling make for a leaden drive, which is a very un-Peugeot trait, while infuriating quality gremlins and disappointing petrol-powered four-cylinder engines also detract from the great design.
The base 1.6 five-door hatchback is powered by a 80kW/147Nm 1581cc DOHC 16V unit that manfully hauls the 307 around but seems dubiously inadequate in the era of the 100kW Toyota Corolla.
Like all models, it uses a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual gearbox.
The better-equipped 2.0 (renamed XSE from mid-’02) and three-door XSi from March ’02 make do with a 100kW/190Nm 1997cc DOHC 16V motor.
The most satisfying engine is the 66kW/205Nm 2.0 HDi turbodiesel, available in the XS five-door hatch and (from October ’03) in handsome 307 Touring wagon format.
The latter also comes in the 100kW 2.0-litre motor. A 2.0 XSR model from September ‘04 bridged the 1.6 and XSE variants.