UK Car Road Test

Peugeot 307 HDi 2002

 Movie Clips of this Car

Exterior Movie Interior Movie

 


The new age of hot hatch - small car, big lumpy diesel - this should be a little bag of giggles!

Only it's not really all that small, is it?

I know cars are growing but the 307 is really getting quite sizeable. I guess we would call it compact nowadays but if you compare the small cars of old to the small cars we now have, then there is no comparison. Check out Minis old and new to see just how much cars have grown in size.

Cost New 16200    Residual @ 3 years 50%
Produced from  Jul 1 2002 to Current

 

On first paper impression the only thing that worries me is the price. 16K for  a supposedly economy hatchback? But diesel is the future so I suppose it's time we started getting used to higher end models not having any spark plugs.

Actually, looking at the little beast, though, the price starts to become less of an issue. It really is a flash-looking little wee beastie. The blue overcoat is neat and attractive and is matched up on most exterior surfaces and the alloys gleam in the fading autumn light. It's devoid of tacked-on aerodynamic appendages and none the worse for it.

Actually, we should mention the splendid blue metallic paint job again as it's really quite pretty.

I do really like the front end treatment of the new Pugs. A few have tried the totally integrated look but few have pulled it off quite so well.

The chopped off, abbreviated rear doesn't look too bad either, showing the new Megane just how to shake its ass in my opinion. 

Inside is also hopped up nicely too. Nothing garish, nothing overly cheap. Just subtle hints and highlights that really show the fairly unremarkable design off to maximum effect. It's not quite in the league of the visually stunning new 407 but for this class of car it's really nice. Compared to the people favourite, the Ford Focus, it looks neat and simple, yet classy.

The tartan-esque seat pattern is nicely subdued and contrasts well with bolsters and head rests. The seats themselves have a comfortably firm feel and hold the body well once on the move. The driving position is pretty much spot on but, like many modern cars, the screen  slopes away very heavily which leads to the rise of a few reflections and the pillars are thick and block the view through the three quarter aspect.

Picnic table to delight even the average bear

Build quality is ever improving too and that flimsy feel to low end Peugeots of old is pretty much gone, replaced with a much meatier feel.

Note: Pugs little joke of 6000 rpm red line 
is at least 1500rpm optimistic

 

 

 

A wind-powered engine? 

Integrated (sort of) stereo CD
looks crap
but makes noise

Cruise controls

Almost sporty, shame about the corporate wheel

 

Comfort Features
Adjustable Steering Column
Adjustable Steering Column
Cloth Trim
Cloth Trim
Front Door Bins
Front Door Bins
Head Rests (front & rear)
Head Rests (front & rear)
Height Adjustable Drivers Seat
Height Adjustable Drivers Seat
Pollen Filter
Pollen Filter
Split rear seats
Split rear seats
Time Clock
Time Clock
General Features
Digital Odometer
Digital Odometer
Heated Rear Window
Heated Rear Window
Rear Wash Wipe
Rear Wash Wipe
Tinted Windows
Tinted Windows
Luxury Features
Adjustable Mirrors
Adjustable Mirrors
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Cigarette Lighter
Cigarette Lighter
Electric Windows front
Electric Windows front
Radio CD Player
Radio CD Player
Trip Counter
Trip Counter

 

 

 

The common rail 2.0 litre turbo motor that pushes many a PSA car is fitted to this model. It's an effective, well developed economical unit and with 110nhp hardly short of puff for an oil burner. As usual, my only complaint is that the unit is really a little too sophisticated and there is  no real sweet boosting spot to enjoy, just a broad flat power band of urge. It pushes the car along to sixty in a rather sedate and disappointing 10.9 seconds  and just fails to crack a rather academic 120mph.

There is nothing really wrong with the HDi , it just fails to excite in any way. 

The gearbox is quick and precise and short of throw, though rather more than is needed considering the flat delivery. There is not much point in stirring the box to excess as the car seems to automatically pick a ratio which it is happiest in and pull through the range quite happily. As long as you have some go there is little point in changing down further, quickly bumping into the stunted rev limit and changing back up again as all you are doing is wasting time, effort and fuel. 

The gears themselves are high enough to promote decent economy, but not so ridiculous as to kill flexibility.

Service Interval Insurance Group Safety Rating Smog Rating
20000 8 Band (A)
Engine BHP CC Fuel Inj.
Turbo Diesel 4 Cylinder 110 1997 No
Cyl Camshafts Valves/cyl Compressor
4 Single 2 Turbo Charger
Top Speed 0 to 60 BHP per Tonne
119mph 10.9seconds 97
MPG@Urban MPG@Cruise MPG@Speed Fuel Type
40.4mpg 67.3mpg 54.3mpg Diesel
Kerb Weight Tow Weight Length Width Height
1142kg 1100kg 420cm 175cm 151cm
Boot Seats/up Boot Seats/Down Seats
341 Litres 1328 Litres 5

 Really though, to make this car exciting it needs to lose a second off the sixty sprint and a little bit of a hump through its mid range.

Just in case you forget, the only 110 mention on the car.

Motor well packed into small engine bay. Modern crash tests mean big crumple zones.

 

Boot bigger than it looks

As the HDI is being pushed ever more top end we should expect good things from the chassis and for the most part is doesn't disappoint. It has fine balance of decent ride and sharp grippy handling. It is endowed to with good sharp brakes and, combined with the smooth power and snappy gear box, is pretty much set up for some lively cross country jaunts. Yet despite the power steering it feels just a trifle nose heavy. These big diesels weigh an awful lot and the steering doesn't quite have the sharpness of response to the wheel of the petrol models.

It has just a hint of a slightly syrupy feel and switching back left to right or vice versa is not quite as instantaneous as you would like. The diesel may be able to supply the oomph of the petrol engines but as yet the block still weighs the handling down.

Looking at it from more of a shopper-cum-commuter vehicle, it's fine, light to medium steering with a slightly dull stable feel and easy controls make for a simple, no-brain engaging  driving experience. The fat, low profile tyres do a good job of generating ultimate grip without compromising ride too much so it will go around corners at alarming speed if pushed but just lacks a little flair when doing so.

Steer/Susp/Tech Features
Alloy Wheels
Alloy Wheels
Catalytic Converter
Catalytic Converter
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Halogen Head Lights
Halogen Head Lights
Independent Suspension
Independent Suspension
Intermittent Wash Wipe
Intermittent Wash Wipe
Power Assisted Steering
Power Assisted Steering
Rev Counter
Rev Counter
Service Level Indicator
Service Level Indicator

 

 

 

 

Rain sensor and lots of lighting power for the long, dark dismal days ahead.

Peugeot seem to really go to town on the safety side and it seems to be an area where they excel (at least in Government-sponsored definable tests). More balloons than a kids party will help out in dire emergencies and, personally, I would prefer an alarm to be fitted as well, along with perhaps some lockable wheel nuts to keep the easily-swapped alloys on board what is really quite a common model.

Safety/Security Features
Antilock Braking System
Antilock Braking System
Child Locks
Child Locks
Engine Immobiliser
Engine Immobiliser
Front Side Air Bags
Front Side Air Bags
Front Side Curtain Air Bags
Front Side Curtain Air Bags
Front Twin Airbags
Front Twin Airbags
High level brake Light
High level brake Light
Locking Fuel Cap
Locking Fuel Cap
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Remote Central Locking
Remote Central Locking
Side Impact Protection
Side Impact Protection
Three Rear 3 Point Seat Belts
Three Rear 3 Point Seat Belts
Visible Identification Number
Visible Identification Number

 

 

All in all, the 307 presents a decent little packaging job. 

The boot is ample, if not extraordinary and the lip is fairly high.

The interior space is likewise, minus the lip,  Even rear leg room is okay when pushed into 5 seat mode which is thanks to the flat floor and the doors open good and wide to allow easy access.

Driver space is also quite good despite the French aptitude for placing foot controls too close together. 

One thing that does concern me and it applies to nearly all front wheel drivers on the market - why build the centre console so big? If I was conspiratorially-minded I would think that they all try to pretend to be rear wheel drive and have a transmission tunnel because our tiny minds have not yet fully accepted the benefits of front wheel drive. Take a look in a 60s Austin Maxi or 1100 and see just how much front foot space there is.

Elegant and stiff doors

Neat, well finished front.

Alloy trim which used to be reserved for posh cars

 

Overall, a nice little medium hatch with little to object to but with so much competition about, it needs more than good looks to really cut the mustard nowadays.


 

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UK Car Road Test Peugeot 307 HDi 2002

UK Car Road Test Keywords: hatchback Diesel Sports307 HDi