Drive – Peugeot 306 Cabriolet Used Car Review

16 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Drive – Peugeot 306 Cabriolet Used Car Review
Peugeot 306

Used car review: Peugeot 306 Cabriolet 1998-2003

David Morley

None yet.

Make PEUGEOT Model 306 Price 1.8-litre, 4-cyl/2.0-litre, 4-cyl. Series Year 2003,2002,2001,2000,1999,1998 Body Group 2D CABRIOLET Fuel Consumption 10.0/6.2 L/100 km (1.8-litre), 10.0/6.8 L/100 km (2.0-litre). Insurance $905 (RACV, wholly owned, 40-year-old rating-one male, medium-risk suburb, $500 excess). Safety Rating 5/5 (

Transmission/Driven Wheels Four-speed auto, five-speed manual.

The#160;idea of a sports car convertible is a bit of an oxymoron. Even so, there have been some rippers, including contemporaries such as the Porsche Boxster and Audi RS4 Convertible, not to mention a long line of topless Ferraris.

But generally, lopping the roof off a car turns it into a cruiser rather than a bruiser.

By removing the roof panel, you’re removing a large part of the structural integrity of the vehicle. It either makes the car less rigid (which is bad for handling) or adding extra steel under the floor to strengthen the chassis makes it heavier (bad for acceleration). Sometimes, you achieve both.

Throw in the fact that a convertible car is also potentially less safe in a roll-over, and that wind-in-what’s-left-of-your-hair motoring is best enjoyed at sane velocities, and it’s easy to see why a convertible is not everyone’s choice.

Ironically, that’s why the Peugeot 306 and cars like it can exist. While the drop-top Peugeot from the 1990s is a great little car in a fun package, it is not a performance car. Nobody really gives a damn, and nor should they.

The drop-top 306 looks good, seats four and has the performance and dynamics to be decent fun within a certain envelope.

The 306 Cabriolet arrived in Australia in 1994 along with the rest of the 306 line-up that formed Peugeot’s small-car mainstay until the 206’s arrival some years later.

The 306 had a big job to do as it was the most obvious replacement – timing-wise, anyway – for the much-loved 205. But it soon established itself with the Peugeot faithful and many others who appreciated its improved build quality and handling.

At the time, hardtop versions of the 306 had the best chassis in the small-car class, so even though the cabriolet lost a little rigidity, it was coming off a good base.

Peugeot 306

The steering has good feel and a deft touch at speed, and apart from a little scuttle-shake (where the dashboard and windscreen wobble a little over bumps), there was no real handling trade-off. The roof itself was simple to raise or drop with just a couple of manual clips and then an electric motor to do the hard work. And when down, the roof was concealed beneath a tidy, hard cover in the car’s body colour.

The only real catch was the plastic rear window which, if the car has been parked outside a fair bit, can go crinkly and opaque over time as well as not offering a heater element for frosty mornings.

Power came from the same 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that was found under the bonnets of the other bread-and-butter 306s. While its 77 kW mightn’t sound much, the engine’s flexibility allowed it to do a good job.

A four-speed automatic was a popular choice but the five-speed manual is the right gearbox for the car since it has good ratios, an accurate shift and light clutch pedal.

The first model ran from 1994 until 1997 when the N3 model was superceded by the N5.

Visually, there wasn’t a lot in it, but the upgrade brought a much punchier 2.0-litre engine with 100 kW. The later car also has a better safety package with a driver’s airbag as standard, although even the earlier model gets anti-lock brakes across the board.

Probably the biggest thing in the 306

Peugeot 306
Peugeot 306
Peugeot 306
Peugeot 306
Peugeot 306
Peugeot 306
Peugeot 306

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