Practical Peugeot 307 will be one of the family

Peugeot 307 is a, affordable, spacious and practical hatchback, especially the five-door version.

Peugeot 307 is a, affordable, spacious and practical hatchback, especially the five-door version. - Credit: Peugeot

With the new Peugeot 308 about to be launched, it might be a good time to find an earlier used model or even an affordable 307.

Used Car: Peugeot 307 (2001-07)

Engines – A modest range, including diesel and petrol units in familiar sizes, awaits prospective 307 owners. For low-mileage town use it's rarely worth opting for diesel, but if you plan on racking up the miles, one of Peugeot's very good oil-burners is well worth it. Quieter than previous non direct injection units and still good enough today, the 307's HDi engines are frugal and responsive.

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Exterior – Larger in all the obvious areas than the 306 before it and predictably more accommodating inside, the 307 demonstrated Peugeot's new design philosophy. The car's multi-purpose vehicle-like stance was seen as unusual at the time, but has become the norm in the family hatchback sector. Access is made easy to the cabin both fore and aft thanks to the elevated seating positions. At the back the car's large tailgate opens to reveal a spacious and practical boot.

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Interior – At launch the 307 was a considerable step forward in terms of build quality over the 306. For its time the 307 boasted plush upholstery – leather was an option on selected models – and durable-looking plastics, along with chrome trim to brighten up the cabin. Overall, space is good and the car fills the role of family hatch easily. Early cars don't always wear well, so check for the odd rattle and tired-looking upholstery.

Driving – Bigger and a little heavier than the 306, the 307 couldn't match its predecessor for outright thrills. When new, this aspect of the car disappointed enthusiastic drivers, but families didn't seem to mind. The upside is a car that boasts a supple ride – a plus if you're not in a hurry.

Ownership – Straightforward and easy to own, the 307 will soon become one of the family. Predictably, if you opt for a diesel variant your costs will be modest if you're the type that racks up the miles. In five-door hatchback form, the 307 boasts folding rear seats, plenty of oddment storage and, if you choose wisely, a well-equipped cabin. With a large dealer network and plenty of independents to choose from, servicing and repair should be straightforward and cost effective.

What to look for – Tired, very high-mileage cars probably aren't worth the hassle, as electric gremlins and rattly trim are not attractive at any price. Your safest bet is the newest car you can find with plenty of bills and history, plus little in the way of exterior scuffs and parking dents. Exhausts should run clean and there should be no unusual noises from under the bonnet or suspension. Oil and coolant should be clean, while the clutch and gearchange should feel positive and accurate.

Model history – 2001, Peugeot introduces its 306 replacement, the 307. Available initially in three and five-door hatchback form, an estate and convertible followed later. The range is offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines. Standard equipment included electric front windows, adjustable rear-view mirrors, ABS, audio system and remote central locking. More expensive models added CD player, alloy wheels, CD changer, alarm, leather upholstery and climate control.

Reasons to buy – Affordable, easy on the eye, spacious cabin, practical five-door hatch, good diesel engines.

Reasons to beware – Early, tired and very high-mileage cars, low power petrol variants, dull colours.

Pick of the range – 307 1.6 SE five-door.

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