The Peugeot 307 was released in 2001 as a follow-up to the highly successful Peugeot 306. It resides in the very competitive mid-range compact class with cars such as: VW Golf, Alfa Romeo 147, Opel Astra, Seat Leon, Audi A3 and others. Since this is one of the most competitive segments on the market Peugeot could not simply rely on upgrading the 306 and hoping for the best. Therefore Peugeot have taken quite a rigorous approach to designing the new car. The body polygon has a similar basic silhouette to the current VW Golf, the most striking difference is the height and the somewhat more aggressive stance. The height difference is noticeable for two reasons:

  • The chassis is elevated by an inch or two as compared to ‘standard’ base plates
  • The roofing line is quite high and curved (I’m 6’4” and have room to spare)

Another very distinctive feature is the massive windscreen which provides for unparalleled vision. As a result the 307 is actually quite a bit more spacious than the number one contender in the class i.e. the VW Golf. I must add that all of this does not give the car a ‘soccer mom’ appearance. It actually looks quite sporty and nimble, despite the raised chassis. I would say that as far as ‘sexiness’ only the Alfa Romeo 147 outshines it. The car is available as a 5 door hatchback and a 3 door hatchback. It has since been followed by a 307 SW (station wagon) and will soon gain another sibling i.e. the Peugeot 307 cc convertible styled very much like the extremely successful Peugeot 206 cc.

Peugeot also realised the need to provide a feature packed car for a reasonable price. This means that for a very reasonable price the car comes equipped with features such as automatic wipers, automatic headlights (light-sensor), board computer, fully automatic wing mirrors (including folding), headlight integrated mist lamps, Electronic Stability Programme and much more. These features are often quite a bit more pricey especially in the case of the Audi A3 and VW Golf. Furthermore Peugeot provides a very extensive (most extensive in its class) styling palette. The interior can be customized with plain, chrome or wood trimmings in a multitude of colours. The same applies to the upholstery; it is available in plain cloth, velour, the XSi style half leather-half cloth and full leather Gentry trim. Unfortunately Peugeot also chose to provide a large choice of exterior colours, some of which I would rather not see on the road. (can you say fluorescent green?)

The car handles quite well. The ESP comes into its own on slippery roads and during fast cornering. The only downside to the handling is caused by the somewhat excessive weight. The excessive weight applies to the Diesel version rather than the regular petrol fuelled ones. The performance is more than acceptable for a car in its class. The engines, both petrol and diesel, provide ample tuning opportunity ranging from basic chip tuning to good old engine tuning.

All of this seems to have paid off. The cars are selling like hot buns and have since become a very familiar site on European roads. It seems like Peugeot is well on its way to becoming the top-player on the market and beating VW at its own game. Next move is up to VW who are supposed to be releasing an all new VW Golf some time this or next year.

Basic Specs:

  • Disk brakes front and back
  • Length 4.20 m
  • Width 1.73 m
  • Height 1.51 m
  • Wheelbase 2.61 m
  • Turning Circle 10.7 m
  • Fuel Tank 60 liters
  • Weight 1134 kg – 1271kg



1.4 petrol, 4 cylinder               1.6 16v petrol, 4 cylinder
Top Speed 167 km/h 		Top Speed 190 km/h
0 - 100 15.4 seconds 		0 - 100 11.5 seconds
55 kW (75 bhp) at 5500 rpm 	         80 kW (109 bhp) at 5800 rpm
max torque 120 Nm at 2800 rpm 	max torque 147 Nm at 3900 rpm
volume 1360 cc 			volume 1587 cc
2 valves per cylinder		4 valves per cylinder

2.0 petrol, 4 cylinder
Top Speed 205 km/h 
0 - 100 9.8 seconds 
100 kW (136 bhp) at 6000 rpm 
max torque 190 Nm at 4100 rpm 
volume 1998 cc 
4 valves per cylinder


1.4HDI diesel, 4 cylinder	         2.0HDI diesel, 4 cylinder
Top Speed 161 km/h 		Top Speed 179 km/h
0 - 100 17.2 seconds		0 - 100 13.6 seconds
51 kW (69 bhp) at 4000 rpm	         66 kW (90 bhp) at 4000 rpm
max torque 150 Nm at 1750 rpm	max torque 205 Nm at 1900 rpm
volume 1398 cc 			volume 1997 cc

2.0HDI diesel, 4 cylinder
Top Speed 195 km/h 		
0 - 100 11.4 seconds
80 kW (110 bhp) at 4000 rpm	
max torque 250 Nm at 1750 rpm
volume 1997 cc 		


The prices (in The Netherlands)range from €17.150 for a basic 1.4 petrol powered 307 to €29.850 for a fully loaded 2.0 diesel powered one.
I know that over $30K (in today's dollars) is quite a bit for a mid-range car but this is Holland we're talking, tax, tax, and yes you guessed it: tax.

I happen to own a black 110bhp diesel 307 with all of the features (the joy of driving a company car). I have chip tuned it to produce around 130bhp. I know that driving Diesel powered cars is not very common in the USA but trust me the added torque and fluidity of the engine do make everyday driving very comfortable. And with the advent of high-tech turbo diesels such as the Peugeot HDI engines you do not sacrifice to much performance.