Peugeot 307 XSE Touring
road test

An all-round winner!

Peugeot Australia's most popular model is the 307. It's available in numerous versions. There's hatchback, wagon and the trendy CC (coupe/convertible) in the model line-up. There's a choice of petrol or diesel in the hatch and wagon. Petrol models offer a choice of transmissions with the hatch and wagon.

Our test vehicle is the 307 XSE Touring, which is the petrol-engined wagon version of this expansive range of models. The engine is a 2-litre unit providing 100 kW of power at 6,000 rpm. The transmission was a 5-speed manual, although auto is an option.

Perception says the 307 is a small car, but the wagon at 4.42 metres cannot possibly be classified as a small car. It's 220 mm longer than the hatch. That's 100 mm longer in the wheelbase and 120 mm longer in rear overhang. This makes the 307 Touring quite a nice size, not too small, not too big. Certainly, the interior is a well designed roomy package. The windscreen is big, which at its base is a long way ahead of the driver, adding to the feeling of abundant space. This provides a very roomy interior and it's a feeling which is not apparent in all cars.

The big windscreen mentioned above has another great feature, besides its location within the overall vehicle design. The windscreen wipers pivot from an outboard position, which means a huge area of the windscreen is wiped with each sweep. This feature is an absolutely effective means of retaining the excellent vision which is afforded the driver.

The seating is slightly soft and very, very comfortable. It's an impressive seating arrangement for those upfront. Circumstances didn't permit us to travel with back seat passengers, but there seems to be no reason to suggest they wouldn't be happy too.

The price of a 307 XSE Touring is a pleasant $33,490 plus the traditional add-ons. And it's well equipped. Do yourself a favour, check out what comes standard with this car. It's a welcome surprise to see a car presented as a complete package right from the start.

2004 Peugeot 307 XSE Touring
Click the image for a larger view

2004 Peugeot 307 XSE Touring
Click the image for a larger view

As an example, this wagon comes standard with an excellent climate control air conditioning system with pollen filter, front central armrests, cargo cover, airbags for driver and front passenger and full-length side curtain airbags. There's also pretensioning front seatbelts, adjustable head restraints, 6-speaker 6-stack radio/CD audio system, digital 'head-up' display (a great feature), 16" alloy wheels, remote central locking, cruise control and much more.

If first impressions count, then you'll be mighty impressed at your first impression of the 307. The gearbox is an absolute delight. The shift is as smooth as smooth can be. To equate it to an experience, the thought crossed my mind that the gear change can be compared the cutting whipped cream with a knife. It was just so smooth and so effortless. It leaves a lasting impression. The quietness is another plus. All told, everything about driving this car is on the positive side of the ledger. The brakes, the steering, the suspension, the transmission and the engine all add up to a remarkably efficient package.

It's little wonder Peugeot Australia produced a record month of sales last month. After a week with this wagon, in which we covered 737 kms, I suspect every 307 driver will be amongst the happiest of all our motoring buddies.

One happy 307 driver was John Taylor. Read his story here. John claimed fuel economy records in a diesel-powered Peugeot 307 wagon in March this year.

Appearance wise, the 307 wagon looks like a winner. On paper, the specs suggest it is a winner. On the road, the car demonstrates that it is, indeed, a winner!

It's a quiet car, so smooth and so comfortable.

There is no room for improvement with the 307. It is simply an excellent presentation of what a small to medium sized wagon should be! Full stop!

Stephen Walker
25th July, 2004


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