With its cab-forward design, wide-eyed headlamps and one of biggest and most steeply-raked windscreens in the class, this is a workhorse that majors on style.
Even though it doesn't have the cachet of a model with a Touring badge on its tailgate, the hold-all 307 accounted for 3.6% of Peugeot sales in Britain last year – and no-one choosing this version is likely to feel upstaged by the more glamorous 'lifestyle' SW, which shares the same bodywork but features a huge glass roof section.
The French firm's marketing ploy works well because the SW wins more business in the showrooms, despite being £900 more expensive. But I still rate the Estate as representing superior value and being the better choice, particularly for the business user.
There's no shortage of competition in a market that now embraces compact multi-purpose vehicles as well as traditional estates, but with the 110 bhp HDi engine under its bonnet, this is a package that offers value to go with its good looks.
Our car's appearance is all the better for a deep-lustre finish in pearlescent paint – a £300 extra – but the list of equipment that comes as standard is fairly long and particularly strong on safety, with emergency brake assist included on the all-disc anti-lock braking system.
And with no fewer than six airbags, including curtain bags front and rear, the interior promises to be a pretty safe environment should the worst happen.
Naturally, air conditioning and alloy wheels are seen as pre-requisites at this level in the sector, but the 307 still manages to go better than average with electrically-adjustable and heated door mirrors, one-touch electric front windows with a clever anti-pinch feature, remote control for in-car entertainment, under-seat storage and a handy headlight delay security system.
As with all diesels, I like the car more as the mileage increases. Though it has never been obtrusive, the tell-tale metallic diesel sound seems to have softened slightly since the mileage topped the 3,000 mark and the engine now pulls strongly without protest in any gear from just over the 1,000 revs mark, which is little more than idle speed.
My wallet is also feeling the benefit of the car's performance with regard to economy. Most of my journeys involve motorways and major roads, but some gentle urban driving recently has resulted in returns of more than 60mpg – and boosted the overall average consumption to more than 50mpg.
Company car tax bill 2004/05 (22% tax-payer): £50 per month