Our long-term 307 also has a soundtrack. Unfortunately it doesn't do much to make the driving experience more pleasurable.
Instead, it is proving to be annoying – the first problem being the exceptionally 'tractor-like' soundtrack as you start the car up and secondly the squeal from the brakes when pressure is applied to the pedal.
The first problem is one that is common to diesels, no matter how refined they are. Peugeot's HDi units are recognised as being one of the best common rail diesels on the market – combining strong fuel economy with armfuls of torque for overtaking and mid-gear acceleration - but at start-up it is noticeably more noisy than comparable engines from Ford and Volkswagen.
However, once the engine has turned over it settles down to a muted hum and does not intrude into the cabin.
The second problem is the brakes, which have been making an awful screeching sound. This problem appeared when the car had covered about 2,000 miles and got progressively worse until a trip to our local dealer, Marshall of Peterborough, sorted out the brakes. The work was carried out under warranty and proved to be hassle-free.
Now that the noise issue has been sorted out, the 307 is proving to be an ideal long distance car – sipping fuel at a gentle rate and proving to be quick, comfortable and quiet on the open road.
Special mention must be made of the 307's front seats - with the armrests folded down they are incredibly comfortable and hold you in place well. On the fuel economy front, the 307 is creeping upwards, although it is still some way short of Peugeot's claimed economy figure.
Company car tax bill 2002 (22% tax-payer): £55.89 per month