Peugeot 305 (1977 – 1988) Review

Peugeot 305 (1977 – 1988) At A Glance


+Understated, well made, nice to drive, quick in later GT form

-Rust and rarity

The Peugeot 305 was a very well-designed car, that although is near-forgotten today, it was deeply impressive when new. It replaced that 204 and 304 - although in true Peugeot tradition, old and new ran alongside each other for some time - and shared the older car's front-wheel drive layout, and some of the engine options. In the UK, it was offered in 1.3- and 1.5-litre petrol form, and also with the 1471cc diesel. Sales of the oil burner were slow - but now as slow as its acceleration!

Dynamically, it was far more accomplished than its neat styling by Pininfarina would have you believe, with the typical Gallic long-legged, well damped ride and tenacious handling. The 1.3- and 1.5-litre petrol engines were lively and economical, too, delivering great performance for their modest capcities. The 305 was sold with premium pricing in the UK, but didn't suffer from this. In 1981, the estate and van versions were introduced, and were exceptionally commodious, thanks to front-wheel drive layout, and clever horizontal rear suspension layout. The 1983 facelift, which is identified by its lean-back nose, more engine options were added, including the excellent 105bhp 1580cc XU engine shared with the 205GTI.