SOTW: Peugeot 306 GTI-6

We might have entered the brave new world of the seven-speed manual these days but, back in the 90s, having six gears was something to crow about. Especially in a humble (ish) hot hatch.

Hence the fast version of the Peugeot 306 - the first revival of the GTI badge after a couple of years in the wilderness following the demise of the 205 GTI - became the GTI-6 in 1996.

The 2.0-litre motor's 169hp provided brisk-enough pace, but its power output would soon be comfortably eclipsed by subsequent generations of 200hp-plus fast hatches. Automotive History records, however, that outright poke and gearbox gimmickery didn't matter, because the 306 GTI-6 was blessed with one of the most accomplished, enjoyable front-drive chassis ever.

It was a fine successor to the legendary 205, in fact, but with the considerable added bonus that it wouldn't actually spear you backwards into an inviting-looking field if you overstepped the mark. This was Peugeot maturing, creating a hot hatch that was fun and forgiving.

Peugeot still had a lot to learn about build quality, though, and GTI-6es aren't exactly hewn from rock. This means that, nowadays, even a tidy GTI-6 is going to feel a little ratty. Plus you'll have to put up with some pretty sombre plastics.

This particular example also features a seat fabric that could only have come from a French car of the 90s. Or possibly an Aha video. Lovely.

Other than that it looks to be pretty clean, with a reasonable 109,000 miles under its belt (well under 10K a year) and even a nice piece of paper to prove that it still produces all the horses the boys and girls of Sochaux intended. It has had quite a lot of work done to it though, rather proving the 306's flaky reputation. The result might be a positive for a buyer, however, as it's meant a few subtle modifications and, as the seller points out, not many parts left for the new owner to replace...

Of course, if you're feeling a bit more brave/frugal/utterly mad and don't fancy a 306, then how about this 205? It started off as a 1.9 GTi, but has subsequently been fitted with the torque-tastic can't-kill-it-with-a-stick 1.9 D turbo from a 306. Mad? Yes, but perhaps brilliantly so...

Advert for 306 is reproduced below

1997 PH2 306 GTi6 Nile Blue (1997)
109,000 miles £895

1997 PH2 306 GTi6 Nile Blue
Well it's time to make a decision on this one and sadly its up for sale.
Just had the MOT done and it passed needing only a pair of orange indicator bulbs and a new passenger side drop link so that wont expire until January 2013.
Tax is just about to expire at the end of February 2012

The bodywork is in average condition with a key mark on the passenger side rear quarter, a cracked front bumper just by the fog light and a small dent on the boot. It polishes up well for the summer as the pictures show.

The interior is in good clean condition and I have wet vacuumed the seats so they are nice and bright. Comes with a basic CD player head unit and the rear shelf has 2 6x9 speakers in it.
I have slightly modified this car by replacing failed standard parts with upgraded ones. These modifications are.
3" Magnex catback exhaust system
Powerflex lower engine mount
Welded and reinforced chassis on the upper engine mount as this is a common failure
Lightweight aluminium crank pulley
Rallye auxiliary belt setup that removes the aircon.
Lots of new parts in the last 6 months as the cam belt snapped.

I fitted a good 2nd hand cylinder head which had a light skim, valve lap with new stem seals, this is a quiet head with no tapping.
Correct MLS headgasket and bolt set used.
Gates Powergrip Cam belt kit.
New waterpump
5/40w Oil and sparkplug change.
This is now a strong engine which made a respectable 165BHP at the K-Tec rolling road a couple of weeks ago.

Here is a list of the other parts replaced

Reconditioned rear axle.
Genuine Peugeot/Ordonez Radiator and full coolant change
Front discs and pads with quality Ferrodo parts
Throttle cable
NTK Lambda Sensor
Coolant Temp Sensor
Air and fuel filters

I have plenty of invoices to back this all up so that's plenty of parts you won't ever have to worry about!

Any questions just give me a call or email!



P.H. O'meter

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Comments (251) Join the discussion on the forum

  • alfa pint 24 Feb 2012

    Despise these cars. Sold purely on the USP of a gimmick of a six speed box. Not particularly quick, awful inside and shockingly built in comparison to anything from Germany or Japan. Hell, even Rover / MG and most of the Italian manufacturers were putting their cars together in a more durable way.

  • philkermeen 24 Feb 2012


  • TORQ 24 Feb 2012

    Good shed.

    Remember driving the Rallye Version of this back in the day when it came out, it made my MK2 8V Golf feel slow and a dated, it was really really bloody good to chuck about, but I still couldn't part with the Golf. Was always worried these wouldn't hold together long-term.

  • rallycross 24 Feb 2012

    alfa pint said:
    Despise these cars. Sold purely on the USP of a gimmick of a six speed box. Not particularly quick, awful inside and shockingly built in comparison to anything from Germany or Japan. Hell, even Rover / MG and most of the Italian manufacturers were putting their cars together in a more durable way.
    You've clearly never driven or owned one with this load of nonsense.
    They are very good to drive, excellent fun handling, lovely engine, good gear ratios, built better than you might think (they dont suffer from rust), and right now they are amazing value if you find one thats been looked after.

  • stumpage 24 Feb 2012

    Sorry don't agree. In 1998 these weren't slow. 170bhp in a hatch was a lot (Golf GTi Turbo produced 150bhp). It had great handling, was light and agile. Ok build quality wasn't like the Golf but they didn't exactly fall to bit around you.

    A great car and a great drive. Miss my old one

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