March 6, 2017
A look back at the Peugeot 305 (1977 – 1988) 0
Today’s healthy dose of nostalgia comes in the form of one of the real workhorses of the late seventies and majority of the eighties. Despite being a regular sight, not just on the continent, but in the UK too, it’s easy to forget the…
Peugeot 305 (1977 – 1988)
The first thing you have to say about the Peugeot 305 is that it was a very well designed car. Not really so well remembered today, it’s easy to overlook exactly how impressive it was when first released. It took the place of the outgoing 204 and 304, but all three ran alongside each other for a short while until the later two were retired – something that has long been a Peugeot tradition. The 305 also shared its older brothers front wheel drive layout, plus some of the engine options. In Great Britain it was sold in 1.3 and 1.5-litre petrol formats, and also as the 147icc diesel. The oil burning editions sold sluggishly, but nowhere near as slowly as its acceleration!
Dynamically, it was far more proficient 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 capacities. 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.
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