This was the European car of the year in 2002.
The excitement of buying a new Euro car in 2003 wore off very quickly. I'm a patient person and held my nerve. Thankfully, I had 3 years of warranty to sort out most things.
Some others just can't be fixed.
After 90,000km I feel I am qualified to comment:
1) Ride is very firm and had to replace the OEM Conti tyres with something more supple to minimise the urban crash and bang. Definitely not what we hear about Peugeots and their renowned cosseting ride.
2) Handling is better and it feels quite competent to throw around.
3) Manual Gearbox is one of the hardest to use with poorly positioned pedals and a notchy gearbox. You would think European love of manuals would have had this stuff sorted out.
4) Great design. The 307 really set the benchmark for hatchback design that we still see in new releases today
5) Mechanically it has been niggle after niggle. Whilst I have never needed roadside assist, there have been too many issues with things like tappet noise, exhaust system faults, strange noises and all sorts of things that had to get sorted by dealer.
6) Exterior - Squeaky front suspension, panel gaps have changed over time, the whole car and doors creak like an old horse carriage when going up a driveway at angle, so many light bulb failures until I went to Supercheap and bought elcheapo globes which have lasted; poor front tyre wear (no issues with alignment)
7) Interior - carpet too short and pulls away from trim and doors, indicator switch return faulty, horn no longer works - problem is in steering wheel and needs heaps to repair, A/C fan motor wearing out from years ago and will not work on highest setting when really hot, gear knob perished, instrument binnacle will not display clearly on a hot day
The whole car is not durable and every service has been expensive as it usually accompanies an issue that needs to be resolved.
As much as I love what I read about the new 308, I just could not bring myself to repeat the last 12 years.
I truly hope the quality has been improved in newer cars but I frankly would not have the confidence. I kinda know what VW gold owners must feel like over the long term ownership experience.