Corrado or 306XSi - Alfafan {P}
My son will be in the market for one of the above in April. He wants to spend up to about £3k, doesn't do a huge mileage. He wants good handling (used to love my Alfasud Sprint) MPG not very important, car will be used mainly at weekends. He probably does not want the VR6 (which would be my choice).

We've looked at HJ's CBC breakdown so know some of the potential pitfalls of both. However, we'd like some first hand comments, recommendations, warnings etc. Thanks in advance.
Corrado or 306XSi - Jonathan {p}
Get a mazda MX6, he could have mine for around the 3k mark. Loads better looking than the golf or 306. very good handling. Superb 2.5 v6 engines are almost indestructable. 99.9% rust free. 0-60 - 7.5 secs (even less if decatted and induction kit). returns about 28mpg.
Corrado or 306XSi - No Do$h
MX6 is not a patch on the Corry or the XSi for handling. I've not owned any but have driven all three. XSi will give most bang for your buck but the Corry is one of the last VWs that was built as opposed to being slung together. I think they were partially assembled by Karmann of Onnasbruck, which is usually a good sign.

Both the cars in question are undeniably fun. I think it's going to have to be a decision of the heart rather than the head. Just drive them and see what clicks.
Corrado or 306XSi - Maz
Just an observation, but I would say the Corrado, which was sadly neglected at launch, has a chance of becoming a future classic. The VR6 was home to VW's most powerful engine at the time (rebored with an extra 10hp from the golf IIRC) and the ordinary Corrs might get a bit of the halo effect.

The 306 XSi has no chance of becoming a classic, IMO.
Corrado or 306XSi - teabelly
On my list for that sort of cash would also be:

peugeot 205 gti 1.9 - already a classic
nissan 200sx - reliable and rear wheel drive
lancia delta hf turbo
lancia thema turbo (the 8v turbo is more reliable rather than the 16v version)


teabelly
Corrado or 306XSi - Tony N
306 probably has one of the best fwd chassis ever engineered. Wouldn't touch a VR6, everyone I know who's ever had one has had head gasket problems - NOT a fun job on this engine! G60 has too much liabilty with the G-Charger and the 16v lump performs better in the Mk II Golf...
Corrado or 306XSi - Steve G
If your son can stretch his budget just a bit more he could consider a 306 GTi-6. Probably the last 'real' performance Peugeot to be built.
Has all the qualities of the 205 1.9 GTi plus a few more modern comforts, Aircon/CD/Airbags/ABS.
The XSi is a good car but the GTI-6 is really a LOT better.
I bet your biggest problem will be finding good examples of any of these cars.
Good luck..
Steve
Corrado or 306XSi - Tony N
Or even a 306 Rallye if you want a proper hardcore hot hatch! Basically a stripped out (complete with manual windy-up windows) GTi-6 for maximum lite weight performance!
Corrado or 306XSi - Matt
I've just finished with my 306 - fantastic car but very tackily put together. I've bought an H-reg E30 BMW 318IS (not a 318i)which I'm very pleased with - good performance (136BHP 16V Twin Cam and 0-60 in c.9 secs which beats 6cyl 320i and 323i), cracking brakes (large discs all round)and has the M-tech suspension kit as standard. In my opinion it looks better than all of the above and is built very well indeed. It has electric everything,leather interior, 100k miles and cost well under 2 grand. All this, BMW reliability and 32mpg average - not bad if you like older-looking cars. Hope this helps!
Corrado or 306XSi - NWS
I had a 16v Corrado for 2.5 years and about 50+k miles from new. Apart from the 10yr old Dolomite that I passed my test in, the worst car I've ever had. Had an incurable problem of the wipers squealing, even after the motor was replaced having burnt out. I have a vivid memory of standing on my drive with keys in hand looking at my car which was happily idling - it could only be stopped by stalling the engine with the clutch - the clutch that had to be replaced after about 10k miles. Loads of fun to drive however and a mate has had a V6 for about 5 years and put intergalactic miles on it, apparently without major complaint - maybe the 16v were off a different line?
Corrado or 306XSi - Steve S
The Corrado. No contest mainly for the reasons Maz has stated. It's a great handler too, I had a G60 which was fun but the VR6 is the Mutt's nuts.

The 16v, (with all due respect) is far too asthmatic and IMO is the reason the Corrado wasn't the success it should have been.
Corrado or 306XSi - owen
I was looking at Corrados around 4 months ago, but bought a Lotus Elan instead. Have now (sadly) swapped that for a 306XSi, so have some experience of both vehicles. Ideally I would have the Corrado, especially the VR6, since they look fantastic, will hold their value well and go like stink. But with a budget of 3 grand, you will get a far, far better 306 than Corrado.

Example: a Corrado VR6 I looked at - 1994, 125000 miles, very tatty, 9 previous owners, not very well looked after, £3500.
My XSi, 1996, 50000 miles, 1 owner, immaculate condition, basically as good as new as far as my cars usually go!

Also, insurance on Corrados is stupid, i think group 17. It would have cost around £400 more a year to insure the corrado than it did for the Lotus. THe 306XSi is only group 12, which makes it far more sensible. IT is also a fantastic car to drive, plenty of low down torque and really chuckable. I personally would not buy a Corrado unless i had around 5k to spend, because below this there are not many decent examples around.
Corrado or 306XSi - owen
should add i paid £3000 for my XSi - sorry!
Corrado or 306XSi - Trisha TR
Corrado.

306 doesn't come into the reckoning. However I like individuality and a decent performance. The 306 is nearly as common as a TT so no chance. You could be struggling to get a good one for £3k tho'. I'd look at the MX6 - cuz the Mazda powerplant is quality and should be available in that price range. If you like the Americanised styling you can pick up a very tidy Ford/Mazda Probe v6 for under £3k too.

Corrado or 306XSi - No Do$h
>>If you like the Americanised styling you can pick up a very tidy Ford/Mazda Probe
v6 for under £3k too.

A tidy probe? Are you aware that they were built out of marzipan by chimps? They are a truly shocking car. I should know, I had to try and sell the blessed things when the launched 'em.

The 2.0 is asthmatic and the 2.5 tramlines if it runs over a squashed gnat due to the low profiles and the poor steering geometry. The chap likes handling. This is not the car for him!

I still say the 306 is the way forward. Much more care for the money and readily available parts etc. That said, I stand by my erlier remark to drive two at his price-point and make the choice.

£5 towards Mark's next plaoughmans says the money lands on the XSi
Corrado or 306XSi - No Do$h
oh dear. The typo fairies were having a lovely time on my keyboard, weren't they.....
Corrado or 306XSi - Alfafan {P}
Thanks for all the input so far folks. Keep it coming. Have to say at the moment the 306 is edging ahead, mainly because of insurance, finding a decent Corrado and chane of getting a younger 306 for the money.

MX6 was on the original list, but steering probably too light and most of the ones up for sale tend to be automatics. Lancia Delta HF off the list because of age and probable build quality. Share Toad's view of the Probe (it's ugly too). Not you Toad, the car ;-)
Corrado or 306XSi - No Do$h
Now either Toad has expressed an opinion on the Probe before, or that's the second time this week I've been mistaken for him!

It's probably just a coincidence that my house is called "Toad Cottage"......
Corrado or 306XSi - Alfafan {P}
Sorry No Dosh, perish the thought I should mistake a fellow Alfisti for a Rover lover.
Corrado or 306XSi - Tony N
I'm not really in a position to comment having not driven a Corrado, but from what people have told me I can't really imagine a Corrado (especially with the heavy VR6 lump up front) getting anywhere near a 306 in terms of handling. Having driven numerous Golfs and fwd Audi's which share pretty much the same suspension config as the Corrado (I'm pretty certain the Corrado is basically a Mk II Golf - I may be wrong though) I wouldn't say that the Corrado chassis is a patch on the Pugs. I remember someone I knew had a Scirocco GTi (again similar suspension layout) and that it was the most dangerous handling car he'd ever driven! And he'd driven some pretty appalling ones too...
Corrado or 306XSi - Steve S
I've had a Scirocco GTX and a Corrado and a Golf GTI - no comparison.

The Corrado (if the condition is right) is simply one of the best FWD cars made. Instead of understeer the thing just goes on tucking in!

The Mk 2 GTI was good, but Corrado is different class.

Incidentally, the one I owned I still see and it looks immaculate. The problem here would be getting a good one for anything like the price.

As Maz indicated - it's a likely candidate for classic status.
Corrado or 306XSi - Maz
Yes indeed, the Corrado is simply one of the best handling fwd cars ever.
Corrado or 306XSi - Tony N
Steve out of interest, do you remember what the rear suspension setup was on the Corrado? Was it a dead beam axle like the Golf and Audi 80? My 80 sport rarely understeered either, however if it ever did and you let off (especially in the wet) you normally were greeted with a nice view of where you had just been! I think alot of VAG cars with this suspension setup (especially sportier models with stiffer springs) had this 'endearing' trait! Not especially confindence inspiring as it wasn't controllable lift-off oversteer that the pugs generally have (when you get used to it) either.
Corrado or 306XSi - Steve S
Sorry Tony N, the techy bits are beyond me. I never had any drama - even in the wet and pushing. The only way I can describe the handling is very "four wheel drive".

I never got the impression that lift off would provoke much - but then I never had it on a track, so I reserve judgement on that.

I did, however, have a play on a bit of old runway and found I could get the back out under heavy breaking into a tight corner, before jumping back on the throttle (rather like you would a scooby).

For it's vintage, this was impressive and the Golf would have been on three wheels well before then!

It wouldn't compare with good predictable oversteer on a rwd I'm sure - but then, if you're on a track - what does?
Corrado or 306XSi - Alfafan {P}
Just thought I?d give a final resolution on this question. After a brief flirtation with looking at an F Reg BMW 318 being offered for £1500 by someone he knew from the local pub, he decided to go for the Peugeot. I must say the search took a while as most cars had been sold as soon as the ad appeared.

Anyway, saw a P Reg Xsi advertised on Friday, rang up and went to see it Saturday. Nice metallic royal blue, bodywork and alloys a bit scruffy, but nothing that Autoglym and elbow grease won?t put right. Car?s done 72,000 miles (looks gen from MOT and service record), recent cam belt change, drives well, stops well, no untoward noises. HPI Checked out OK.

Only problem was ABS light did not go out, but a sharp brake test confirmed working OK and the light went out. The gearbox was a bit notchy in second and third which indicated the clutch may be on its way at some point. Does anyone know the likely cost, or of the notchiness is a characteristic?

Seller seemed genuine and a bit naïve to be honest. He was asking £2,295, I offered £2,100 (pointing out the scruffy alloys) which he accepted immediately. As my son?s budget was £3,000 I pointed out he could use the savings for any necessary repairs in future. Picking up the car this afternoon. Looks like a result.

Many thanks for all the help and opinions offered.
Corrado or 306XSi - Steve S
Nice one AF - good to know the outcome with some of these posts.
Corrado or 306XSi - owen
Alfafan - i find the gearbox a bit notchy in second in mine, but it seems to get smoother as it warms up. Apparently the self-adjusting clutch cables have a tendency to dry out, so it may be worth changing it to prolong the life of the clutch?
 

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