Hatchback with best ride quality? - Kingpin
After 2 and half years of discomfort I'm looking to swap the unsettling Punto with it's terrible jarring ride. I can predict every pot hole in Bradford on my daily commute! My main priority is a cosseting ride quality. I'm not too bothered if it comes as a trade off for less sharp handling. My previous car was a 1998 Fiesta 1.25 which combined both qualities of supple ride and nimbleness excellently but I am looking for something more spacious. I've drawn up a shortlist comprising 306, Xsara (cheaper) and old shape Megane (cheaper but reliable?) reasoning that the Focus and Astra tend to err on firmness over comfort. If only the BX was still in production! Has anyone experience of this French trio and which would you conside the best choice?
I imagine all three are quite similar with the 306 being first choice.
Thanks
Hatchback with best ride quality? - SjB {P}
Definitely the 306 in my book; magic carpet ride and top drawer handling.

Though not a hatch, my Missus drives a 1995 306 1.8 SR Sedan and this humble device never ceases to amaze me with it's ability to soak up appalling bumps whilst still having millimetre accurate steering when charging down a twisty B road.

No other car I have driven has come close, including Jags.

The 306 has the added advantage of a crisp, pretty, timeless shape, too, and in our case has been utterly reliable. With the exception of wiring failing through use where it passes through the front door jambs, most wear and tear items are cheap to repair, as is servicing if you find a great Pug Indy like I have done; our 306 really costs buttons to run.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - Colonel Panic
Have not driven many cars this small, but was surprised how good the Toyota Yaris ride was compared to the Punto (for such a small car)
I expected a horrid little car for OAPs but it was quite a driver's car for what it was. I think a new one is due out soon too.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - Kingpin
Thanks for the comments so far. I rate the 306 highly, the sedan is a bargain and tastfully styled.
The Yaris comments surprise me as I imagined it to be quite uneven due to it's dimensions. Perhaps the Punto is so bad it flatters any other car!
Generally I suppose the old rule that size matters - ie longer wheelbase stops any pitching about on uneven roads. Mondeo, 406 and such like will soak up things better than a small supermini with stiff suspension.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - Pugugly {P}
306, glides over the speed humps like nothing else I have ever driven.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - Xileno {P}
Almost any car has a better ride than the Punto. Had one as a courtesy car about four years ago. Jarring rough ride, couldn't wait to give it back. Shame because otherwise it was a really nice car, well built as well. Nice adjustable power steering too.

My money would be on the 306.

Old Megane not as fun as the 306 to drive.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - Kingpin
I agreen Xileno, - the Punto has loads of room inside, a very smooth and quiet FIRE 1.2 engine giving at least 45mpg but the ride quality is terrible, spoils an otherwise good car.
Looks like it's a 306 that gets the vote. Hope I can find a nice diesel example which will give several year's good service.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - Altea Ego
Anything French.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - SjB {P}
Anything French.


Except the lumbering, overweight, flat footed elephant called a 307. Peugeot comprehensively dropped the ball after the master class that was the 306, and seem to have continued so with the 407, too
Hatchback with best ride quality? - Xileno {P}
Anything French.


As long as it doesn't have low profile sports alloys. They can spoil the ride.

What about a late Xantia. If you liked the BX, then you are sure to like one. Better built than the BX but still with the fantastic hydropneumatic suspension. A late HDi would make a fine car.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - v0n
I don't know which 306's you lot driven for "magic carpet" ride quality but the 97 LX spec I had was actually very crashy in town. It was excellent at cornering, was glued to the road on motorways, flew at speed, but boy, it was knocking fillings out of my teeth on London potholes. And the effect was even worse with Pug GTI alloys I bought second hand after few months of misery. Additionally that "timeless shape" as someone described it comes at expense of 80ies interior with door armrests way below arm height, awful elephant skin flight case like dashboard and rattles from every single direction.
If it has to be French, Xsara, built on the same platform and suspension will offer much more luxury for a lot less money.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - Quinny100
The Xsara do indeed ride very well for their size. The earilier cars were softer - the facelift models were lowered and stiffened slightly but the ride is still very acceptable.

Obviously its all subjective because I thought the ride on my girlfriends Yaris was rubbish and others think its quite acceptable. Steer well clear of the Focus because the poor ride was one of the main reasons I got rid.

I was spolied by owning a Xantia and fitting a full set of new spheres soon after I got it. The C5 was good too but you need the HA3+ versions with Sport mode as the standard HA3 is a compromise.

I find the ride on my Mk3 Mondeo quite acceptable - its a Zetec so its firm but the damping is spot on so it doesn't knock your fillings out.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - JohnPug
I actually like the 307, and I had a 306 before! Once you get used to the steering, it handles as well if not better than my old 306.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - SjB {P}
I actually like the 307, and I had a 306 before!
Once you get used to the steering, it handles as well
if not better than my old 306.


We're talking ride quality here, and every 307 that I've travelled in or driven can't even find the box of matches, let alone hold a candle to the 306.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - Kingpin
Thanks for the comments, very interesting. Seems to be a consensus on the 306, jury still out on the 307. Xsara may be a cheaper route to a similar chassis but steering clear of low profile tyres is a general agreement. The Xantia is tempting as they are now slowly becoming extinct, even future classic status? and the styling is better than the troubled C5 in my opinion. I noticed that C5 prices are very cheap for 2001 models but mainly the inferior petrol versions although 1.8 is better than the 2.0 HPI from what I gather. A bit large for my needs also but excellent for the airport taxi run. Good to get some real world opinions from people with experience of the vehicles in question.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - MichaelR
I'm trying to think of reasons why anyone who is not 100% concerned with looking trendy would pick a 306 over a Xsara.

Mechanically, both cars are pretty much identical, yet the Xsara has a nicer, more modern interior and crucially, costs a LOT less than the equivilent 306.

So you either get a newer, nicer, better equipped car for your money, or you get a car the same age, but better equipped and nicer for a lot LESS money, when you chose a Xsara over a 306.

Lots of people buy purely on exterior styling where the 306 wins, but this appears not to be a concern in this case.

What other reason is there to buy a 306 over a Xsara?
Hatchback with best ride quality? - machika
Thanks for the comments, very interesting. Seems to be a consensus
on the 306, jury still out on the 307. Xsara may
be a cheaper route to a similar chassis but steering clear
of low profile tyres is a general agreement. The Xantia is
tempting as they are now slowly becoming extinct, even future classic
status? and the styling is better than the troubled C5 in
my opinion. I noticed that C5 prices are very cheap for
2001 models but mainly the inferior petrol versions although 1.8 is
better than the 2.0 HPI from what I gather. A bit
large for my needs also but excellent for the airport taxi
run. Good to get some real world opinions from people with
experience of the vehicles in question.


Citroen basically made a real mess of the launch of the C5s and the early models were subject to so many recalls, that a large number of owners became disenchanted (can't blame them really). However, if they stuck with them and got the bugs ironed out, then they are OK. Advantages over the Xantia are many (though not the handling), as the spec is much better than any Xantia ever had. It also has much better seats (they are very good) and a lot more legroom for the driver. The secret is making sure all of the bugs have been ironed out, before you consider buying one, and that includes the rear axle problem (which was not subject to a recall - shame on Citroen for that).

The other important factor is finding a good garage to service it. Main dealers do not, by and large, have a good reputation. My local main dealer couldn't even be bothered to get in touch with me to tell me our C5 had an outstanding recall. I only found out when I went in to see them about another matter.
Hatchback with best ride quality? - hcm
xileno has already mentioned it in passing, but do be aware of late 306s with alloys and low profiles. on good roads the ride is great but on anything else you soon know about it.

if you know every pot hole on your route to work now, you're not going to forget them with some 306s.

 

Value my car