The Peugeot 307 is a small family car produced by the French manufacturer Peugeot since 2001, following the Peugeot 306 which ceased production in 2002. It was awarded the European Car of the Year title for 2002 and continued to be offered in China and certain South American markets through 2014, despite the French launch of the 308 (its intended successor) in September 2007.
The 307 was presented as the 307 Prométhée prototype, at the 2000 Mondial de l’Automobile. The production hatchback versions were introduced to the European markets on 26 April 2001, as a successor to the Peugeot 306. The 307 was also sold in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and (in 1.6 and 2.0 petrol versions) Mexico. In Brazil the 307 is sold with 1.6 and 2.0 flex (gas/ethanol) engines.
The 307 makes use of a reworked 306 platform, that can also be found on the Citroën Xsara as well as the 1991 Citroën ZX. However, the car is larger than the 306 in every direction.
The 307 continued the company’s styling first seen on the Peugeot 206 and Peugeot 607. With upswept front lights and a steeply rising bonnet leading to a highly sloped windscreen (and the upright rear doors first seen on the 206), the 307 departed from the Pininfarina designed themes employed on the previous two generations of Peugeots, as introduced with the Peugeot 205, and ending with the (evolutionary) Peugeot 406.
Its height is 1,510 mm (59.4 in), which is in the middle of the spectrum between small family cars (between 1400 and 1450 mm) and compact MPVs (between 1600 and 1650 mm). Some consider the 307 as a low compact MPV rather than a tall small family car, because of its height and profile.
One advertisement for the 307, which was first in 2001, featured the hit song from 1987, “(Something Inside) So Strong”.
The Peugeot 307 WRC, a World Rally Car based on the 307 CC, replaced the multiple manufacturers’ and drivers’ championship-winning 206 WRC in the World Rally Championship for the season of 2004.
The vehicle, nicknamed “The Flying Frog” and “The Whale”, was plagued by transmission problems and only began to come into its element in competition towards the end of its factory supported participation in the WRC. It has three WRC victories to its name, but saw its competition life cut short at the end of 2005 by PSA’s decision to withdraw both Citroën and Peugeot from top level rallying. It topped the podium in the series on the 2004 and 2005 Neste Rally Finland as well as in the 2005 Rally Japan.
All the victories were at the hands of double world drivers’ champion Marcus Grönholm. A private undertaking by seasoned Peugeot preparatory firm Bozian Racing, dubbed OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team, largely assumed responsibility for the running of WRC specification 307s for the following 2006 season. Manfred Stohl and Henning Solberg were named as the driving personnel, with Stohl placing fourth in the overall drivers’ standings.
The 307 WRC will be remembered for the accident that befell WRC competitors Markko Märtin and Michael Park on September 18, 2005, which resulted in co-driver Park’s death. On stage 15 of Wales Rally GB, Märtin lost control of his 307 WRC and collided with a tree, killing Park instantly. This was the first fatality in a WRC event since 1993.
The Peugeot 307 has also been raced in the World Touring Car Championship, the British Touring Car Championship, Stock Car Brasil, TC2000 and the Danish Touring Car Championship.