Cohort Capsule: Peugeot 305 Break GL – The 505’s Little Brother

Peugeot 305 wagon

(first posted 2/7/2013.  I would like to have prepared a more in-depth article on the 305 for Peugeot Fest, but other pressing demands make that impossible right now. Hopefully those European readers with experience and familiarity with the 305 will weigh in. The 305 deserves better. PN)

Our man in Spain, coopey, has stumbled into something that we’re not likely to see in the US, a Peugeot 305 Break (wagon). The 305 was the successor to the 204/304, which did make it to the US, although it wasn’t exactly a big seller here. The 204 was Peugeot’s first FWD car, and was a rather cute little thing, with the typical superb French ride. The 305 first arrived in 1977, and was a step larger; actually it was roomier than the Golf class, and competed fairly effectively with the next class of cars, like the J-cars Ascona/Cavalier  and the Ford Cortina. Since this has the face-lifted front end, it’s from the 1984-1988 era, which also saw some major changes under the hood. Here’s the sedan version:

Peugeot 305 1977image:wikipedia

This sedan has the original version of the front end. The 305 was designed by…who else? Pininfarina, of course. The early versions used the transmission-in-sump drivetrain of the 204/304, but in 1981, the new XU series of fours (with separate transmission) made its debut in the 305, and that includes the highly regarded XUD diesel family. These were considered the most modern and nicest-running four cylinder diesels of its time.