There were no particularly good or bad aspects of the protection the 306 provides for occupants in frontal or side impacts. Even without side airbags, it just meets side-impact protection that will become a legal requirement for new models from October. However, Peugeot needs to work harder to improve the 306's pedestrian protection. All but four of the head impact sites and all the bonnet's leading edge and bumper test sites gave poor performances.
The passenger compartment maintained stability during the impact. The driver's head contact on the airbag just remained stable and the steering wheel was pushed rearwards to a limited extent. There was also moderate intrusion of the windscreen pillar. Chest protection for the driver was weak. Stiff structures in the steering column area increased injury risks for the driver's upper legs and pelvis. There was also a risk of direct injury to the knees. Protection of the lower legs and the feet and ankles was adequate and footwell intrusion was moderate.
Side impact protection was good enough to meet forthcoming legislation even without door beams or airbags. The top rib was most heavily loaded where it lined up with a plastic clip behind the door trim. The driver's abdomen was hit by the arm rest and the pelvis was hit by door trim backed by a thick foam block.
Forward facing child restraints recommended by Peugeot were compatible with the car's belts. In the frontal test, movement of the children's heads was sufficiently well controlled. However in the side impact the head of the three-year-old was not contained within the upper wings of the child restraint.
The 306 generally offered poor protection for pedestrians. Only the child head impact area contained any test sites which gave performances that rated above 'poor'. The best areas for protection were where a child's head would hit in an accident. However, all adult contact areas gave very high readings which would result in a high risk of injury. This is an area of design where Peugeot needs to make improvements.