1998 Citroen Saxo VTR 1.6 i from UK and Ireland


Great handling, but general day to day faults let it down


Leaking head gasket from 25,000 miles.

Loud rattle from sunroof when open in any position.

General fitting of internal plastics poor.

Paintwork very poor.

General Comments:

A generally reliable little car apart from the head gasket that had to be replaced at 25,000 miles.

The paint finish, especially on the plastic bumpers was very poor. So much so that a gentle power wash removed large flakes!

Recently written off following a not too fast crash which resulted in the rear suspension breaking in two and the body shell buckling badly. I would not have expected this much damage generally from such a crash.

The sunroof rattled so much that, despite several attempts at repair, it was mostly not used.

Local dealer very poor and very expensive. This would alone put me off buying another, however I am looking at lesser models from other dealers as the performance when compared to others is not that special.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th April, 2002

1998 Citroen Saxo VTS 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland


Citroen Sucks-so


Catalyst went within 3 weeks of collection. Not covered by warranty so £250 for a new one.

Radiator crumbled away after 30000 miles, £220 for replacement.

Loads of wind noise at speed with any window even slightly open.

Engine power cuts out for about 2 seconds about 2 minutes after starting the car in the morning. Not good if you're just pulling out at a junction.

Factory fitted mudflaps drag on the ground when more than 1 person is in the car.

Rear brake calipers seized after 35000 miles, replacements £120 each.

Various cabin vibration and rattles, particularly around the passenger's airbag.

Alloy wheel locking nut missing (should have checked at purchase) but dealer took 8 months to obtain the master keys from Citroen, and then took 2 hours to remove the wheel.

Cassette flap fell off radio first time I put a tape in.

Radiator fan sounds like a jet taking off when it kicks in.

General Comments:

Pulls about 3700 revs at 70mph, making motorway cruising a bit uncomfortable - feels like you need another gear.

My experience with the dealers and Citroen UK has been an absolute nightmare - no communication between departments and they never call you back.

Spares are much more expensive than the standard (or even VTR) Saxo's equivalent.

There's no denying the nippy 0-60 performance, and it does handle well, but all the problems are just unforgiveable.

Fun if you get a good one. A severe money pit if you don't.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th April, 2002

23rd May 2002, 16:35

When I was looking into buying a new car, I visited my local independent garage and asked the boss what he thought of the Saxo, and his response was "don't touch one with a barge-pole my dear". Enough said.

14th Aug 2002, 05:05

Wouldn't touch one with a barge pole - until he had a nice shiny one on his forecourt to try and sell you! :|

29th Aug 2002, 09:25

I've thankfully got shot of it now, but not before the battery also packed up and the terminals broke when I was replacing it. Managed to botch it though with some kitchen towel and a washer from the rotary washing line. Hurrah!

I cannot urge people enough, please consider very carefully before buying a VTS, you could be letting yourself in for a world of pain. And the dealers - don't even go there, quite literally.

1998 Citroen Saxo VTR 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Nice looking hot hatch


Material on door trims has started to wear.

The stalling when stationery and at traffic lights still occurs on average once a week, dealers can find nothing wrong.

Gearbox still clunking away and is starting to get a bit sticky.

And the petrol gauge with a mind of its own is a bit of a nuisance.

General Comments:

I love the look of this car and it handles really well. Performance is quite nippy and great fun to drive.

Let down by bad build quality. I doubt very much it will last anywhere near as long as my old Volkswagen.

One problem that I wonder if someone could help with is my wheel bolts have nearly all started to rust badly and it looks crap. Is this normal after 4 years and has anyone else had this problem? Can anyone recommend some that don't rust please???

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th April, 2002