2001 Citroen Saxo VTR 1.6 8v from UK and Ireland
Cheap, fast and charismatic
Strange squeak (sounds like a mouse) from the nearside front below 30mph after about 30 minutes driving.
Very loud noise from front of car on longer motorway journeys (80 miles plus), but on inspection nothing evident, happened twice now, thinking about changing driveshaft.
Exhaust rubbers fell off (not the car's fault due to stupid boy racer exhaust, which has now thankfully been removed)
New front tyres, brake pads, discs and nearside front wheel bearing (wear and tear) and new battery also.
Replaced driver's door lock, as some wannabe thief tried to break in, not cheap at £170.
Cannot always hold revs on idle - jumps between 500rpm and 1500rpm, and eventually cuts out if you don't blip the throttle.
Airbag light on dashboard, quite common I believe due to poorly designed wires under driver's seat (I hope the airbags actually do work, as Saxos are not the safest cars to have a crash in!)
Random clicking noise from passenger side glovebox area, have been told it's the indicator switch, now seems to have fixed itself.
Loads of weird squeaks and rattles from all over the car that do not exactly instill confidence!
Cracking fun to drive, really quite fast if you push it, and handles brilliantly. A great introduction to sporty-ish motoring, although I'm surprised more Saxo VTRs don't end up in hedges/upside down, given the typical inexperienced burberry-donning young drivers and truly awful brakes; a lethal combination in my honest opinion.
As mentioned, this car does have something of an image problem, it is something of a boy racer's dream and an unmolested, non-modified version is actually quite hard to find. Even our relatively untouched version, fully equipped with a ridiculously oversized exhaust (with rather rude inscription which I dare not repeat here - now since removed - the car is nicknamed the MD after it) it feels like it has had a hard life. The car does attract unwanted attention from boy racers, who seem to think we have an inbuilt instinct to race them to the nearest fast food outlet, but this is better since the exhaust was taken off.
The Saxo VTR really is good on fuel for a 1.6, and is in fact much better than smaller engined cars I have driven, as you don't need to drive flat out everywhere just to get to the speed limit. Long journeys are OK, but fuel consumption does increase above 70mph, but nobody goes faster than that of course, as it is the national speed limit. Insurance is very reasonable considering the performance.
Specification is good on the VTR, including sunroof, central locking and CD player. Boot space is good considering the car's size, and the back seats fold down. The Saxo VTR looks superb even against more modern cars, with smart subtle wheel arch flares and the alloy wheels are a really nice design. My girlfriend likes it too (it is difficult to find a pretty car that isn't a bag of nails - it's either one or the other.)
When it comes to reliability, the Saxo is very, very French. All the main parts seem fairly sturdy, and it is yet to break down, but occasionally it theatrically throws its arms in the air and threatens to stop working. This said, this must be the first car in history to fix itself, as one strange squeak or rattle can be there one day, the next it is completely gone. It is cheap to fix though, parts are cheap and mechanics simple, so if you fancy doing some DIY repairs, there's even a Haynes manual for it.
We love the MD and, despite its foibles, it is great fun and has truly become a member of the family, and I wouldn't swap it for anything else!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 26th May, 2010