2001 Citroen Saxo VTR 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Fastest car in the price range


I had a new clutch put in after 1 week as it was impossible to change into reverse.

I'm getting vibrations from the speaker covers.

Apart from that, all is fine.

General Comments:

The car handles very well and sticks to the road like glue.

Motorway driving is fine and it can keep up with most bigger cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th October, 2001

2001 Citroen Saxo VTR 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Great fun and very economical


"Hunting" between 500 and 1000 revs, this was pointed out on its first service but never rectified.

Also after a rather hard full frontal collision, the airbag failed to prevent my head from hitting the windscreen.

General Comments:

Performance for a small car is great, very rapid and gives a pleaseant roar from the engine. Corners as if on rails and the overall handling is superb.

This car will see most "ordinary" cars off at the lights, my most recent conquest being a 2.0 Rover and I have driven quite comfortably at 120 mph.

The new style interior trim was a bit of a let down. I think it was a bit too reminiscent of something that you would see in a lower spec model and the cup holders are pretty useless. The car itself looks great and is very simple to modify both inside and out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th October, 2001

25th Jun 2002, 16:45

I have had the same problem with 'hunting'. I don't understand a few things about Citroen, every time I have taken the car in with a problem they say it's a common problem, but then go on to say they can't fix it, if the problem is so common why not?

2001 Citroen Saxo Desire 1.1 from UK and Ireland


Get a Vauxhall, Rover, or Peugeot


As soon as the car was taken from Sovereign garage in Stafford it was noticed that the brakes on the car were appalling. The car was returned to the garage where the back brakes were adjusted. Although some improvement was noticed, I feel that if I had to do an emergency stop, the car in front would stop me. The car is going back to the garage again. The courtesy car that was supplied (Citroen Xantia L-reg - nail!) had better brakes.

Again the car has gone into the garage as all of the buttons below the centre heater duct have sagged. A new surround has now been fitted, but the car has got to go in again as the controls for the heater duct don't work now.

Poor starting has been noticed, with the engine running on say 3 cylinders. Thankfully it didn't have to go into the garage this time as it seems to have cleared itself.

Gutter seals are peeling away from the corners of the door frames on all sides of the car. The main dealer assured me that this is the first time he has seen this, but I then pointed it out to 2 other models at his garage. These have now been glued on and look a right mess.

Electric windows sticking when opened all the way. Again the car went into the garage and I have been told that this is a manufacturing fault with the motors that control the window. The garage has offered no solution to this yet.

The window seals that go across the bottom of the door windows keep lifting. An ideal opportunity for a car thief.

General Comments:

The handling of the car is great around town, but gets a bit hairy on the motorway.

Head rests are stupidly high and restrict your view when reversing.

Bring back the AX.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th October, 2001

2001 Citroen Saxo VTR 1.6i (8v) from UK and Ireland


A great little car; good performance; good looks; good price!


Irregular revolutions (revs):

Engine revolutions pendulum from 1000 to near stalling, and on occasion it stalls mostly whilst idling, but occasionally the effect has been noticed whilst driving. I've taken back to the dealer who downloaded an update from the Internet and promptly uploaded it into the EMS (Engine Management System) that controls the revolutions. This solved the problem for a while, but it has unfortunately resurfaced all-be-it with less frequency. The car is booked in again for further investigation.

Poor valet:

I was disappointed that the condition of the car as delivered was poor. It had scratches on the dash; muddy footprints on the floor carpet and polish stains on the rear seats, plus lots of unfinished polish results, i.e. speckling of polish inside on the plastic trim. I had these issues resolved by the dealer when I took her back for the EMS update, however, I was only prompted to do so after a call from Citroen Customer Services.

General Comments:

A lot of fun to drive:

Put your foot down and you won't be disappointed. It would appear that the French like to have sprightly performance from their cars. Like my previous car, the AX, the drive is fast and fun.

French ride:

The ride is again very French, soft and comfortable, although the VTR has harder suspension and thus corners much better than lesser models and its predecessor. It's hard to get the tyres to squeal when negotiating a corner, but believe me they do eventually. Far less roll than expected going on my previous French car (AX and 106) driving, but again that is most probably due to the VTR's sporty suspension.

Mountain climber:

I've taken to 100mph on a suitable stretch of motorway, despite it being a short wheelbase car; she handled the speed with grace. The fact that 8 valve engines produce max power at lower revolutions is a credit to the VTR's ability to accelerate whilst climbing the steepest of hills, leaving all manner of other cars behind. There was plenty more power available and nothing less than aggressive BMW and Audi executive drivers could move me.

About town:

No town car should be produced without power steering. Thankfully the VTR has not been left out. The pain of trying to fit into the tightest spaces that once besought the AX and 106 in yester year has been irradicated.

The styling is perfect:

It's subtle yet just aggressive enough to make the VTR and VTS look mean; again it sings Frenchness, arrogance, and performance to boot. The alloys are by far, in my opinion, the sexiest I've seen (if a little small, only 14 inch) with only the Peugeot 306 similarly shaped and spoke versions being as attractive.

Sporty look:

Sporty wide wheel arches and classic understated spoiler coupled with a polished chrome tail pipe (bolted on; not the entire exhaust) make the exterior styling look good without making it look like a boy-racer wanna-be!

Interior cloth is a let down:

Shame about the interior cloth styling. I would have liked the option for leather or at least a choice of interior cloth, but none was on offer, instead the charcoal grey / black with colour speckle was the default. It's palatable, not garish by any means but not exactly perfect either.

AX converts will feel at home:

The rest of the interior is very similar to the original AX, with the same controls, layout etc. The can / cup holders on the reverse of the glove box door is a clever and useful addition.

Buckets of comfort:

The bucket seats provide firm grip and comfort, but could benefit from some increased support in the lumber region, especially on long journeys. Adding a cushion or similar may help.

Sun is shining:

Forget the hot beating sun through the sunroof, because this time round Citroen have added a rigid blind that pulls underneath the glass sunroof. Also the sun roof can be either opened ajar which is perfect for keeping the car cool without affecting the alarm or it can be drawn right back providing maximum air cooling.

The pedals appear to be too close upon the first few drives, but your brain unconsciously re-adjusts your driving and you no longer notice in next to no time. The dash is clear and easy to read. The stylish white dials have no ill effect in the dark; instead they simply become light green.


The headroom may be limited, but my legs never feel cramped either when driving or as a passenger, in the front or back. The whole car appears bigger than the AX and the boot managed to fit an 8-man frame tent and food. With the rear seats folded down, an entire pedal cycle support kit (two huge tool boxes), an 8-man framed tent, a full-size mountain bike, four bike wheels, two sleeping bags, food, another tent (two-man) and other items fitted comfortably in with little obscuring of vision from the rear-view mirror.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th August, 2001

11th Nov 2002, 05:47

WOW! Just wanted to say that this is one of the best written reviews I've been reading so far! ;)

I had an Ax as well before I bought my VTS (great car by the way) and I have to agree, they used the same (old) controls, but maybe that's why I feel so 'at home'.

I'm from Belgium and I must say that we don't have as many problems with our saxo's as you people do in the UK. Maybe we don't trash em that much! :)

20th Jun 2004, 15:13

Superb review and I couldn't agree more, I am male, 19 and have owned one from march 2004, I have experienced teh same problem with revs bouncing from 1000 to nearly stalling (and actually stalling) when idling, wat is this problem?

8th Jan 2008, 16:45

I have a 2001 VTR and only occasionally do the revs 'wander' at idle. If it happens, just push the throttle in a bit to say 1,500rpm keep it constant for a couple of seconds and then let go - the 'wandering' revs disappear. Strange!

Overall a good cheap reliable car. I've done 35k in 2 years and it's never skipped a beat - despite provocation!