2001 Citroen Saxo VTS 1.6 16v from Greece


A fast girl trap


The car hasn't had serious problems up until now.

General Comments:

It is a fast vehicle. I would really prefer it if the roll bars were a bit stronger. If the driver gets to know it better he will find out that the limits of the car are quite far.

I am not sure if I agree with the tires. Maybe it should have something like 195/50 - 15.

I am planning to tune the car up to 150 - 160 HP. I think that it can take it. I suggest buying the ABS edition since the brakes will work much better. Enjoy your flight!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th August, 2001

28th Aug 2001, 01:51

All VTS have ABS, it's only the VTR where you get to choose if you want ABS or not. Are you sure you've got a VTS. If you have, you should have no problem boosting it up. You have chosen a very good car anyway, good luck and I'm sure you will comment me back, take care.

28th Aug 2001, 23:32

A girl trap?

Do me a lemon, tinny little rattle trap more like.

31st Aug 2001, 06:29

The comment about stiffer rollbars is a valid one, so I'll assume you know a bit about suspension.

I've got a 2001 VTS and I'd have to say the Engine Management System is okay, it never cuts out. 125bhp is enough for the standard suspension. 160bhp would require stiffer rollbars and uprated brakes unless you want to kill yourself.

Rattles a lot and the fan makes an awful racket, so that I'll probably have to take Citroen to court to make them fix it as they claim it's built that way, which is crap!!

2001 Citroen Saxo VTR 1.6i from UK and Ireland


Poor to average in all categories. AVOID


The engine keeps on cutting out (stalling) at low revs or occasionally when idling at rest. The performance is exceptionally poor at low rev (sub 2000), and depending on how it feels that particular day, it will "kangaroo" about the place. The car has been back to the garage twice now (only 1 month old), but the faults still keep coming. The garage told me that all they could do was "change the parameters" of the engine management system. It seems to me that they will only mask any fault doing this, rather than locating the origin of the fault.

The brakes are also quite poor, they have developed a judder during braking from high speed. I certainly wouldn't bet my life on them.

Handbrake cable was too loose and only on the highest notch was any contact made (now corrected by the dealer).

General Comments:

The gear ratio's are too low, 1st gear is a complete waste of space. I feel the 1st gear ratio should really me set between what is now 1st and 2nd (guess they are the same cogs from the 1.1).

The driving position is too high, this is a problem at night as following cars headlamps shine right in your eyes through the mirror.

Handling of this car is POOR, especially at high speed. Beyond 85mph the car becomes slightly unstable, uneven roads also produce a unsteady pose. During windy conditions, the car is really thrown about and unstable.

Too much body roll.

Steering requires too much lock for a given change in direction. Again I feel this is another legacy item from the 1.1.

This car is in no way a sports car, it's basically a base budget vehicle dressed up with nice alloy wheels and spoilers (whose aerodynamic effect is questionable due to the poor stability at speed).

The car is soon to be replaced with an Alfa GTV 3.0. The difference is vast. After test driving the Alfa, the VTR felt awful (especially regarding the handling).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd August, 2001

29th Aug 2001, 06:51

The engine management system that was shipped with Saxo VTR and VTS models has obviously not been completed tested for bugs. The same engine stall when idle has been reported to my dealer by me (VTR owner) and a friend with a VTR.

I have taken my VTR back to my dealer for an update of the EMS via a download from the dealer network on the Internet. It worked for a while, but alas the fault is back, all-be-it in a reduced fashion. It occurs much less frequently, but it is still an issue.

I can't imagine the issue relating to any other elements within the engine other than EMS, so it may be the best bet is to replace the EMS chip with a performance upgrade. If the issue still remains then it may be something else!

I haven't experienced anything serious about the brakes. They appear to be rather spongy (as with all Citroen cars) and little slow to respond, but I've performed several late and fast / sharp breaking tests and the ABS (as fitted on my VTR as an option) does its job perfectly. No skidding, just good solid braking.

I have had heard juddering from the gear box whilst accelerating slowly or up hill and I agree that 1st gear is not a great ratio, but an engine and the gearbox can be tuned by the driver's driving habits, so if you thrash 1st every time, in time, the car will come to expect and deliver - sounds like fantasy, but it's true to some extent. You could always get a performance clutch and gearbox fitted, after all, it is a factory-fit super-mini!

Not experienced any issues with the driving position. Some cars are just not suitable for some people, e.g. I wouldn't want a Mini because it's too small for my knees. Again, the Saxo is in the super-mini class cars.

I beg to differ on the handling. The handling is good from a factory fitted car. If you intending driving any small car above 85mph for a prolonged period of time, you must be mad. The fact that it has a short wheelbase will make it less stable at speed than a longer wheelbase car. I've driven my VTR at 100mph and suffered no unexpected effects.

French cars have softer handling because the French like a comfortable ride. I've driven my previous car and predecessor to the Saxo, Citroen AX 1.1 at 100mph and it was much more unstable at that speed and even at lower speeds cornering was like riding on a mattress. The VTR by comparison is far more stable and reliable. You know what to expect from it and it delivers.

Body roll? What did you want from factory fitted suspension? Again, it's a French car! You could upgrade the suspension with harder shock absorbers and stiffer coils. You could add a strut brace. You could lower the suspension and thus lower the car's centre of mass, making it easier to corner and more stable at speed (your 85+ mph). You could increase the wheel size and reduce the tyre profile, thus increasing the traction and rolling resistance, again making it more stable. BUT, it's a factory fun car for £8500 (on offer).

Your comment: "This car is in no way a sports car, it's basically a base budget vehicle dressed up with nice alloy wheels and spoilers" is exactly what the VTR is. The same as the Fiesta Zetec and the Golf GTi. It’s about a small car with some styling and some performance. It's about affordability with some comfort. It's not about eye-balls-out race performance and F1 handling.

Good luck with your Alfa GTV 3.0 which is an absolutely LOVELY car - but OVER TWICE the price of the VTR - "you pays your money…you make your choice!"