1996 Citroen Xantia SX 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


If they still made them, I'd buy a one new today


Clutch cable. This is problematic on the Xantia due to the weak plastic clip at the clutch pedal. Fitting a new one is a difficult job. Poor design.

The (also common to Xantias) alarm goes off for no apparent reason - usually around 3 a.m! Rectified by turning it off permanently.

General Comments:

This is my second Xantia. Corrosion is a non issue with these cars.

The ride is unequaled and you only really notice how good it is when you get into other cars and feel the difference.

Cabin is roomy, build quality apart from electrics is well above average for the price range.

Perfomance for a diesel is respectable, and having owned a non-turbo model, the turbo is a must. Consumption is an excellent 50 miles to the gallon on average.

Servicing is simple (being a diesel) and if kept up you can expect 200,000 miles + out of these cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2004

1996 Citroen Xantia LX 1.8 16 V from UK and Ireland


An nice car, but expensive to repair


4 of the spheres needing fixing, which a Citroen dealer charged us £400 for, bad idea to go to a Citroen dealer for repairs.

New exhaust needed at 60000 miles at a cost of £199.

New part needed for handbrake which cost £95.

Headlights needed adjusting.

Central Locking Fob needed repairing.

New brake pads and shoes.

General Comments:

This car is the worst I have ever owned, in the period of 5 months it has cost us £780.

I would definitely not buy another one.

Very heavy on petrol as well, great for long distances, but not for driving locally.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th February, 2004

18th Feb 2004, 05:34

You need to shop around more and get several quotes for the work rather than blame the car! Any car is going to need replacement parts. If you think the spheres are expensive check out VW/Audi dampers (shock absorbers). That'll make your eyes water!!

5th Dec 2005, 04:49

£400 for spheres.

They cost just under £20 each to buy and take about 15 minutes each to replace.

Like the other post says, shop around, you can't bad name a car because of quotes for a dealer.

Is it any wonder Citroens get such a bad name by people who just don't seem to understand the basics.

1996 Citroen Xantia 1.8i from UK and Ireland


A splendid car which suffers from apocalyptic reliability problems if neglected


My ownership of this car has been plagued by problems. In one year it has cost me over £1800 in repairs. Be warned! If buying one of these second hand, it must have a FULL service history otherwise you'll have myriad problems on your hands.

The suspension spheres seized up. There was no travel in the suspension at all when this happened, but the ride height would go up and down with the control lever. First the front two went, both at the same time, then the back two went about 1000 miles later.

A suspension control linkage broke as a result of the rear suspension seizing problem. This was replaced with a modified linkage, after which, the ride height has been a little too high.

The heater blowers stopped working along with the heated rear windscreen. This turned out to be a faulty control circuit-board on the heater box under the dashboard. Citroen wanted £410 for a new one, a good scrappy sold me a 30 day warranty one for £50 which hasn't broken yet, (fingers crossed).

There is a persistent problem of an erratic idle speed, often resulting in the engine stalling. I have had no joy whatsoever in getting this problem resolved. My suspicions lie with the Engine Control Unit (E.C.U.) which is another of those expensive black boxes.

General Comments:

Excellent road-holding once the suspension was fixed and working properly. This thing just sticks to the road and doesn't let go.

It gets a bit tippy through chicanes and sudden bumps can surprise the suspension a bit, but usual road undulations are smoothed right out.

The engine seems to respond well to being driven hard, with the real action being between 3 and 5000 rpm.

The boot-space is absolutely cavernous on this estate model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th December, 2003

13th Dec 2005, 02:50

I disagree with needing a FULL service history just because of THIS car.

I'm 20 and have bought a ZX R-Reg 1.9d with no service history for £1000 and it never gave me any problems and now my current P-Reg Xantia 1.9TD again with no service history and it has been even better than the zx. I bought this car a week and half before doing a 600 mile round trip to Cornwall and it performed amazingly... service histories help, but if you know what it is you're buying and actually know what faults to look for then it's quite easy to bag a bargain.

28th Jan 2009, 12:24

I think it is important that the car is looked after, and a service history can show this, although I have never had any confidence in Citroen agencies! The suspension spheres need replacing about every 4 years to keep the suspension sound and undamaged. What is often forgotten is the accumulator sphere which, if it fails, causes the low pressure return pipe unions which are only push fit, to come apart. No agency ever advised this, but a local Citroen specialist did! And if you buy a releasing tool, spheres are a real doddle to change.