1997 Citroen Xantia SX 1.8 16v from UK and Ireland


Not 100% reliable, but you'll find it difficult to find anything in the same class for the price


Interior didn't fare well - looked OK when I bought it, but seats wore quickly, and seat belt was starting to go when I traded it in.

Found an irritating design flaw - the rear suspension height corrector lever was easy to dislodge (looked like a miniature plastic spoon), which happened a few times whilst driving. Not too hard to fix, but DO NOT ATTEMPT IT WHILST RELYING ON THE JACK!!!

Clutch cable snapped - dealer wanted a ridiculous amount of money for this (over £600 +VAT), but can be done for around £50 at a backstreet garage.

Strange problem when accelerating - on frequent occasions (especially when foot-down after changing into 2nd) the engine would judder as though there was a fuel feed/electrical issue (nothing found at service)

General Comments:

Despite its aforementioned problems, I loved this car. It was reasonably quick & responsive, fairly economical, comfortable, easy to drive, and I would seriously recommend this car to anyone who is after a low-cost, but not low-quality vehicle.

Does however have a slight "cheap" feel in some areas (stereo, dashboard controls etc.), but if you can live with this, it is well worth the buy as it's a lot of car for not a lot of money.

I would, however, recommend that this car is only purchased by those who are either a) mechanically proficient, b) know someone who is, as there were many small faults and issues that would have cost easily many hundreds had I taken it to a dealer each time.

Lastly, there are many things that can (and do) go wrong with these cars - whilst many are easy fixes, it is worth having an (experienced Citroen) expert check it out before you buy, as they are easy to "patch up till it's off the forecourt"

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2008

1st Aug 2022, 17:22

Good honest review. Knew a mechanic who had one of these back in the day, said the average person would not be bothered or confident enough to keep these cars at high mileage. But engine mechanicals were sound enough, if looked after.

1997 Citroen Xantia SX 1.8i 16v from UK and Ireland


Very nice car, but takes a lot of looking after


First fault to go wrong was an ABS sensor, followed by the alarm sensors failing, causing the alarm to keep going off.

Key pad immobiliser failed; luckily failed whilst demobilised.

Fan switched failed, causing overheating.

Last fault was a severe fault, which was a fuel line leak, which caused the car to catch fire, which was sadly the end of the car's life.

General Comments:

The first thing that impressed me was the sheer smoothness of the suspension, although this did causes the car to have a bit too much body roll when taking corners at speed.

For a 1.8, the gear box had a lot of torque and acceleration in 4th and 5th gears. I often found myself not needing to down shift prior to overtaking on county roads.

I like the grown up styling the car had, without being boring or old fashioned. The key pad immobiliser system is a pain when driving about doing odd jobs, parking up for two ticks, returning to the car in a hurry, and having to re-enter the pin each time.

Alcantara seats are a must have; better than leather in my opinion.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2006

4th Jul 2007, 14:52

Vis-a-vis the keypad immobilizer, there is a trick that I play with mine, and on the ZX I had before it. Key in the pin number to 'unlock' it, then prise the keypad out from the housing and pull the plug. Bingo... the lights on the dash will still flash, but you never have to key in the pin again. Very handy if you do lots of stopping and starting!

7th Jul 2015, 21:32

I was told that you could unlock the car using the keypad and then remove the fuse, which disabled the keypad.