1989 Citroen XM SEi 2 litre petrol from UK and Ireland


High comfort and high-style executive car


Engine Control Unit failed suddenly.

Rear windows seized up.

Front left window seized.

Heater matrix leaked.

Hydraulic leak, front left side.

General Comments:

Despite what amounts to a generous list of fault and failures in almost four years, this car has been a pleasure to own. Two things: one, it has never failed to complete a journey, some up to 800 miles in one day. And two, maintenance costs have never been heart-stopping or unrealistic. I have spent what I wanted to spend on this car to keep it happy and it has never required overdrafts or budget-busting payments for the mechanic.

The car looks like nothing else on the road, and also drives very nicely all day. It especially enjoys motorways, but when asked to do so it can be a fun car to hustle along narrower, smaller roads.

The XM can be a limousine due to its comfort, a workhorse due to its space and utility and even with its mild mannered engine it is more of a sports saloon that you would expect.

The interior is especially comfortable for both the driver and passengers. All those who have driven in the car have been very impressed with its comfort and style. The velour upholstery has been very hard wearing and the plastic trim has also lasted well. The same can't be said for the door-lock tabs which have all popped off. And the glove box lid lock is bust along with its fancy gas strut. But that exhausts the list of interior failures.

If I were redesigning this car I would pay more attention to wind noise which can be quite noticeable. Also, the secondary ride is good, but not great. Expansion joints and cat's eyes make more of a thump than would be expected from a car with this type of suspension.

Overall, it's a smooth running luxury bargain. Style, space and utility are what this car has by the bucketful.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2003

1989 Citroen XM 3.0 from Lithuania


The car of my dreams..


I didn't have big issues with this car at all. There are some minor issues, like oil leak and engine water mystereous disappearing, but that are not big problems.

General Comments:

In general, this car is very comfortable, one of the best cars for long trips. I like its' interior and exterior design. Well, I like almost everything...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2002

1989 Citroen XM SEi 3.0 V6 from UK and Ireland


A French intellectual's car


Largely irritating but non-serious faults with the trip computer which are a common fault with the earliest models.

General Comments:

This car makes every journey feel quite special from the 'brake test' and 'suspension mode' display on start-up to the hydraulic adjustments throughout the journey.

Peculiarly, this car (to date) has only been slightly more expensive to run than my previous car, a Citroen ZX (if one adds up the cost of silly fault repairs). Whether this is luck of the draw I shall never know, but the 'needle-nose' has had a pampered life previously, having been owned, serviced and driven by an independent Citroen specialist.

Naturally fuel costs are higher but not as horrific as I imagined.

The ride seems to become smoother and even more unruffled as the car warms up, and it appears to be its most poised when driving at speed.

The shape and feel of the car remain completely unusual and exciting despite its age, but it invariably needs a clean and polish otherwise it can begin to look a little tired.

The engine performs with gusto, sounds tremendous and the brakes are magnificent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2000

16th Aug 2018, 22:08

It is now eighteen years since I wrote this review. Since then I ended up with quite a few more XMs, most notable a 2.0i 16v estate (lovely but felt miserably underpowered) and a 2.5 TD Exclusive, which had probably the most grunt of all of them. Uphill on fast roads it pulled past pretty much all petrol cars.

A great deal of cars have passed through my hands since then; 4 Ds’s, an Alfa Romeo GT Junior, two Range Rover Classics... and yet such a long time later I have found myself back here again. I have procured one of the last three 2000 RHD V6 24v cars left, one owner, low mileage and currently being recommissioned for me with the leather and paintwork also on the list to make this car as new, which to all intents and purposes it is. Prices are rising for the XM. A V6 12v is currently on sale at 16,000 euros abroad. I have not yet sat in mine nor driven it - it has gone from delivery trailer to garage. All I know is that the experience of ownership evidently made me think that this was something special and the opportunity came up, was fought for and won on what is rapidly becoming a very scarce modern classic. This one is for keeps.

18th Aug 2018, 11:40

Thanks for the update after such a long time. Good to know 80s and 90s cars are mostly in the hands of enthusiasts, so the small number left should last till I get round to buying a modern classic :)