Reliable, great to drive, great car all round! :)
Three weeks after I got the car, the cat blew, though having bought the car for just £500, we expected a few repairs to be done in the near future so it wasn't a massive issue. Local garage fixed this for me and serviced the car together for about £150.
The stop light, oil pressure, coolant temperature and hydraulic warning lights come on after using the car for about 15 minutes, though this seems to be a loose electrical connection, which I'm not worried about.
Rear suspension knocks and squeaks, but again this was happening when I got the car, I'm keeping an eye on it, but it's no great inconvenience at present.
Clutch was quite stiff when I first got it, but this eased up with daily use (last owner didn't use it often).
Also keeping an eye on the coolant level, as in three weeks it seems to have dropped more than it should.
This is actually my first car, and so far I'm very impressed with it! Had it for just over three months, bought it at a bargain price, so despite those little problems listed above (most really age/mileage related), it's been a good buy.
Engine runs absolutely fine, though the exhaust sounds just a bit tinny which is something I'll monitor, but I would have expected the few problems I've had with it from most older/higher mileage cars.
Reliable runner, never had any problems getting it going. It is early days yet I suppose, but I can see my Xsara having a fair bit of life in it yet ;)
Generally very comfortable to drive - frequent long journeys tested this one for me! Going up steepish hills can be a bit slow-going, as the engine is quite small for the size/weight of the car, a 1.8 would be more suited to this kind of use, but I'm managing well!
Very well sized to seat four adults with decent leg room, good sized boot.
Wouldn't mind replacing the cassette player with a new CD player, but I'd need an extra cable to the steering wheel controls for them to work (love that feature! :D)
I'm getting about 35mpg on average, including a fair bit of peak-time commuting into a city centre every day, so fuel-wise it's not doing too badly at all for its age. Insurance group 6, which actually turned out reasonably expensive for a 22-year-old with no NCD, but for most people it would be cheap to insure.
Handles very well, power assisted steering is lovely, car feels solid and sturdy, interior still looks good... It's a pleasure to drive, overall I'm very happy with my Xsara!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th June, 2009