2001 Citroen Xsara LX 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


An excellent car, at a very good price, spoilt by minor faults


The gearbox stuck in 2nd gear at around 15,000 miles. The repair involved changing the gearbox oil and upgrading the firmware. Fixed under warranty.

Airbag warning light on (5 times!). Fixed under warranty by cutting off an old connector under the driver's seat and replacing with a new connector. I have since tidied up the wiring and tied in it place to avoid future problems with the connector.

Engine management warning light on and the car would not accelerate (at all!). Repair has involved 3 trips to the garage to have sensors replaced and firmware upgraded. One trip was self-powered, the other 2 on the back of a recovery vehicle!

General Comments:

It is a very comfortable and capable car. It does everything I've ever needed it to do apart from being 100% reliable.

Bearing in mind it is a 4-speed automatic, it accelerates well. The 0-60 miles per hour time is around 14 seconds, but it doesn't feel that way on the road - it feels much faster. It's pretty quiet at speed although you do notice some wind noise. But the thing I like most about it is that rides like a much bigger car with that "floating" quality you get in large automatics. At the same time it handles like a small hatch back.

The brakes are fantastic, much better than any other car (or motorbike) I've ever driven. Although the price for this is that discs and pads wear out quickly, and in my case the back ones went first!

Don't be surprised if when you have problems, your dealer has difficulty fixing them. The car has more than one computer in it, so software skills seem to be more important than the traditional mechanical skills.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th October, 2003

6th Sep 2004, 10:01

I'm sorry to say, but my brother owns a citroen xsara and it has given him more trouble so I have to say that the xsara is crap.

13th Oct 2004, 14:31

I'm having so much trouble with my xsara, it is spending more time in the repair shop than on the road at the moment. As soon as I can I shall be getting rid of it.

31st Jan 2007, 08:29

I have a Citroen Xsara 1.9 LX Turbo Diesel, year 200-Absolute rubbish, I've spoken independently to 3 seperate repair agencies and they all tell me they pick up more Citroens that any other brand, and more Xsaras than any other type! The Heating Matrix has died three times, linked to a manky radiator, and resultantly the head gasket has now gone. Car has practically spent more time in the garage than on the road UTTER RUBBISH DO NOT BUY!!

12th Jun 2015, 23:22

How can a heater matrix fail three times? Usually they get a hole and then it's replaced so job done. If you mean it was blocked three times and the main rad too, then I think that the last owner used some kind of rad fix to fix a hole somewhere in the system and this was the reason for your problems. The head gasket will go if you or the last owner didn't keep an eye on the water level and engine temp gauge. This is normal car operating and maintenance stuff... if you do not look after your car or bodge repair things, then larger problems will arise. I do very few miles per week, but I still lift the bonnet to check the fluid levels at some point during the week.

2001 Citroen Xsara LX 1.4i petrol from UK and Ireland


Various issues both with the car and the dealer that make me wish I'd never bought it


From new - fuel gage intermittently giving obviously incorrect readings (ie. full when nearly empty, etc), dealer explains this is a known fault and is 'by design' although I am waiting for them to confirm this in writing so I can take this up with Citroen UK. Has been back to dealer a number of times to reset the fuel sensor. This was explained to me by the dealer as being down to an issue with the logic in how the sensor operates.

From new - rough idling and engine prone to cutting out first few minutes after starting from cold. On 2 occasions rough idling problem worsened until engine management warning light came on dashboard, had to be towed home on the first occasion, second occasion managed to limp home. Problem eventually 'fixed' (touch wood!) by dealer approx. 11 months after repeated visits and the dealer continually telling me 'we can't replicate the problem'. I believe the ignition coil was replaced to 'fix' this problem. I say 'fix' as the problem still occurs sometimes, but nowhere near as often as it did.

From new - steering tracking problems. Again dealer could not replicate what I believed to be an obvious problem however it was finally fixed after a number of visits back to dealer.

Right hand indicator not working intermittently approx. 8 months after purchase, fault with indicator dashboard electronics, replaced.

Radio steering remote control stopped working intermittently for a period of days approx 6 months after purchase, problem went away on own accord (?).

Power steering fault 3 months after purchase, steering pump replaced.

Heating/air conditioning system is laughable, seems to allow either mad hot or freezing cold, nothing in between. Automatic heating (climate control??) seems to use inappropriate fan/heat settings, doesn't work very well. De-misters don't clear the front windscreen very well (on any heat setting).

General Comments:

Sluggish performance compared to my previous 1.1i Saxo.

Interior comfortable enough.

Fuel consumption not that much more than my Saxo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st April, 2003

16th May 2003, 08:43

Just wanted to say I sympaphise with you and your experiences pretty much mirror my own.

I traded my Saxo VTR in for a Xsara VTR. After numerous problems and break downs (for more details read my Xsara VTR review) I gave up on the car. I'm just glad I had a sympathetic Citroen dealer (Crayford Motors) who took my car back with a good trade in deal and got me into another Saxo VTR, which I must add runs faultlessly like my 3 previous Saxos. I'm just left wondering why I ever got rid of my old Saxo...