2002 Citroen Xsara Reviews

2002 Citroen Xsara VTR 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.2 / 10
Distance when acquired162000 kilometres
Most recent distance176000 kilometres
Previous carPeugeot 406

Summary:

Great car with an atrocious gearbox

Faults:

Gearbox - they only last a short time (made from French Weet-Bix).

Leaking transmission oil.

The whole clutch assembly was ruined due to worn gearbox main bearing, seal was torn to shreds and leaking oil.

Grille rattling and falling off occasionally (the French always have to show off how different they are and use some totally insane securing method).

Nothing else - but to be fair, did not do much mileage in it. I am sure, if I keep it for longer, something else would fall off or crack.

General Comments:

Despite its atrocious reputation of being a total lemon, this car somehow happened to be a very reliable car while in my hands.

I bought it in a very good condition overall, with a gearbox already gone.

There was a grinding noise in 1st and 2nd gear, reducing and totally disappearing as you go up in gears and speed. Quiet above 90 km/h.

Finding a secondhand gearbox was like a Korean drama - endless and tearsome. Called all the wreckers in Sydney. Found 3 places, quoting $450, $450 and $750, and stating they had them in stock.

Went to the 1st $450 place. After a 2 hour search they couldn't find one, and tried to sell me a Peugeot 306 box, stating it's the same. Surely, it wasn't.

2nd $450 place - same story. Couldn't find one in stock, tried to sell a 306 one. What is it with mechanics?

They always think the Xsara and 306 is the same car under the skin.

3rd place - total saga of unprofessionalism (luckily I am used to them, so always ready for disappointment). Called them, asked to confirm price and availability. Yes sir, $750 including GST, yes we have 3 in stock. Can I come and pick up in 1 hour? Sure you can. OK. Came in 2 hours.

After 40 minutes of waiting at the counter - what gearbox? I am not sure we have one. Let me check. OK. Another 20 minute wait. Yes, we have, sir, but you have to come back in 2 hours because we have to pull it out off the car. OK.

Came back in 2 hours. What gearbox? Let me check. Another 20 minute wait. Yes sir, the box is out. However, you have to come back in 2-3 hours because our policy is to do a pre-sale check and service them with new oil. OK.

Came back in 3 hours. Is my box ready? Yes sir, it is ready, but the manager said you have to pay $2200 for it (yes, two thousand two hundred dollars - I paid less for the car itself) because it is a rare box. Are you insane? Didn't you quote me $750 just this morning? Yes sir, I am sorry sir, but the manager said - $2200, rare box.

After 30 minutes negotiations with the manager, finally bought it for $1350 due to my 12 years of history with them.

When the box was out, discovered that the clutch assembly was gone - replaced clutch, another $350.

Half of the bulbs were blown and never replaced by previous owner, and when I did it myself I realised WHY - it takes about 8 hours and you have to be an octopus to do this as they are inaccessible. To change bulbs in the left headlight, you have to take the ABS out!

After doing all this, the car was beautiful to drive, reliable and VERY economical.

It had K&N pod filter and big bore exhaust with a very nice sound, Bilstein lowered suspension and low profile Bridgestones.

I loved driving that car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Maybe. If I am in a state of temporary insanity, I might buy one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2013

2002 Citroen Xsara SX 2.0 110BHP from UK and Ireland

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 110BHP Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired52000 miles
Most recent distance123000 miles
Previous carVolvo 440

Summary:

Cheap to buy second hand, just put up with the annoying niggles

Faults:

External boot button has broken.

Occasionally the info display flashes up coolant temperature too high - even though I've just started the car up from cold.

Anti pollution fault comes on sometimes, and the car feels like someone has chucked an anchor out of the back of it, then in seconds the fault clears. Disconnect battery for 30 seconds each time and the engine management light goes off.

Sometime the immobiliser won't switch off - fiddle with the steering wheel adjustment and suddenly works.

Went into main dealers for a cam belt change, and ended up with a leaking radiator and new water pump needed.

Goes through dipped beam bulbs like no tomorrow.

Side bolster on drivers seat is worn out.

Handbrake is at its highest setting, despite being adjusted.

Spare wheel carrier rusted solidly when I needed to get the spare out.

Oil filler cap keeps on coming loose.

General Comments:

Despite the above, I actually don't mind the car.

It accelerates well, although it could do with a 6th gear.

Apart from oil changes, brake pads and the cambelt + other repairs, which I'm sure was caused by the dealership, I haven't spent anything on it major.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2010

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 18 reviews