2003 Citroen Xsara Reviews

2003 Citroen Xsara LX 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired53000 miles
Most recent distance54200 miles

Summary:

Does what it's suppose to

Faults:

Smell from heater oil leaking in the passenger foot well. Told it's the heater.

Brakes noisy and inefficient.

Steering heavy.

Indicator switch is also the high beam switch; while indicating, it puts the high beam on. Not good, could signal to say you turn first, which may not be the case.

Saying that, overall it's not a bad car considering.

General Comments:

The car is fast off the mark, and accelerates quickly.

Petrol consumption is good for an automatic.

Seats are OK for town driving, but for long distance, could lead to a bad back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th March, 2011

2003 Citroen Xsara LX 1.4 from UK and Ireland

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.4 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired43000 miles
Most recent distance45000 miles

Faults:

I have a smelly heater. I am glad it is not just my car that seems to suffer from this problem. The smell is like a stale urine smell when the heater is put on, & it is even worse when the blower is put on; I have to open the windows.

It has got so bad I am going to sell the car after only having it three months.

The car is reliable apart from the interior mirror keeps falling off.

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

Review Date: 27th August, 2008

2003 Citroen Xsara SX 2.0 HDi from Australia and New Zealand

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.0 HDi Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired80400 kilometres
Most recent distance91000 kilometres
Previous carCitroen Xsara

Summary:

Reliable and cheap to run

Faults:

Nothing as yet, but new discs and pads will be required at the next service.

General Comments:

Good performance and economy from the diesel engine. We are averaging 52-55mpg in mixed motoring.

Superb ride, and the handling is good, though it rolls more than our previous model.

Paint seemed a little soft, as we have picked quite a few stone chips.

Rear visibility is not the best either, and general build quality is only average.

Overall an excellent family car with excellent reliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2008

2003 Citroen Xsara LX 2.0 hdi from UK and Ireland

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0 hdi Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance140000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Good value for money

Faults:

Brake squeal from new, dealer could not fix, but I did after two more altercations, after servicing, with the dealer. We settled with they check the brakes, but never touch them. Result, no squeal.

Rear washer was poor from new and deteriorated up to 60,000 miles. Repeated requests to the dealer failed to find fault. I found the rear feed pipe crushed under the trim by the rear passenger seat.

Heater blower would not turn off at 60000 miles; returned to normal after 2 months of unplugging it when not needed.

Wiper motor gears sheared at 100,000. Replacement unit cost over £100, which I fitted.

Fault with heater motor returned at 110,000, and developed into not working unless set to max when the car is first started.

Lower fan belt pulley fell off at 138,000 (a common fault on Peugeot Citroen Diesel engines I have been told), taking with it both cam pulleys, cam belt and various covers at a £460 cost.

General Comments:

Very comfortable ride.

Good turn of speed for a diesel.

Pretty cheap running costs; even with repairs.

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

Review Date: 24th June, 2007

20th Aug 2007, 05:22

Regarding your comment "Heater blower would not turn off".

This has happened twice on our Xsara. Motor replaced both times which cured the problem. Seem to be a weak spot on these cars. There is some electronic part embedded in the blower motor that goes all the time. Must replace the whole motor, not only this small component. Takes just an hour or so to do, but blower engine is quite pricey (almost 250 Euro) making this a 350 Euro affair.

2003 Citroen Xsara Coupe VTR HDi 2.0 HDi from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.0 HDi Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired10000 miles
Most recent distance110000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin 25

Summary:

Outstanding value, get one now!

Faults:

Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

By far and away the best car I have owned. Brisk, economical, sporty, reliable and very comfortable.

As with all cars little niggles appear, but are easily fixed. Eg airbag light came on because a connector came loose under the driver's seat.

Why everyone says the Xsara is unreliable is beyond me, it's no worse or better than any other mainstream manufacturer. I've owned 14 different marques, and the most unreliable was a BMW 3 Series, the best a Diahatsu Avanzato TRXX. Several Volkswagens, which had faults in welding for the mounts to the exhaust to seats self destructing.

I'd recommend a Xsara to anyone, especially if you place it next to the 306, which has the same build, but a far higher price.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th May, 2007

28th May 2007, 03:15

I have also had no problems at all with my Xsara Coupe HDi. I find it a great alternative to the fords, vauxhalls etc being more comfortable, cheaper and better spec.

I wouldn't want to buy new however as the money you lose is huge.

29th Oct 2009, 13:44

I wrote the first review - here's an update

What a difference a couple of years makes. Things that went wrong with my Xsara - Flywheel self destructing, heater fan disabling, shock absorbers failing, drivers seat squeaking, locks failing to engage, STOP warning coming on intermittently.

What I will say though is that apart from when the flywheel fell off, my Xsara has always started on the button, the fuel economy is excellent and the paintwork is still good. Performance is also great. I have put 40k on her now of mixed town and motorway driving.

When buying a Citroen it's a compromise - we would all be driving VW's, BMW's and AUDI's if we had the money - an equivalent car from either of those marques would have cost me at least £2000 more. Have I spent £2000 on repairs? Nope.

4th Nov 2009, 09:19

Then again you would expect to get a better return at resale with a more expensive make. So it's probably very close at the end of the day.

27th Dec 2010, 05:36

Well my Xsara Coupe and I have finally parted company. 143k on the clock, and the engine was still perfectly fine. It was the electrics that tried my patience once too many times. The air con, stereo and repeated warning lamps told me it was time to part exchange. I managed to get half what I paid for it - which is pretty good considering the amount of miles I put on her.

The new car was a MGF - which burst into flames due to an electrical fault behind the dashboard - now looking for a reliable diesel again, maybe a Stilo JTD or Civic CTDi...

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 10 reviews