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


Outstanding value, get one now!


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...

2003 Citroen Xsara LX 1.6 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


A family car for not much money. Shame about the reliability


PAS hose split at 42000 miles.

Brakes failed 2 days after MOT and dealer service at 46000 miles - reason, no friction material on rear pads (should have been checked at dealer service).

Handbrake failed 2 weeks after having the rear pads replaced at dealer - reason, rear caliper not secured.

Throttle cable sticking at 50000 miles.

Exhaust manifold cracked at 50000 miles.

Spare wheel lowering screw seized at 53000 miles.

Clutch cable auto adjuster slipping at 55000 miles.

Auto wipers have never worked properly - just shut off whenever you pull up to a junction.

Radio sometimes loses station memory.

Screen wash fuse blown, which requires the removal of the battery and tray to open the engine fuse box.

General Comments:

Generally you can see where Citroen have cut costs and raided the PSA parts bin for this car, everything is just thrown together without a thought for how it can be serviced, like the battery and battery tray needing to be removed to replace a fuse, or that the screen-wash tank is only accessible by removing a cover panel from the engine bay.

The only good points I can think of are reasonable carrying capacity as its is an estate model, and fuel economy is not too bad at 40mpg.

Bad points are seats are comfortable only for short journeys as they are too soft and lack support, vague slow steering, extremely rubbery and notchy gear change and general dated feel of the car.

Basically you can find these Xsara Estates dirt cheap, but you get what you pay for...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd June, 2006

15th May 2007, 07:04

The Xsara is generally a good car in the whole, but as you say they've cut corners here and there. Also, some things are really quirky like the fuse box, window washer filling location and accessibility for headlight bulbs that seem to last one year at the most.

They have some really weird details in the suspension. And the exhaust on these cars go after few years if you live in a snowy/rainy location. Reason is rust, and they've not thought this very well out.

If Citroen had spent just a little more money and engineering effort into this car it could have been one of the best cars ever built. But Citroen has ruined a very good basic construction. Attention to details would have helped.