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.

2003 Citroen Xsara LX 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland


I can't wait to get rid of this rubbish car


Power Steering faulty in cold weather despite numerous attempt to repair since new.

Engine cuts out every corner till quite warm.

Badly fitting bodywork from new.

Air con problems. (numerous return visits to dealers)

Faulty seat belt.

Various Rattles.

Radio reception problems (numerous return visits to dealers)

Dent and paint problem at new that dealer would not repair.

General Comments:

This is without doubt the worst car I have ever owned, made worse by the dealers lack of ability to solve problems.

I have taken the car to three different Citroen dealers and found them all to be unable to fix it.

I have had Trading standards trying to get Citroen to give me a replacement car because it is not of merchantable quality, but Citroen constantly try to fob me off, and they often ignore the letters.

In my last letter to Citroen almost a week ago, I wrote again asking them to answer within seven days, my previous letter from more than a month before.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th January, 2006

2003 Citroen Xsara SX Plus 2.0HDI turbo diesel from Portugal


Typical Citroen ride and handling


Left door mirror didn't adjust on delivery. Fixed by the dealer in 30 minutes.

General Comments:

This is an economic, comfortable a quite fast compact saloon. Not very well finished - hard plastics on the interior and a little noisy - but it is cheaper than the rivals.

Car handles and brakes very well and the ride is very good too.

This model will be replaced soon by the arriving C4. I hope this will be as good as the Xsara.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2004

2003 Citroen Xsara LX 1.6L 16v 110 BHP from UK and Ireland


Great Car


Nothing as yet.

General Comments:

Great Car Performance is Great 9.7 Seconds to 60 mph. a little wheezy above 4500 rpm, but all in all a good car it's much quicker than my old 1.6L 16V Fiat Brava.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th June, 2003

2003 Citroen Xsara Coupe VTR 90 HDi 2.0 HDi diesel from Belgium


Fantastic quick and economic diesel coupe


Nothing of course as this car is only two days old.

General Comments:

My car has automatic aircon and is the latest revised version of the Xsara. It is fully computer-managed, something I have always been frightened of (for reliability) but once you know how to use it, it is fabulous. Citroen have obviously got this totally right.

Still running in, and using cruise control as much as possible, I so far have managed 5 l / 100 km of diesel and am not a snail on the road. The LCD screen is always selected to show the current fuel consumption; helps driving at best economy. Road holding on standard fit 195/55 Michelins is excellent. Performance so far promises a lot for when it is run in and I can use its full potential. All controls are logically located. Very comfortable and quiet interior. Fortunately no unnecessary gadgets. Rear visibility is slightly difficult. Excellent luggage capacity.

(Sadly my 1996 AX 1.5D will have to go at 305,000 km and an average diesel consumption of 4.5 l / 100 km. I have never had to add lube oil between services).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2003