29th Jan 2007, 12:30

Just to add to my original comments (I'm the original poster)...I forgot to mention the clutch went at 65000 miles, needed a new one, and, funnily enough, after the last poster mentioned ignition coils... my deathtrap conked out on the motorway just this weekend, went into 'limp home mode', apparently it's a fault on both ignition coils.. my local garage cleared it, ran tests, no further fault found with the ignition coils and it's not come back (yet)...but who knows when it's going to pack up again.

I hate this car. A ceremonial burning may be in order.

31st Jan 2007, 08:43

I had to laugh at this post, not out of cruelty, but from a deeply rooted empathy. I have a Citroen Xsara 1.9 LX Turbo Diesel (2001), and the only consolation I can draw is that I didn't buy it new!

Same problems re. power steering pump, heating matrix, radiator has turned to mush and now the head gasket has gone, this on a car that has only done 70000 miles (and a diesel). Plus the exterior panels seem to consist of a material with less structural integrity than papier mache.

I am beginning to become paranoid about this car - it's currently in the garage and if I can find anyone naive enough to buy it, I will pass it on at the next available opportunity and NEVER buy another Citroen!!! Give it another year and I'll also be in automotive sacrifice territory.

If this car transformed into a robot a la the current Citroen ads, it would become the crap one out of "Lost in Space"

18th Feb 2007, 03:55

How sad reading all these negative comments, but totally justifiable. Almost all the faults listed have happened to my Xsara 2002 hatchback purchased from new, including that infuriating curry stench from the heater making it unusable. The windows constantly fog over; without being able to use the smelly heater for long it makes journeys very frustrating and even with the heat on max, still no clearance. Engine cuts out on EVERY ramp as I make my way down seven floors of the multi storey car park, resulting in dangerous manoeuvres because of the loss of the power steering. Knocking underneath to which the Citroen dealer told me that all Citroen's do knock and bang and hat its part of their history and character! Drivers side ball joint had to be replaced, exhaust fell off after 20,000 miles and has never been the same. Heater jammed on full in the cold position in the middle of a freezing spell and doors caving in even when you just lean on them! Being of small frame and build, that's quite a concern! I hate this car and will never buy another one. Lost acceleration also when overtaking and noisy, creaking suspension. Too much 'furniture' on the steering column which renders it unusable. To top it all, the after sales service is dreadful. Get your act together Citroen.

22nd Feb 2007, 13:29

Dear me, I honestly couldn't make this up if I tried.. original poster back again.. just to say that 1 week after my ignition coil fault, my gearbox sprung an oil leak (drivers-side drive shaft seal broke apparently)...exactly 1 week later, exhaust fell off (the same section that fell off just before my 3 year warranty)..so that's 2 exhaust midsections in 6 years. 3 weekends in a row at the garage for 3 separate faults for my trusty ol' Xsara. 6 years old now and I've had enough. Time to trade in methinks.

23rd Mar 2007, 10:41

I've had a Xsara 1.8 16v for almost 4 years now and its not been that bad - I bought it 5 years old with only 10k on the clock.

The only real problem I have had was quite recent - the exhaust manifold pressure sensor required replaced. Symptoms were stalling at junctions and losing power on the motorway. Total cost around £110.

Other than that its been OK - I pretty much service it myself and any other problems which tend to be wear and tear (tyres, brakes etc) are sorted at MOT.

I think with Citroen it really is pot luck as I have heard a good few horror stories. Then again, you do see a lot of them in the road going back to R Reg.



13th Aug 2007, 18:25

As an owner of a Citroen Xsara 1998 hatchback, yes the dreadful power steering pump went on me also, but did not render the car useless as the belt was cut, so I could use the car without power steering.

To be honest the only other problem I have had with the car is a creaking rear suspension, which I am still trying to cure.

This car has 100,000 on the clock, but without the horror stories.

I thought it was quite reliable; starts every morning, and I been everywhere in the UK with it. Quite pleased; I must have the only reliable one.

10th Oct 2007, 15:22

I don't know how much $120 is in our money,£'s.But come on, it just needs a permanent live feed to the radio.Cost, pennies.

10th Oct 2007, 15:32

You want to look up 2002 VW Passat if you want to read about bad reliability.

7th Mar 2008, 03:09

Wow...now I'm really worried. I just gave downpayment to a second hand dealer for a 7 year old xsara..it's gorgeous, but I hope the horror stories don't come with it.

19th Mar 2008, 14:17

Hi all, are we just talking about the Xsara VTR here, because I have just put a deposit down on a VTS, which I pick up on Thursday next week.

All sounds a bit of a worry, but hopefully I don't have the problems above. Is the VTS much different from the VTR?

25th Mar 2008, 19:27

Finally I've found a Xsara thread people are still posting on. I have a 2.0 HDi LX estate X reg now with 117,000 miles on it. Before you read any further, I need to say that it's been very reliable and now gives me 62mpg!!! Despite having a diesel engine, I would have thought the rest was pretty much the same as the petrol versions posted here, so I'll share my experience.

Rule No. 1 - take it to someone who knows Citroens or Peugeots.

My main problem when I bought it (6 years old, £3k) was it not starting, it would be totally dead then fine the next day, so 3 garages couldn't find a fault. When I took it back to the private dealer I bought it from they said they'd had similar problems with Peugeot diesels (same engine). Turned out it was a junction box problem causing the computer to shut down. So, as the junction box doesn't control any switching, the mechanic just took it out and soldered the wires back together. Not a problem since.

It's needed the predictable wear and tear repairs, like a new exhaust (but I've had to replace that on every car I've ever owned), brake pads, tyres etc but nothing out of the ordinary. The indicator switch has just started misbehaving (a common fault due to the amount of information going through it) but that's it.

Oh, and about the bulbs, Halfords tell me "car manufacturers across the board are making it more difficult to change bulbs yourself, forcing you to go to a dealer to get it done". A way round it is to take it to KwikFit or the like for a standard service (about £70). If it needs bulbs, they change them as part of the service and just charge extra for the bulbs and not the fitting. Worth it, as dealers charge upwards of £60 an hour labour (plus VAT, sir!).

My car is now 9 years old, has done 117k miles and does 62 mpg when I stick to around 60 mph (not difficult on the M25), which equates to 600 miles on one tank, with no steering, heater, aircon or any other problems.

They're not pretty and certainly not cool, but as people don't seem to like them, they are an absolute bargain! (Perhaps you need to stick to the diesels though.)

Hope this restores a some shred of confidence in those having just bought.