Xantia or Xsara
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Thread: Xantia or Xsara

  1. #1
    Member dom19's Avatar
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    Default Xantia or Xsara

    I'm hoping someone can help me with a comparison between a 1999 Xsara and a 1995 Xantia. The reason I ask is I'm in the market for a new car & I recently drove the Xsara and was impressed with the ride & especially the quietness inside when on the move. It was way better than a same age & lower kilometre Corolla I also drove (both less than 100k). There is a 1995 Xantia VSX with 80000 k's on the clock for sale in Queensland. I figure as I'm looking at Citroens why not get one (a real one) with hydropnuematics? However there aren't any forsale in SA I can buy or even take for a test drive.So before I go all the way to Qld I'd like some idea of how they compare. Also the Xantia is an auto & the Xsara is manual while I can live with a manual I'm really too lazy to be bothered changing gear. Never in a hurry to go anywhere. I've been there done that whole go fast scene & got the speeding tickets to prove it. The other bonus to buying a car in the eastern states is a road trip!! Now that my other half wants to do a two week trainig course in Feb ($1500) she can't insist on me buying a car in SA. So if the Xantia compares well all I have to do is start planning my route. Any suggestions? By the way does any know this Xantia. Its on carsales.com.au in Clayfield? Its in the private sellers list. Alternatively are there any Xantia owners on here that live in Adelaide and could take me for a ride in their Xantia just so I can get some idea of what they are like?
    thanks in advance, Dom
    ps any Mac users out there who can tell me how to get smilies on to my messages??

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  2. #2
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    I've had no experience with Xsaras apart from watching Loeb on the WRC so can't comment on them.
    Xantia by comparison I can speak on as I actually own a 95 VSX myself but one that has done around 230,000 klms.
    Performance wise, they would be comparable to say a Camry/Commode/Fowlcan judging on cars I have passed when driving after following up hills and through lights and overtaking etc.
    Comfort would be better than 99% of cars around today. Seats firm but supportive in all the right places and seats that are built to last forever. Climate control as good as anything I've ever encountered.
    Ride as close to a CX that you are likely to find.
    Handling is unbeatable regardless of what you compare it to. We have a GT-R here and we all agree that overall, a VSX would be a far better handling car. It has the hydractive suspension with optional "sports" mode. It also has passive rear wheel steering (like the GT-R but unlike the GT-R this one keeps all 4 wheels on the ground on rough corners)
    Economy is good with consistent 9L/100 klms around town, 7.3 on trips with air/con on and 6.8 without air if driven steadily.
    Spacewise, it is a true 5 seater and unlike its appearance, it is actually a hatchback so has a brilliant load carrying capacity. I collected my engine crane in mine, disassembled of course, but one section alone weighed in at 80 kgs.
    Reliability is one of their strong points and as my car was a commuter for the previous owner of 5 years so this has to be allowed for when considering reliability as it has a bearing on what wears and why. So far I've done general maintenance (plugs, cambelt, oil changes and filters) but apart from that it's had one radiator fan that has had new brushes fitted (bugger of a job accessing) new brake pads @ 215,000klms (and I reckon they were original...absolutely amazing)...................end of story. That's in almost 30,000 klms.
    Automatic transmission is a bit of a personal thing; I bought a BX auto a few weeks back and was really quite impressed with the performance as I'm not what you'd call an auto type driver mainly due to living and doing a lot of my driving in the country, however I drove it home, 330 klms in around 3hours 10 minutes including a petrol stop, and was impressed by its performance. Most important and something I would check and rectify before I set off on a long trip, would be the ATF fluid in the car and be 100% certain it had the correct stuff in as these have the habit of being filled with the wrong stuff which I feel could be a bit Russian Roullette on a long trip. Apart from that, overseas experience has shown the autos to be fairly bomb proof; it took Aussie specialists to show them how to blow them up.
    Build quality is comparable to anything on the market and I do mean anything. They look, feel and perform like a sherman tank; they are an extremely tough motor car.
    My overall opinion so far with this car would be that if I were going to buy a car tommorrow, I'd buy another no sweat.
    As regards the car you're looking at, it's been for sale a fair while but that doesn't mean it's no good; they have this strange tendency to not be a good seller for some reason, yet every owner I've ever spoken to apart from ones who've been ripped off by a dodgy repairer have all had the same impression of them I've had through experience; they feel as though they'll go forever.
    Being in Clayfield, I'd suggest you ask the owner who has been doing the service on the car as I suspect it may be Euroservice at Mayne. If so there's a couple here on this forum who have them do their service and can vouch for their work. They could also give you the phone number so you can speak to them personally to get an opinion of the car.
    Both Qantas and Virgin Blue have regular flights to Brisbane for around the $100 - $200 a head price range.
    If it checks out OK, at that mileage it should be a good car.
    Incidentally, mine is an 8 valve version, they do also have a 16V which is a better performer but is less economical I understand.Don't think I can be any more detailed than that, but any questions, just fire away.


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    Either way you are buying a car out of warranty with a decent number of km's on. So with a bit of luck on your side, either car will be a good buy. Having driven a near-new Xsara's as a potential buy (2000) and as a loan car (2005), then hopped back in the 1995 SX Xantia 8v, there is no question in my mind. The Xantia, even with 115,000km, is more refined, more substantial, performs as well (the 8v is torquey if a tiny bit coarser; but the car is quieter overall), and the handling a bit better with the ride on another plane.

    As to Mazda assisting with reliability? Well, the big bits have generally been reliable anyway and ours remains tight and rattle-free with nothing broken off, but the electrics are certainly not to Japanese standard. Little things do go wrong with all cars - again a bit of luck probably assists.

    Xantia performing as well as Commodore/Falcon?; Definitely doesn't feel like that to me. The 8-valve manual (1995) did 0-100km/h in, I think 11.4 seconds in Wheels, with Falcodore autos more low-mid-8's. I'd prefer the Xantia point-to-point in Australia any time however.

    Handling IMHO is extremely good, surprisingly so for such a softly-suspended car with nose-heavy weight distribution on 185-section tyres, but it has its limits and they are somewhat below our Liberty's, just to name one.
    John

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    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    I'm not talking 95 Xantia against a 2005 Commode and the like nor am I talking journalists test figures, but real life experience. I mean when I am sitting behind an averag joe blow and I hit a set of divided lanes, when he drops back into my lap and appears to be losing speed going uphill and I still have enough to go past or when the goose that has sat at 85 for 10 klms but sees fit to hit 110 on the divided bit, I can usually still outsprint to the end before he pulls across to get back to the 85 again.
    Handling is a different kettle of fish in a VSX than anything I've driven and the tyre limit applies to all, but much less in a car with passive rear wheel steering, sensors to adjust the suspension and the optional sports mode you'll find.

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  5. #5
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I think it's because the french know about gearing. eg: The Xantia slugomatic is NOT a fast car ... 0-100km/h in the 14-15seconds range (so not much faster than a non turbo diesel bx ) it's all in the gearing though ... 80-120km/h has quite good overtaking power as it holds 2nd gear to it's redline.

    The tiny little motor and automatic really do lug that big heavy body along quite well at speed. Remember the Xantia weighs near as much as a CX yet has only a little 1.9litre 4cylinder motor. It does a VERY good job with remarkably good fuel economy when you take the cars bulk into account.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    I think it's because the french know about gearing. eg: The Xantia slugomatic is NOT a fast car ... 0-100km/h in the 14-15seconds range (so not much faster than a non turbo diesel bx ) it's all in the gearing though ... 80-120km/h has quite good overtaking power as it holds 2nd gear to it's redline.

    The tiny little motor and automatic really do lug that big heavy body along quite well at speed. Remember the Xantia weighs near as much as a CX yet has only a little 1.9litre 4cylinder motor. It does a VERY good job with remarkably good fuel economy when you take the cars bulk into account.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Absolutely Shane; can't remember the figures exactly (I have the road test at home), but the Xantia 8v's in-gear times were decently quicker than its comparitors. That low torque peak is a boon.

    But Alan, I can't agree on the performance issue; I was specifically thinking of EB Falcon's performance in the Adelaide Hills with a family and a boot full of luggage vs the Xantia similarly loaded a week later. Same goes for VS Commodore 6's of similar vintage. And I have driven VSX's enthusiatically on a few occasions; I personally didn't think it conferred a huge advantage given the wider tyres. Both are very very well sorted handlers, particularly on rough stuff.
    John

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  7. #7
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie
    And I have driven VSX's enthusiatically on a few occasions; I personally didn't think it conferred a huge advantage given the wider tyres. Both are very very well sorted handlers, particularly on rough stuff.
    I think the VSX's biggest selling point is it's ride comfort over the SX as opposed to it's handling. The SX is sure to have the same massive anti-roll bars, but can't drop into 'soft' mode with dramatically increased dampening. It's a comprimise, the VSX is VERY stiff in hard mode, you VERY soft in soft mode due to the additional dampending. The SX needs to be a comprimise between both.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! OG15's Avatar
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    What kind of car are you looking for? What's your situation?

    If you have or are planning to start a family I'd suggest the Xantia. If you're young and will mainly be driving yourself and friends around, perhaps the Xsara.

    The Xantia has a far supirior ride (compared to my Xsara VTS). I haven't experienced the ride of the softer suspensioned Xsara's, the VTS can feel a little rough on Sydney/Australian roads - I presume they don't vary too much.

    Depending on the model of each will determine the performance you're looking at.

    I get about 9L/100km in my VTS, with an even mix of City/Hwy driving. I use the air con whenever it's warm out, mainly do shortish trips during the week - 17kms (20-30 mins) each way to and from work. With longer drives on weekends and evenings. This probably doesn't really relate to you as you're looking at a 99 Xsara, but perhaps it might?
    '10 CitroŽn C4 HDi
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    Member dom19's Avatar
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    OK, firstly thanks for all the feed back peopple its really helpful.Especially Allan I think you've answered all my queries. I assume the Xantia auto is a 4 speed?
    Secondly, I'll leave the tangential debate regarding comparing Citroens with Falodores well alone. They hold no interest for me at all.
    Thirdly, our current transport is a 2000 Toyota Spacia(eight seat people mover). Its a 2 litre auto and gets along extremely well even when loaded to the gunwales and towing a trailer full of camping equipment.It still has several years of service ahead of it as our youngest is 4 & the oldest is 15. With two more in between. My partner is the main driver of this as I'm the money earner. My daily driver is currently a 1972 Rover V8 auto. Not the most economical vehicle with LRP & Premium at $1.30 to $1.40 a litre. It turns its nose up at unleaded. But its got character in buckets. However it legally seats only 4. There are times when a 5 seater would be handy.My very first car was a 404 and I've owned 504's and loved them. After 2 or 3 Toyotas & a fantastic Subaru I want something french again. I like owning cars that are out side the norm. So the Xantia is looking like its right on the money. The Xsara appeals too because of its economy & regardless of wether its a Citroen or a rebadged Puegeot it still isn't a Ford, Holden or Toyota. So thanks again for your input it is much appreciated. Plenty of people have said don't buy a Citroen,for various reasons. My answer is "have you ever owned one?" The answer is always "no,but.." I am yet to own a car that has been a dud despite many "non owners" telling me not to buy it.
    Dom

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    Member dom19's Avatar
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    BTW, I'll keep you informed on what I get. I'm also tempted by a 1989 BX TRI in NSW with only 88000 klms. One owner too.
    Dom

  11. #11
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom19
    BTW, I'll keep you informed on what I get. I'm also tempted by a 1989 BX TRI in NSW with only 88000 klms. One owner too.
    Dom
    If it's a BX19tri 5spd ... It isn't even run in yet. Mine still runs perfectly at 280,000km (at which time I've parked it up the back, it's interior is utterly trashed from 20years of severe abuse, and it's clutch has died). The body is still extremelly good. You just can't kill 'em.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  12. #12
    Member dom19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    If it's a BX19tri 5spd ... It isn't even run in yet. Mine still runs perfectly at 280,000km (at which time I've parked it up the back, it's interior is utterly trashed from 20years of severe abuse, and it's clutch has died). The body is still extremelly good. You just can't kill 'em.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    You're making the decision harder Shane, stop it! Hell,in a few years it might even be a classic Citroen, but not in Queensland I guess.My other half likes the idea of airbags & safety though, so I think the BX is rulled out. But at $5000 I reckon its one hell of a bargain. Maybe my daughter who will get her L's next year could use it. Hmmm, I think I see a cunning plan coming together.
    Dom

  13. #13
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    FWIW, I am aware of at least 2 BXs in the UK that have been in mega hits; one was a head on when a guy overtaking had some clown come out of a driveway and up his side of the road as he was overtaking and wore him head on and another who was taken out by an approaching semi; neither driver was hurt.
    The BX had the reputation of being a very safe car in its day and if you ever see the crash test results you'll see why.
    Too much unrealistic confidence is being placed in air bags as being the be all to end all in safety and in fact originally you'll find authorities were reluctant to approve them here due to our unique driving conditions.
    I know of two instances where they have been a hazard. One a guy hit a roo in a ute and went on to hit a truck, then a tree. The air bag activated after the roo. Another a woman hit a big pothole that activated it and she subsequently ran off the road and was lucky to stop on the edge of a deep culvert. In test conditions they're probably great, but real life doesn't alway reflect the test conditions that they go by.
    As I have a couple of BXs as well as the Xantia, I find both have their strong points so it gets back to which one suits the best.
    As a toy, the BX is the go.


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

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    Member dom19's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who made suggestions, I've settled on a 97 Xantia SX, 78,000klm, well serviced with only Dex 2 in the slush box. Fly into sydney on friday to pick it up then a couple of days on the road getting it back to SA. Having the timing & serpentine belt & the water pump done before I drive her home. Now to pick a route that avoids the Hay plain,ZZZZZZ.
    Dom

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