Xantia - What to look out for?
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  1. #1
    Sans Pond. STALLED's Avatar
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    Default Xantia - What to look out for?

    Hey,

    Hopefully some time this week I'm going to look at a Xantia which I have found for sale. The car is a SX and not a VSX. Besides the "hydraoveractive" suspension, what else do I miss out on spec wise. As the SX doesnt have the "anti-sink" valves, does the car sink to the ground alot quicker than the VSX - in what period of time should i see the car without much pressure in the system? How does the SX ride and handle compared to the VSX?

    When im looking at the car, what should I look out for - can i look at the LHM colour without taking much apart (I know the colour of the fluid should be bright green!) How can I check out the struts for rust etc etc?

    Is there anything else I should look out for?

    They just seem such good value for money and a extremely practical car!

    My first car might just be a "proper car" (sorry I just had to add that )

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  2. #2
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    You might be interested in reading my little rant here.

    Xantia or Xsara

    I can't comment on the SX apart from saying they reckon the ride isn't as good as that in a VSX, but I've heard others who claim it to be somewhat comparable.
    Let's face it, any Hydraulic Cit will usually ride better and handle better than a standard type of system providing someone hasn't stuffed around with it.
    As far as what to look for, just treat it as you would any other car. The hydraulics are extremely reliable and if it's not dripping LHM and rides and brakes in a fairly spectacular fashion, it should be all OK.
    Are you a member of the CCC of NSW yet? If not ask for details and see if one of the members there will take a gander at it for you.
    I know a guy at the North Shore region who has an SX who would possibly take a peak for you. He's by his own admission not into the mechanics of them but he is extremely observant and he can pick things on a car off a pic that I wouldn't see in the flesh and he's a red hot keen Cit man.
    If that's any help, send me a PM and I'll ask him for you; we talk almost every day.


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

  3. #3
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I've only ever driven one SX and it felt similar to my VSX with dead hydractive spheres.

    I'd be happy to own one. They are basically a BX with really big anti-roll bars suspension wise. ie: very simple, and several less spheres to upkeep.

    As it's your first car I'd be looking for the simplest, I'd suggest and 8valve 5spd manual. I find the slugomatic works fine, but absolutely destroys any driving enjoyment you'll get out of the car ('slug' being the operative word). With Ang driving ours recently (instead of me) I've never seen a car kickdown so often, I always tend to pull it back gears manually, she just contantly floors it Not really great for fuel economy

    Checks ... I'd be assuming you want to get a roadworthy so don't forget things like:

    --windscreen condition
    --tyres
    --brakes
    --headlights/indicators/fog lights (will add if they have stone chips)

    check the interior fan works (no biggie though).

    It's going to be a quantum leap forward in time after an old Torana (infact so would a 50's Traction Avant ... but lets not go there ).

    good luck
    Shane L.
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  4. #4
    Sans Pond. STALLED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    I've only ever driven one SX and it felt similar to my VSX with dead hydractive spheres.

    I'd be happy to own one. They are basically a BX with really big anti-roll bars suspension wise. ie: very simple, and several less spheres to upkeep.

    As it's your first car I'd be looking for the simplest, I'd suggest and 8valve 5spd manual. I find the slugomatic works fine, but absolutely destroys any driving enjoyment you'll get out of the car ('slug' being the operative word). With Ang driving ours recently (instead of me) I've never seen a car kickdown so often, I always tend to pull it back gears manually, she just contantly floors it Not really great for fuel economy

    Checks ... I'd be assuming you want to get a roadworthy so don't forget things like:

    --windscreen condition
    --tyres
    --brakes
    --headlights/indicators/fog lights (will add if they have stone chips)

    check the interior fan works (no biggie though).

    It's going to be a quantum leap forward in time after an old Torana (infact so would a 50's Traction Avant ... but lets not go there ).

    good luck
    Shane L.
    Thanks alanS and DoubleChevron!

    You mentioned the 8v 5 speed manual - I was under the belief that the Auto's were 8v due to the increase in torque and the Manuals were 16v? The guy on the phone said it was a 16v model?

    How can i look at the LHM and how long should it take for the car to sink to the ground?

    BTW its not a Torana - Its a Sunbird

    It seems in good condition - well looking by the pictures and it has a full service history (the guy was willing to show me the books etc etc)

    Im not a member of the CCCNSW yet - If i do purchase it I shall be though! Car clubs are the best!

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  5. #5
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    As long as the LHM is a nice green colour I wouldn't be worried about it. The 16valver should be ok ... Only make the cambelt change more of a challenge.

    The car will sink over a few hours, the only reason they VSX models have anti-sink valves is they have a 6&2 hydraulic pump, 6cylinder devoted to the power steering and two for everything else .... Which means it takes forever to lift if allowed to sink. Gimme proper hydraulics with a normal pump like the SX for sure (and daravi steering while your at it).

    Just do the checks you would on any car, the hydraulics really are the least of your problems. Even if the sphere are down on gas, the NSW club regasses them at $15bux a sphere.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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  6. #6
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Mine's a 5 speed manual in a 2.0i 8 valve.
    The 16V I think you'll find comes in two HP models with the early ones being a bit more powerful than the later one.
    I think KenW has a 16V auto in an SX Wagon, so might be worthy of a PM to get his thoughts on it.
    With that info, I'd suggest you also check on when the last cambelt was done also. Be sure to also check the type of ATF in teh transmission.
    If this is the green car a dealer has, he has just had the auto done up in that car and I have mentioned to him the ATF issues which he was going to address, so you should be safe.
    Shane and I are at odds on this auto business. I live more in the scrub than he does so I have really little or no practical use for an auto, however, the car I recently bought was an auto and I found it quite pleasant to drive.
    My own personal view is that if I lived in a City, I would want an auto to drive in traffic and even where I am, if I were looking for a car of a certain type and one came up that grabbed me, the fact it was an auto wouldn't turn me off the car; I think you get to learn to drive them to satisfy your own driving style.
    Our trip back from Brisbane was proof of that!!


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

  7. #7
    Sans Pond. STALLED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    As long as the LHM is a nice green colour I wouldn't be worried about it. The 16valver should be ok ... Only make the cambelt change more of a challenge.

    The car will sink over a few hours, the only reason they VSX models have anti-sink valves is they have a 6&2 hydraulic pump, 6cylinder devoted to the power steering and two for everything else .... Which means it takes forever to lift if allowed to sink. Gimme proper hydraulics with a normal pump like the SX for sure (and daravi steering while your at it).

    Just do the checks you would on any car, the hydraulics really are the least of your problems. Even if the sphere are down on gas, the NSW club regasses them at $15bux a sphere.

    seeya,
    Shane L.

    Yeah according to the owner the cambelt was done last year so I shouldnt hopefull have to worry about it for a long time!

    Thats pretty cheap for a sphere refill - they are just filled with nitrogen?

    The car in question is not the green auto one! Its a 5 speed manual!

    Can someone explain which cars got the 8v and the 16v motors in the SX - is there a spec difference eg Alloys or extra features associated with the bigger motor?

    Thanks heaps!

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    Last edited by STALLED; 31st October 2005 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Added info
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  8. #8
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    Mine's a 5 speed manual in a 2.0i 8 valve.
    The 16V I think you'll find comes in two HP models with the early ones being a bit more powerful than the later one.
    I think KenW has a 16V auto in an SX Wagon, so might be worthy of a PM to get his thoughts on it.
    With that info, I'd suggest you also check on when the last cambelt was done also. Be sure to also check the type of ATF in teh transmission.
    If this is the green car a dealer has, he has just had the auto done up in that car and I have mentioned to him the ATF issues which he was going to address, so you should be safe.
    Shane and I are at odds on this auto business. I live more in the scrub than he does so I have really little or no practical use for an auto, however, the car I recently bought was an auto and I found it quite pleasant to drive.
    My own personal view is that if I lived in a City, I would want an auto to drive in traffic and even where I am, if I were looking for a car of a certain type and one came up that grabbed me, the fact it was an auto wouldn't turn me off the car; I think you get to learn to drive them to satisfy your own driving style.
    Our trip back from Brisbane was proof of that!!


    Alan S
    Alan,

    I've only ever driven BX1600 autos ... They aren't my cuppa tea, that's for sure. I think if you ever drive an 8valve Xantia you'll agree with me the manual is certainly the pick of them. If it was a V6 the automatic would be heaps better as it'd have more torque. Ang contantly complains about how gutless the automatic Xantia is too.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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  9. #9
    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Shane, if you had a go in the Xantia activa, you would still say it was nothing special! Ok, it will out handle ANYTHING you put it up against, in fact you would run out of talent before the car runs out of grip, but it's sooooo gutless, and that's with a turbo on it! john s
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

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    Sans Pond. STALLED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smiffy1071
    Shane, if you had a go in the Xantia activa, you would still say it was nothing special! Ok, it will out handle ANYTHING you put it up against, in fact you would run out of talent before the car runs out of grip, but it's sooooo gutless, and that's with a turbo on it! john s
    I'd love one of these but sadly due to the P'plater restrictions I simply cannot drive one

    Does the SX have the cool keypad thingy near the gearstick?

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  11. #11
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STALLED
    I'd love one of these but sadly due to the P'plater restrictions I simply cannot drive one

    Does the SX have the cool keypad thingy near the gearstick?

    Stalled
    Hopefully not ... The "Cool keypad" rapidly turns into "A pain in the @rse" within a couple of days of owning the car

    Some people might like it, but I find it annoying

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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  12. #12
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smiffy1071
    Shane, if you had a go in the Xantia activa, you would still say it was nothing special! Ok, it will out handle ANYTHING you put it up against, in fact you would run out of talent before the car runs out of grip, but it's sooooo gutless, and that's with a turbo on it! john s
    Guess who's been driving the CX turbo again

    The 8valve slugomatic would be chalk & cheese as compared to the CT turbo manual.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
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    '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:
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  13. #13
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    J,

    Theres a Citroen Car Club meeting on tonight if you want to go. I can give you a lift if you're free.

    I've never driven a Xantia, so can't really comment on how they compare to a 306. If I had to buy one though, I'd go for a 16v manual.

    Keep in mind that the Xantia has a poor record with regards to crash safety, I know this is a concern with you and your folks.

    Have you thought about a Xsara?

  14. #14
    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STALLED
    I'd love one of these but sadly due to the P'plater restrictions I simply cannot drive one

    Stalled
    What is this P-plate stuff? I assume it's like a restriction after passing a driving test? john s
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

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    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    Guess who's been driving the CX turbo again

    The 8valve slugomatic would be chalk & cheese as compared to the CT turbo manual.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Err, no actually! The turbo is still away being welded. I gather he's a bit busy right now! Still, that's ok, as the shed space is currently taken up with my ZX for engine swap, so there's nowhere to put the CX exept outside, and I don't much want to do that.
    The activa will be having new discs and pads next week, as its owner (who isn't an enthusiast) failed to follow my advice to replace the pads, and they have worn so much, that the pad base on one side has escaped from the caliper, and wedged itself between caliper and disc, thus destroying the disc, and making the car nearly un-movable!
    Some people never learn.....john s
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  16. #16
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Drive a Xsara and Xantia.... I have no doubts which one you'll choose ... Do Do you want a rebadged poogoe without proper suspension or a *real* car

    I heard it stated many times the Xantia doesn't hold up will in accident testing... I really don't see it, there built like a br!ck shithouse. In reality I seriously doubt there bad at all. I've never heard anyone, anywhere in the world claim Xantia crash poorly in reality (except for the few people that read crash standard publications ). I guess a good way to find out would be to check accident statistic in the UK and france

    seeya,
    Shane L.h
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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  17. #17
    Sans Pond. STALLED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smiffy1071
    What is this P-plate stuff? I assume it's like a restriction after passing a driving test? john s
    Yeah, basically for one year you must have your learners and complete a minimum of 50 hours. Once you are 17 and have completed these requirements you can get your provisional license (P's) and have a keep them for 3 years. In the first year you can only have a maximum speed limit of 90kph (Which is plenty mind you) and then on the Second and thir year you are given more demerit points and have a maximum speed of 100kph.

    As for why I cant drive a CT turbo Xantia - They are turbocharged and all turbocharged and V8 cars are banned for P'platers as they are considered dangerous for young drivers. Well a certain majority of cars on there car but at the end of the car an Xantia CT isnt a real rocket ship of a car!

    Lets not get into the debate

    Brendan, thanks for the offer but I cant come tonight - you also mentioned that the Xantia recieved a poor history when it comes to crash safety. In the EuroNCAP testing it recieved two stars - this is the same as the 406? Ontop of this I checked out Folksam which they said they fair very well in an accident - all this is confusing me. The Xantia has safety features such an an Airbag and ABS - Dad said its sure alot safter than his car!

    Not sure about the Xsara - havent really looked into it much?

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  18. #18
    1000+ Posts Uga Boga's Avatar
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    Xsara is ultra reliable, racked up nearly 100,000kms on mine and no problems whatsoever.

    Not one single issue, nothing.

    Very comfortable, the 1.6L is quite perky and not so lazy as the 2.0L in my C4, then again, the C4 is alot heavier.

    If you can get a 2.0L Xsara, it would be superb.
    407 3.0L Exclusive (2007)

    Expert 2.0L (2009)

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    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    In a xantia, the occupant fair pretty well in an accident, BUT the drivers feet don't fair too well. That's why it only scored 2* in the euro Ncap test. The Xsara will be better than that, but bear in mind that it's had more modern developement technology.
    My overall opinion, is I'd go for the Xantia. john s
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  20. #20
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    I think the "safety standards" leave a lot to be desired when it comes to reading results.
    I understand there was a survey done on these a few years ago and when various standards and systems were examined, it's a lot of a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. One test that would show a Vlolov miles over a Merc would show entirely the opposite on another style of test, so moral of the story, drive like you've got something between the ears. Hit a train like that guy I saw on TV last night in the Hyundies or roll into a creek and all the safety in the World isn't worth a crumpet.
    Drive one; you'll feel safe enough.
    I think it needs to be remembered (once again) that this guy is a P plater not going for "Rookie of the Year" at Bathurst and if the car is a bit slow off the mark, so what? They used to tell me the same about C-matics. Ask AndyN or UFO what I could do in a C-matic. These auto Xantias would stay with most drivers taking off minus the ball of smoke off the tyres and will hold their own in any company when cruising.
    Look at Daniel and his C3. It's an auto as was his Renault before it and ask Daniel whether or not he enjoys driving his froggy; it's all a matter of personal taste IMHO.


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  21. #21
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    I think the "safety standards" leave a lot to be desired when it comes to reading results.
    I understand there was a survey done on these a few years ago and when various standards and systems were examined, it's a lot of a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. One test that would show a Vlolov miles over a Merc would show entirely the opposite on another style of test, so moral of the story, drive like you've got something between the ears. Hit a train like that guy I saw on TV last night in the Hyundies or roll into a creek and all the safety in the World isn't worth a crumpet.
    Drive one; you'll feel safe enough.
    I think it needs to be remembered (once again) that this guy is a P plater not going for "Rookie of the Year" at Bathurst and if the car is a bit slow off the mark, so what? They used to tell me the same about C-matics. Ask AndyN or UFO what I could do in a C-matic. These auto Xantias would stay with most drivers taking off minus the ball of smoke off the tyres and will hold their own in any company when cruising.
    Look at Daniel and his C3. It's an auto as was his Renault before it and ask Daniel whether or not he enjoys driving his froggy; it's all a matter of personal taste IMHO.


    Alan S
    Actually the Xantia automatic is bloody brilliant .... When you have broken feet and can't drive your CX Hopefully I'll be fitted with one of those big braced shoes later this week and will be able to drive a *real* car again

    It comes down to the driving you do too. I couldn't think of anything worse than sitting in stationary peak hour twice a day in a manual CX turbo ... I think a BX1600trs auto with working air-con would be prefable .... After all a pedestrian is faster than any of those poor [email protected] sitting in cars

    I could probably double my income by comuting to Melbourne... But who the bloody hell in the right mind would want to add 4+hours of travel a day through peak hour traffic to there working day

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '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:
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  22. #22
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STALLED
    Brendan, thanks for the offer but I cant come tonight
    No worries

    Quote Originally Posted by STALLED
    ..you also mentioned that the Xantia recieved a poor history when it comes to crash safety. In the EuroNCAP testing it recieved two stars - this is the same as the 406?
    If you look at the percentage figures the 406 rates much better than the Xantia.

    Quote Originally Posted by STALLED
    Ontop of this I checked out Folksam which they said they fair very well in an accident - all this is confusing me.
    Yeah it is confusing. I view the NCAP results higher than the Folksam results as it is a pretty clear comparison of body strength, whereas there are a range of various factors that influence the Folksam results, like the type of driver that the car is marketed for etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by STALLED
    The Xantia has safety features such an an Airbag and ABS - Dad said its sure alot safter than his car!
    No doubt about that

    Quote Originally Posted by STALLED
    Not sure about the Xsara - havent really looked into it much?
    A Xsara is just a cheap 306 with a better interior. Isn't that what you wanted, a cheap 306?

    I think you should think carefully about a Xantia as well, particularly the maintenance side. Who is going to do it? What are you going to do if you have problems with the work, or even problems when doing it yourself? Of course this can be applied to any car but with a hydraulic Citroen the options for help are far far less.

    No doubt I'll get told I'm an idiot again but I think my experiences are much more valid to you than others on this forum (young, naive, first time Cit owner etc)

  23. #23
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macquered
    No worries

    I think you should think carefully about a Xantia as well, particularly the maintenance side. Who is going to do it? What are you going to do if you have problems with the work, or even problems when doing it yourself? Of course this can be applied to any car but with a hydraulic Citroen the options for help are far far less.

    No doubt I'll get told I'm an idiot again but I think my experiences are much more valid to you than others on this forum (young, naive, first time Cit owner etc)
    It depends on if he's willing to take advice from people who own these cars and have probably already had any problem he's likely to come across. Look at Andy traveling around in an old CX. Sure, he's had lots of problems, but has learnt a LOT and is having a ball of a time.

    If he ignores our advice and just books it into some of the specialists up Sydney way everytime it's got any sort of isssue .............. No doubt it'll cost him a bucket load.

    Things like hydraulics... Turn upto a tech day, have someone show him how to remove the sphere and test them ... No biggie, once learnt if VERY simple if you own some $45 ramps from the local supercheap store. Nothing is easier than servicing a Xantia. The oil filter is sitting right out there with nothing around it, the drain plugs have easy access. The coolant has a drainage tap, and easily reached bleed valves. The sparkplugs are easily accessed. It really is a stupidly simple car to work on. Think of a little 4cylinder fitted to an engine bay designed to fit a V6 into it and you'll get the idea.

    Cambelt access is ... er 'snug'. Show me *any* modern east/west engined car that doesn't have appalling access to the cambelt

    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

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    There you go Joel. Don't listen to me, my experiences are null and void.

    Also, another thing; being in East Sydney leaves me in a black hole of available assistance. At least you have access to the Chatswood and Frenchs Forest workshops, but if for one reason you dislike them then where do you go from there? Driving out to Penrith is a chore, and the recent tech days have been a fair way from where I live.

    If you had a 306 or a Xsara you can pretty much go to any workshop and they'll have a crack at it.

  25. #25
    Sans Pond. STALLED's Avatar
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    Dont worry - Im not the type to go running to a service dept everytime somthing goes wrong with the car - Ive done alot of DIY at school which involved rebuilding a motor, gearbox swap and various other mechanical odds and ends including welding (which mind you im absloutely crap at ) I also live fairly close to a parts place "Auto France" and they seem like awesome people there on the two occaisions which I have dropped in, once to check the place out and the second time to get some bumpstops for my mates 205GTI which he is rebuilding!

    Brenno - I thank you for your advice, would you reckon that a BX16v would be a different kettle of fish compared to a Xantia maintaince wise?

    Are they a reliable car?

    Thats why I absloutely love this forum - great place to ask someone who has been down that road!

    Stalled
    2005 Renault Clio 182 Cup

    2011 Renault Megane 250 Cup Trophee - Sold

    1997 Peugeot 406 2.0 Manual - On Loan

    2004 Citroen C3 1.4 80th Anniversary (RIP)

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