Citroen XM advice - Dan J
Please can I have any advice that anyone with experience of these beasts can throw at me. Running costs, tricks to longevity, problems experienced, joys of driving etc!

I am looking to buy one relatively cheaply in the coming months. It is likely to be a Mk 1 and may even come from a family run franchise dealer I know (in that case with a brief warranty chucked in at this price). Am likely to be paying < £1000. Car is also likely to be a 2.0 petrol manual - I'd like the 2.1 diesel but the petrols around seem more "honest" mileage wise and/or haven't been driven to Mars and back. Now, I have access to a very highly recommended and well priced Citroen specialist who apparently is very familiar with the suspension on these (and all other Citroen cars). Admittedly not close to me (in London) but near my parents in Cheshire but accessible all the same bar some catastrophic failure.

Plan is to get 2 years of usage out of the car minimum - about 15k a year if that. Am capabable of basic servicing but always (for ease) get my oil changed at a fast fit outfit.

Am I being stupid looking at these cars? Is their reputation one of those undeserved "myths"? Said specialist would be quite prepared to give a car the "once over" at a reasonable cost which I'll probably do. Would that be enough to find a good car? What about running costs, tricks to longevity, problems experienced, joys of driving etc?!
Am very concerned about having a ton and a half of unusable iron and hydraulic fluid sat on my drive after 6 months along with a nervous breakdown!
Citroen XM advice - AR-CoolC
A few years ago I went to a garage to change over windscreens in 2 XM's, one had accident damage. the other had a faulty ECU on the V6 engine. The mechanic was trying to make 1 good car out of the 2.
A year or so later I went back to the same garage on a different job, and asked the mechanic how he got on with the swap over, he just smiled and showed me the car round the back under a sheet still not finished. apparently the electronics were proving to be an absolute nightmare.

I think what I'm trying to say is get the car checked by the specialist before purchase.
Citroen XM advice - RichardW

No doubt this thread will get deluged by the anti-cit brigade in a minute!

However your comment about driven to Mars and back is telling is it not?

The Mk1's suffered from bad electrics due to dodgy earths in the early days, but any still running now will have been sorted. There is nothing complicated about the suspension as long as you avoid one with the hydractive computer controlled version. Citroen have been using the same basic system for almost 50 years - anybody with a passing interest in maintaining Cits will be able to cope with it. The system does not, however, take kindly to neglect of basic maintenance, so try and find one that has been looked after and it will serve you well.

If you have not had a long drive / ride in a hydraulic Cit - worth a run, as the ride is not for everyone!

Given the size / original price / kit / price now they are looking like pretty good buys to me (I nearly bought one, but got a Xantia in the end, as I couldn't find a diesel with under 120k at a sensible price).

You KNOW it makes sense (well, sort of!)


Is it illogical? It must be Ciroen....
Citroen XM advice - sean
Hi Folks,

We don't want any marque knocking or prejudice, now, do we?

I was just thinking how funny it would be if the car mentioned in the first post here was the same vehicle as that, now finished,in the second one.
Citroen XM advice - matt35 {P}
I had the pleasure of driving 3 XM 2.1 Turbo Diesel automatics as company cars - sold them on to a friend at around 3 years/80000 miles.
Never had a hiccup from any of them in 9 years and the suspension never needed anything.
Driving an X Type auto now but still miss the XM gearbox, brakes and comfort and the handling on Sport suspension was better than the X Type at speed.
The car before last has done around 175000 miles and still runs like a Swiss watch...if they had kept them in production I would be driving one today!
Citroen XM advice - MS
Absolutley fantastic car!!! :-)) Go for it!!

I bought a 1990 Mk1 petrol 2.0 Si in 1995 with 69000 miles on it and have only just recently disposed of it with 250000 miles (yes, a quarter of a million miles).

The reason I changed it? I found I could afford a new car.

The dodgy electrics of the early cars centred around earthing points not being very good. I never got around to modifying mine... but never had any problems :-) Everything still worked at 250000 miles - sunroof, electric seats, electric mirrors, electric windows.

The computer controlled suspension is fantastic - its taken some time to get used to my new car's old fashioned springs and shock absorbers ;-) I didn't buy a C5 because I don't like the shape of it.

I did DIY sometimes on it (the transistors controlling the blower motor blow and I replaced the brake pads and disks a couple of times) but when the head gasket blew at 195000 miles I got an independent Citroen specialist (Fleming Car Co., Poole) to do this work.

Apart from the head gasket blowing the only things that needed replacing would need replacing on any car - tyres, exhaust, brakes pads/disks, clutch, bulbs etc.

The only real servicing the car got was oil and filter change at Kwik Fit every 6000 miles.

Hope this helps
Michael a summer day out
Citroen XM advice - Clanger
In 1992 I bought a bog-basic ex-demonstrator Mk 1 2.1 TD manual and ran it for about 150K miles during which time it did 45 uncorrected mpg. When I got it the suspension was unreliable but I cured it by earthing the engine to body with a Charlie Brown battery earth strap. Needless to say the local dealer was hopeless.

My memories of it are as a supremely comfortable long-distance tourer able to cover miles and miles without apparent effort. I did all routine spannering on it but I never found out why it went through a set of front anti-roll bar link rods every 30K miles. The headlamps were sensitive to winter muck leading to decimated light output; if ever a car needed healamp washers, the XM did. Also the low level warning on the windscreen fluid failed; the factory mod was to make it test the level every time you used the wipers, not continuously.

If you get a manual car, make sure you and other drivers can live with the mad foot-operated parking brake. It worked well for me given a bit of practice and tolerance; it won't work when powered by an unhealthy dose of prejudice. My wife was aghast at the sight of 4 pedals in the footwell, but she mastered the car and whisked me through Edinburgh and down the A68 when I was hung over after a weekend at the festival. She swept past dawdling tourists with the suspension clicking into firm mode on many corners, and put up a fine average speed.

The hydraulic pipes on the XM are plastic coated so you should have no worries about the sudden appearance of a gallon of green fluid under the car and a blaze of warning lights on the dash.

Good luck and I hope you find a good one. Were I looking for one today, I would get a better spec. than I had, with ABS and air-con, and I think the estate is nicer looking and more useful. And I would go for a Mk2 because their potential for electrical trouble is greatly reduced. Keep us posted.

FWIW 14 year old son has watched me type this and adds that the car looked good for its time and suited an older business person (me). Now I've finished boxing his ears, I can say that he means the kicked-up waistline looks dated now. Also on the subject of looks, the car has little or no "presence" in another car's mirror, leading to folk being unaware that you are trying to pass by simply being behind them. This is the opposite of driving a Merc or BMW which has easily recognisable presence. Something to do with the thin headlights and narrow air intake of the XM, I think. When our 4th child arrived I bought a 7-seater Volvo 760 with a radiator like a 5-bar gate and had no trouble passing people on the motorway once the asthmatic V6 finally got spinning. Same driver, different shape approaching.


Citroen XM advice - Hugo {P}
Personnaly - I would plump for the top of the range Xantia VSX 2.0l 16v

They are far more common and spares are a doddle.

One finds with rare cars that many independent motor factors will scale down on the spares for them and they will spend more time off the road than on.

You should be able to find a good N reg pertrol example for aroung a grand.

Citroen XM advice - Clanger
Xantia? Sacrilege! Let the man live his dream. Plenty of time for Xantias later.


Citroen XM advice - Sheepy-by-the-Sea
Had a 1990 XM 2.0 (non-injected) for three months.

Great car - had a tendency to cut out when cold but didn't get a chance to fix it before someone jumped a set of traffic lights and knocked the whole plastic front end off - there's about a foot of plastic there!

No metal or mechanical bits damaged, but car written off because of the cost of the panels and lights.

I still miss it - but now I'm married to a wonderful woman, wonderful that is apart from her rabid hatred of any French car. I'd have enough difficulty persuading her to allow a Xsara outside the house, never mind an XM!

It had the virtue of being different - weird but loveable. Suspension really isn't a problem and there are plenty of enthusiastic specialists out there.
Citroen XM advice - MS
I used for parts for my XM

I also found that there were common parts from other Citroen/Peugeots. i.e. the heater motor is common between XM, Peugeot 605 and AFAIK 807.

The XM and 605 shared floorpan, engines etc.

On my Dad's brand new Citroen Picasso there is some switchgear that looks the same as on my 1990 XM.

There's an very active XM YahooGroup at

Michael a summer day out


Value my car