Fleet News

Citroen Xsara 1.6i SX - 8,800 miles



##citxsara.jpg --Right##OUR long-term Citroen Xsara has performed admirably over the six months and 9,000 miles it's been with us. During that time there's been only one niggle, a sticky clutch pedal.

It's been there right from the start but it's only now that I've got round to having it checked - initially I thought it might smooth out as the miles built up. I'd gradually become accustomed to it, but it wasn't until a colleague drove the car and commented that it made low-speed manoeuvring in tight spaces a bit of a problem that I thought I should do something about it.

I phoned the Citroen dealer in Peterborough, Borocars, and the car was promptly booked in the next day. Borocars is on an industrial estate about three miles from our office, but it runs an efficient shuttle service which ferries customers to various parts of Peterborough, so it means there's never a problem of having to arrange lifts. Coincidentally, it rained quite heavily on the morning I took it in and I noticed the front screen took a long time to clear, so Borocars was asked to check this as well.

Borocars lubricated all external moving parts of the clutch and checked the ventilation system, but found nothing amiss in either case. We'll just have to wait and see how it performs. The Xsara has proved comfortable and I found it easy to get a good driving position, something which is not always the case with my 5ft 10in frame. There's also a fair amount of leg room in the back for passengers - usually my seat is so far back that no one can sit comfortably behind me. The only gripe is rear visibility, caused by thick C-pillars and a small rear screen.

Generally the car is quiet, but on hard acceleration there is a noticeable coarse roar. Air conditioning, standard in SX trim, has been welcome in the recent hot weather and the CD changer has been especially enjoyable on long journeys. Another plus point - and one which I think is essential - are the steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system.

The remote central locking has proved effective and always works first time, unlike on some cars where you have to point the key in the right direction before it works. The switches for the electric windows are mounted on the dashboard and I always have to look twice for them, assuming they are on the door panel or console like the majority of other cars.

Overall the Xsara is a good, honest car which does nothing particularly badly, but nothing exceptionally well. It must surely face an uphill struggle now that the new Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf are on stream, plus the fact that the Ford Focus is on the horizon.

Richard Wayte

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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