I have been driving it since it arrived and it continues to impress. And as a final curtain call, the car has delivered one of its best mpg rates yet, 50.4. This is more impressive when you consider that following the boffins' advice, I switched on the air conditioning a number of times to ensure the system was running smoothly - using aircon saps fuel economy, but it's heartening to know that come summer, staying cool won't put excessive heat on your wallet.
Another plus point that hasn't been mentioned before is the size and accessibility of the boot. With the removable parcel shelf and folding divided rear seats, it easily swallowed a folded futon base. There have to be grumbles when you've been driving a car for a few months and there have been a few with the Xsara, such as a sticking driver's window. One area of concern remains, and that is the frequency at which the oil needs topping up. Diesels are known as 'oil burners', but I didn't expect them to use so much.
Overall, I give top marks to a car that is often overlooked in the lower medium sector. I expressed an interest in it after attending the launch of the 90bhp diesel Xsara in summer and a test model arrived just days later. Nice one!