Fleet News

Citroen Xsara HDI LX

Citroen

Review

CITROEN ended 2000 on a high with fleet sales up by 38% and a brace of new models should help the firm continue to build on this performance. Spearheading the French manufacturer's sales ambitions in the fleet market will be the C5 - the replacement for the Xantia. But also relatively new to the range is the facelifted Xsara model, sharing the same new family face as the C5, although the mechanicals are carried over, as are most of the interior fixtures and fittings.

The Xsara has some tough competition in the lower medium sector, most obviously from the big two: Ford with the Focus and Vauxhall with the Astra. And with carbon dioxide-based benefit-in-kind tax looming ever closer on the horizon, any fleet manager worth his or her salt will need a good mixture of lower medium cars on the choice list. Why? Compared to upper medium models, cars such as the Xsara offer a lower price and will therefore be more tax-friendly for drivers looking to downsize and cut their BIK liability.

The model chosen for test here should be the obvious fleet choice - HDi diesel power, five-door hatchback practicality and middle-range LX trim level. For rivals, we have chosen the Ford Focus TDi in CL guise, the Vauxhall Astra with the relatively new 1.7 DTi 16-valve diesel in Envoy trim and Volkswagen's Golf E SDI. The Golf is the odd one out here being non-turbocharged and the base model so while it will be outgunned in the performance stakes it makes up for this with the lowest list price of our quartet.

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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