XM purchase

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Micky
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XM purchase

Postby Micky » 29 Apr 2002, 00:28

Vehicles currently in use: Xantia HDi saloon/hatch manual and elderly Granada Estate auto (petrol).
Both have to go, to be replaced by one vehicle.
Selection criteria:
Space (young family) - MPV/4x4/estate
Fuel economy - diesel (Xantia requires refuelling every 600 miles - approx)
Torque (I'm a lazy driver, can't be ar#ed to change gear too frequently) - diesel
Comfort - especially seats, leg room and suspension
Purchase cost - I'm a skinflint
Reliability - good question
Xantia:
HDi engine = torque + 110bhp + 50mpg. Suspension: excellent , armchair comfort providing spheres are in good order (but not as good as an XM)
Space/comfort: restricted leg room for driver, good for rear seat passengers, boot space restricted. Seats OK but insufficient lumbar support (small cushion required)
Reliability: PDI was non-existent, fuel leak, headlights out of adjustment (dangerously so), screen washers u/s - trapped pipe from washer bottle, all this on a brand new car - frightening. All the 2nd hand cars I've bought over the years (for as little as £200) would pass an MOT, a new Citroen retailing at £17 000+ is delivered in a dangerous condition ..... probably a dealer issue (IMHO). In 90 000 miles the Xantia has been pretty good. Height sensor thing at the back failed at 60 000 miles, 60 mile trip home at 11-00pm with the back suspension jacked up .... very strange. Front spheres at approx 80 000 and now rear (I think). Also pump accumulator hissing/clicking.
Granada Estate:
Space: Enormous
V6 engine: Excellent top end power but not much below 3 000 rpm, autobox helps here.
Fuel economy: eeeekkk!! 23 mpg, start looking to refuel at 200 miles!!
Comfort: Only seats I can sit in for 100 miles plus with no discomfort at all. What is it with car manufacturers who decide we need hard seats? My armchair in front of the TV is very comfortable and SOFT, I want to be comfortable on a long drive, so what's wrong with SOFT car seats?
Purchase cost: £3 000 many years ago
Reliability: niggly faults eg fuel pump, battery failure
So, I want a spacious, cheap to purchase (so either minimal depreciation from new or buy 2nd hand), cheap to run (diesel), comfortable and reliable vehicle (don't we all!!)
4x4? No, most are uncomfortable, drink fuel (even diesels), surprisingly restricted for space inside, high running costs particularly if they go "bang"
MPV? Large ones drink fuel, small ones OK, tempted by Picasso/Zafira/Scenic but depreciation still a problem. Boot space on smaller MPVs restricted
Estates: Have now tested diesel estate demos from Citroen, Ford and VW.
C5: Flawed stability, particularly in crosswinds on motorways/dual carriageways, uncomfortable seats (IMHO)
Mondeo: Very uncomfortable seats (Ford spent a lot of money developing the TDCi engine but the seats in an elderly Sierra are more comfortable ... why?) Hard suspension (IMHO)
Passat: Compromised handling on country roads (bounces around more than the Granny, the Xantia is precise and controlled in comparison), uncomfortable seats (or is it just me?)IMHO
Therefore, I'm looking for a Xantia HDi with more leg room and a bigger load space = C5 estate, However, the poor stability of the C5 means I have to look elsewhere; now what other large, diesel car has Hydractive suspension? An XM estate looms over the horizon, is it really that unreliable? It has to be diesel, I want lots of torque, so I'll look for the 2.5. There is a wider choice of cars if I consider auto as well as manual gearbox. But all autoboxes (any manufacturer) appear to be unreliable, is the XM autobox any worse than, say, the Ford 4 speed autobox?
Of course, if I buy an XM for, say, £4,000, I'll have some money to spend on the Westfield ... which must be a good thing.
In summary, is a 2.5 diesel XM estate going to be a pain the backside or an excellent 2nd hand buy? Or should I play safe and buy a 2nd hand Mondeo estate and live with the seats? Your comments please.
Edited by - micky on 28 Apr 2002 19:55:07
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neilminto
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Postby neilminto » 29 Apr 2002, 01:40

Hi
Everything you've said on here tells me you're looking for a late Xantia HDi Forte Estate - its got everything the hatch has plus bootspace and its a lot cheaper than the C5 now! Leave the C5 until Cit sort out the stability, which must be soonish?
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Dave Burns
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Postby Dave Burns » 29 Apr 2002, 02:26

Good lord man have you not seen the film, XM on Elm Street.
Hehehe seriously they can't be all that bad.....now then how long's that barge pole...
Dave
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NiSk
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Postby NiSk » 29 Apr 2002, 12:59

If you want an XM diesel auto, you'll have to stick with the 2,1, 'cos they didn't dare put the autobox on the "gear teeth ripping torque" of the 2,5.
I've been driving a 2,1 TD12 since it was new i 1993. It's now done 450 000 km and has cost me less in repairs than any other car I've owned. On top of that it fulfills all the requirements you mention in your list. The autobox will last as long as a normal box AS LONG AS YOU HAVE IT SERVICED! Unfortuanately, PSA seem to have forgotten about this, as they don't include the service ZX (the gearbox manufacturer) recommend in their own service intervals.
So it's a case of finding a local auto specialist who knows his way around that model of 'box, or learning about it yourself.
//NiSk
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hardmanm
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Postby hardmanm » 29 Apr 2002, 15:28

A mate of mine has a 93 XM 2.1TD Auto,
I have never seen a more nackered car in my entire life. Absolutely nothing in it works properly, lights , wipers, window motors, sunroof, centrol locking, alarm, heater, electric seats, all faulty, suspension (sticks at low height), gearbox makes growling noise, strange noises, spheres have all gone, engine couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding. Hydractive never works properly (never did in my XM either) Did someone mention bargepoles?
The thing about citroen electrics is that they are crap, and the XM has loads of them.
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Micky
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Postby Micky » 29 Apr 2002, 23:54

Thanks for the replies
Neil, if I buy a Xantia estate I'm still stuck with the restricted legroom in the front and the uncomfortable seats, the XM I've tried had better seats and more than enough leg room (just like my Granada)
Dave, I believe that XMs after about 1994 were much improved (better earthing etc)
NiSK, I'd prefer a manual (don't trust any autobox), torque from 2.5 engine would probably reduce gearchanges to a minimum. Bit worrying if the XM autobox is unable to handle the 2.5 engine (Merc, GM, Jag all manufacture autoboxes for torquey motors)
HardmanM, Granadas are also afflicted by electrical gremlins (particulary fusebox related); a multimeter, fault code reader and some decent info is usually enough to clear faults. Please continue to slag-off XMs to all and sundry, should drop the secondhand prices of late models ready for me to purchase.
M
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eddiebarge
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Postby eddiebarge » 03 Jun 2002, 22:51

Some Citroens do not have a temperature guage, just a warning light. Unfortunately my warning light came on my XM after the damage was done resulting in a cooked engine, beyond economical repair. This was through a knackered thermostat and I ended up scrapping the car for the sake of a £9 item from Halfords.
So as a precaution, change the thermostat whenever you do a major service. It takes ten minutes to do and will save you untold grief, particularly on XMs, whose other parts give you enough grief without adding to the trauma.
I loved my XM, but the build quality was pants, and had I bought a Merc or Audi of the same year and ownership, I would probably still be using it today and have something worth selling.
I have a book telling the story of the XM's development from the drawing board to the launch. E-mail me if you're interested in it, it's got some excellent colour pictures. I'll swap it for a ZX diesel Haynes manual.
Ed
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eaudevie
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Postby eaudevie » 17 Jun 2002, 14:27

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
Some Citroens do not have a temperature guage, just a warning light. Unfortunately my warning light came on my XM after the damage was done resulting in a cooked engine, beyond economical repair. This was through a knackered thermostat and I ended up scrapping the car for the sake of a £9 item from Halfords.
So as a precaution, change the thermostat whenever you do a major service. It takes ten minutes to do and will save you untold grief, particularly on XMs, whose other parts give you enough grief without adding to the trauma.
I loved my XM, but the build quality was pants, and had I bought a Merc or Audi of the same year and ownership, I would probably still be using it today and have something worth selling.
I have a book telling the story of the XM's development from the drawing board to the launch. E-mail me if you're interested in it, it's got some excellent colour pictures. I'll swap it for a ZX diesel Haynes manual.
Ed
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>
Strange thing about XM's is that they DO HAVE a temperature gauge and a two stage warning light (amber and red) linked to a large double buld STOP light and they also have a sounder inside the car together with a message readout. On top of that they also have a radiator level indicator wired in to the sounder and message display system. I am a little puzzed that you boiled your XM without going through several warning lights, messages on the message display and also a loud sounder at every stage and of course the temperature gauge.
John
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eddiebarge
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Postby eddiebarge » 18 Jun 2002, 02:28

My XM had no temperature gauge whatsoever. It was a 1990 model, and the warning light was a red 'STOP' light with no pre-warning at all. If there was an amber one then obviously it didn't come on due to an electrical fault or some other such Citroenesque quirk.
I did stop immediately but it was too late. The RAC took me home and the local dealer smiled sympathetically and went to fetch his shotgun to put it out of its misery.
Ed
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eaudevie
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Postby eaudevie » 18 Jun 2002, 18:02

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
My XM had no temperature gauge whatsoever. It was a 1990 model, and the warning light was a red 'STOP' light with no pre-warning at all. If there was an amber one then obviously it didn't come on due to an electrical fault or some other such Citroenesque quirk.
I did stop immediately but it was too late. The RAC took me home and the local dealer smiled sympathetically and went to fetch his shotgun to put it out of its misery.
Ed
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>
Although I sympathise with your problem, I have owned two XM's both had temperature gauges and my oldest one was a 2.0i 1989 series one. I know Citroen did several model changes but it would be interesting to know which model you had, as I have not seen an XM without a temperature gauge, not even my owners manual(the book that comes with a new car) lists one without.
As for the light and message display, one common fault with the XM is a relay that falsly reports the amber temperature stage. I can only presume that the previous owner has disconnected the Relay for this reason. This then would hardly be Citroen's fault for being disconnected.
John
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eddiebarge
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Postby eddiebarge » 13 Jul 2002, 02:19

I believe the previous owner had done a bit of "tinkering" on my XM, so I should have followed my own advice and never buy a second hand XM without a full Citroen service history as this is often a recipe for disaster, which is proabably why they sell so cheaply at car auctions.
Some cars. particularly Jap ones, have an "abuse" factor built in and can often survive the attention of over zealous but unqualified tinkerers, but the XM is a huge but delicate flower.
I still like them, but once bitten twice shy.
Ed
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