Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

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Andy F
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Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by Andy F »

I thought I would start a blog about my Citroen C8. From what I have read, they are a much maligned vehicle with mixed reviews, even more so than other Citroens which always seem unfairly looked upon so I thought a blog about living with one would be interesting and could go either way! This is also my first ever blog so any feedback gratefully received.

First a bit of my own car history.
I have been hooked on Citroens since riding in a CX familiale, what a car! My first car was a 1987 Citroen AX 11 RE. I loved that car, it took me from Gloucester to Swansea to visit my now wife whilst she was at uni there countless times, as well as being the independence a 17 year old craves. After the AX, I had a Rover 218 SLD turbo. An excellent car actually, frugal and reliable, but not the Xantia that I really wanted at the time. After a couple of years I bought a 1995 Xantia Turbo D in green of course! I did 70,000 miles in 3 years replacing only tyres spheres, heater plugs (even the one behind the diesel pump!) and oil /filter and it was superb.

Increasing age and demanding roads meant I talked myself into buying a 2001 C5 Hdi 110, but truthfully I was disappointed once the honeymoon period wore off. It wasn’t as good to drive or as nice to look at as the Xantia. The C5 had better seats, but a worse ride. I kept it for about 2 years, but it seemed to constantly demand maintenance and money.

In the meantime my Dad bought a black HDi 110hp Xantia. I borrowed it when the C5 was off the road yet again and I was hooked again. So when I got home I immediately started hunting around for my own HDi Xantia. I owned my 2001 Xantia for 2 years and loved it. It was quick, extremely good on fuel (56mpg easily) and I really enjoyed driving it. Unfortunately it regularly wasn’t quite big enough and whilst I really wanted an XM, it was decided 7 seats would be more useful and so the C8 arrived.

So, the C8. I test drove a couple of cheaper ones and found the HDi 110hp (but still 16v) a bit slow. The 2.2 HDi has been discussed over and over and I decided to not go for one of these. I researched and found that in 2005 the C8 had an interior face lift and new engines. It got the 2.0 16v HDi 138hp as found in the later C5s with a 6spd manual gear box, so I decided to hold out for one of these. I wasn’t fussed on SX or Exclusive but an Exclusive came up and secretly I was very pleased.

I picked it up in October and have done 5000 miles so far. I am impressed with the cathedral like interior, comfy seats and futuristic dash. I also like the xenons, cruise control and the sliding doors are hugely useful for getting band equipment in and out.

The ride is much harder than the Xantia, particularly around town, but on the open road it is smooth enough, especially with some weight on board, and I know I have been spoiled in the past by the Xantias. So far it has returned 40mpg which is pretty good really. I set the cruise to 62mph and got 54 mpg on a 65 mile round trip to Bristol which is excellent. Being good on a run, I have banned it from town centres and use either the Peugeot or Mini, which are easier to park anyway!
When I bought it the tyre pressure sensors were faulty, so I used them as a bargaining tool and then just disabled them with my Lexia when I got home. It came with a 12month warranty, which is pretty good for a 6 year old car. No other faults as yet, although the rubber on the driver side door needs replacing as it occasionally slips off and the anti-pinch means the door won’t shut until you slide it back on.

Jobs to do
Oil and filter change
Order new door seal

So I will keep this blog updated to prove whether or not the C8 deserves its reputation. Fingers crossed…

Hope this wasn’t too waffly
Trainman
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by Trainman »

Andy,

It's nice to a blog about the C8, there aren't that many around up here, in Preston. I quite like them, although I haven't driven one, nor do I need to.......

SWMBO has family down in Bristol and we trundle down a couple of times a year, so if you see a blue C6 down your way on an 'X' plate give me a wave.
bxzx16v
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by bxzx16v »

A very useful machine the C8 I hope everything goes well with it , I totally agree on your views on the xantia/C5 , I've had a few myself and much prefered the xantia , the C5's not a bad car itself though . I look forward to more updates on your C8.

Mark
lexi
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by lexi »

I think part of the attraction is having something a bit quirky, different and maybe misunderstood. Never boring.
Getting it to perform and actually getting mileage and use is, the achievement.

With a bit of care and problem solving these cars can give great results. They are also lower priced and easier to spot in the car park!
Andy F
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by Andy F »

Hi everyone, thanks for the replies.

I always look out for C6s as I was so tempted to buy one, but unfortunately luggage capacity is more important than luxury for work. If that changes the C6 is the direction I'm going next :) I'll look out for you Trainman

Perhaps the C5 came out a bit badly in my last post. I did enjoy it And it was great, I guess I just didn't feel a connection with it in the same way as the Xantias. I enjoy the C8 in a different way as it really doesn't enjoy being hustled along but the driving position is great and it feels really secure on the road.

I couldn't agree more lexi, the more unusual the better. I would love a CX or an Xm but swmbo put her foot down. I do think the C8 offers excellent value for money. I briefly owned (for 4 weeks) a 1999 seat Alhambra. The tdi was rough and grumbly and struggled 33mpg. The c8 is much more refined, although it is much newer the equivalent age Alhambras are essentially the same car as I had and much more expensive.

I've had the C8 since October and it has been a model of reliability. I've covered about 7000 miles in that time. So hopefully it will remain a trusty steed. Im sure there is a knock/ rumble from the passenger side and the tyre has worn more quickly than the otherwise on both inner and outer so will take a look in the next couple of days and use one of the 306s

Andy
Andy F
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by Andy F »

Hi all,

Been a busy couple of weeks since my last post.

The C8 has been excellent. Shifting huge amounts of kit around with ease as you would expect. Pair of new tyres and tracking checked, was 4mm out so no wonder the tyres wore out! All sorted and certainly an improvement. A droplink is rattling and you can feel the play with a gentle tug so some new ones to be ordered. With the weather being warmer I am achieving 41 mpg minimum so quite impressed! The C8 is hugely under rated and you very rarely see another on the road. I think the earlier 110hp models had more issues with DPFs etc and the reviews put off buyers. The later 2.0 Hdi with 138hp is a gem of an engine. Favourite things are cruise control, air conditioned box in dash for my lunch, electric comfy seats. I even like how it looks,

Image

Image

Also various 306s coming and going. The 1996 Meridian failed its MOT on emissions, 150,000 on a 1.6 petrol had taken its toll on valve guides and it was burning a lot of oil towards end. It cost £500 3 years a go and all i did was the essentials. Fantastic car and sorry to see it go. Got £120 scrap to soften the blow too!

So we now have a 2001 1.4 and a 1999 2.0 HDi 90. Both of which are fantastic. New clutch and coolant sensor fitted to the 1.4 and its currently touring the Peak District, Lancashire and Scotland with some relatives from Tazmania who didnt want to hire a car for 4 months. I have to say the HDi 306 is a joy. It does everything you ask of it and sips fuel. Once we get the 1.4 back we (my wife) has to decide which to keep. If she prefers the petrol one, the friend i sold my HDi Xantia to has offered to swap the 306 HDi so i may have it back, which does please me hugely. Not sure i can justify a C8 and Xantia though! Will have to cross that bridge in August.

TTFN
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daviemck2006
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by daviemck2006 »

Hi Andy. I have the same engine in my C5 and I really like it. It seems to pull much better than my old 2.2, which had similar power. The newer engine has far better low down torque and lots easier on fuel. I've done lots of miles in diesel pugs/cits as taxis and I quite liked a 53 reg 807 2.2, the same as the C8. I enjoyed it any time I drove it, and it did about 1500 miles a week! It was totally reliable until the boss and owner decided to try it on WVO, it got about 1/2 mile, stopped and had to be towed to a garage and had lots of money spent to fix it out. Last I knew it was on 280000 miles and still going, that mileage was 3 years ago and I still see it going about. Goodness knows how many miles it has done now. Still owned and operated as a taxi. I did drive an 806 with over 300000 on it, but it had a replacement engine. It is now dead. So look after the C8 and it should last for a long time. I have only once driven a xantia, It seemed smaller than a C5, and was comfy, but I had a C4vts at the time so was bound to be comfier riding than that. My first C5 hooked me on it, thats why I have now another, it suits me right down to the ground and I love it.
Andy F
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by Andy F »

Hi all,

Fist off apologies for the gap in up dates. Work and family taking up most of my time.

Since my last post all has been quiet with C8. It has been an outstanding workhorse. Transporting musical instruments all over Gloucestershire.

I MOTd it about a month ago, it failed on a bottom ball joint fairly common with these I believe. Due to weekend after weekend of gig bookings and the working week filled up with delivering trumpet lessons i asked our usual garage to do it for me, very reliable tand we've used them for years. Except they had major bother trying to get hold of the correct part. Seems mine is borderline on year and so their supplier originally sent the.wrong part. Long story short 3 suppliers and 3 days in pieces on their ramp their original supplier came good and all was well, I was pleased it wasn't out of action on our drive. Passed with no.advisories too which is.always good news

A new addition to the fleet is a Vw t25 camper van 1983. The mini is going as modern baby seats and pushchairs won't go. SWMBO is a fan of having an interesting set of vehicles luckily so she was easy to convince. We have been away camping near where I've been gigging so it is proving useful and warmer for our 16 month old than a tent. As a result I have toyed with the idea of selling the C8 and returning to sonething more frugal for day to day, been offered my old hDi 110 xantia back and use the camper on the perhaps monthly occasion the space is.needed , but the C8 has been so useful I can't really decide what to do with it. I am sure I will post again with some pros and cons before too long, a bit confused at the moment.

Andy
Andy F
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by Andy F »

Hi Daviemck,

It is a.fantastic engine and the C8 really gets down the road well. I sometimes forget how big it really is! Currently returning 42.1 mpg average.
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CitroJim
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by CitroJim »

That's excellent economy Andy, all things considered :-D
Andy F
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by Andy F »

Yes Jim it is quite impressive. My commute does suit a big diesel. I pootle at about 55-60mph on the dual carriage ways (until warm) out to the motorway then aside from a couple of big hills it is mostly open A road at a steady 50-60 mph. I drive mostly into little Cotswold villages and so travel against the traffic, so very little time sat going no where. I must be one of a very few people who commute to Stow on the Wold and surrounding towns/ villages!

Although i have two distinct driving modes, early and very frugal or late and rally driver! So i guess 42mpg is a combined figure. I think 41mpg is the manufacturers claim, so i am unusual in beating that! No trouble with particle filter as i imagine it gets nice and hot with a blast up some long, steep hills then has enough time to regen during my constant speed for 10 or so miles after that. At least, i think this is how it works!

C8 has covered 20,000 miles in 12 months and has behaved impeccably.

In the HDi xantia i would get 56 mpg on this combined cycle, hence my thinking that over this yearly mileage something smaller would make a good saving. However, 42 mpg is not to be sniffed at and it is very practical and nice to drive
Andy F
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8... Concluded and moved on!

Post by Andy F »

It has been a bit of while since any sort of update.

In fact I sold the C8 earlier in the year. Having owned one for about 2 years i feel i can answer my original question with ....... it depends.

As a family vehicle it is unbeatable, with only 5 seats i it was huuuge. If you were going to use it on the school run and family holidays there is no reason why you wouldn't buy a nice, late model preferably 2.0 HDi 138 hp. Avoid the 2.0 HDi 110 hp with 16v, which was available until about 2004. The latter is different to the engine in the C5/Xantia and is problematic.

The reason i sold mine is that it didn't suit my needs any longer. The rough, hard going country roads were too much for it. Towards the end i replaced various suspension bits and the clutch was beginning to slip ( new owner informed) It also had the exhaust welded back on, but was in need of replacement. Also at 80,000 miles I was a bit worried about the DPF needing some sort of attention. But the main reason I sold it was unfortunately the fuel economy. 42mpg was just costing me too much for my commutes of about 20000-25000 miles per year.

I have now gone back to my original Xantia HDi 110 and bought a 1983 Vw T25 camper van. ( we also sold our original mini)

This means i now have the Xantia as the economical daily driver and a classic vehicle in the shape of the camper van which kind of replaces the Mini and the C8. My wife has a Picasso to move our 2.5 year old and 6 week old offspring around.

After a long hard year the Xantia needs some attention, but that is a story for another day.
Peter.N.
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by Peter.N. »

Not tried a C8 but I must agree with the comments about the C5. After 30 years of hydropnumatic Citroens I think the C5 is a let down, plenty of space in the estate but the ride and handling leave a lot to be desired. The first one I had which was a 2.2 was better but the fuel consumption very poor compared with the 2.0.Hdi.

I'm afraid that after all those years running on air my preference is for the 406 with springs! handling is in a different league and the ride quite acceptable. I still have the C5 but it is used mainly as a second car to shift large loads.

I drove an XM estate a few months ago and the ride was superb, I don't know what they have done to the C5 but I don't like it.

Peter
Andy F
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by Andy F »

Hi Peter,

If only they had made an HDi XM! The problem I have is that i do around 100 miles per day, and the Xantia is excellent, but getting on a bit now unfortunately. As a package though the 90s/ early 00s citroens are hard to beat. I get 55mpg, supreme comfort, something a bit different and a good turn of speed. If i compare that to anything modern it would be incredibly expensive to get a competitor to replace it. Funny you should mention 406s, I wouldnt mind giving one a go, they still seem quite plentiful too. At this time I dont particularly want to spend the Christmas break under mine for various reasons.

As an aside, i had the use of a Toyota Prius earlier this week. Over 120 miles it averaged only 48 mpg over the exact same journeys i make with the Xantia. It was also noisier (when the engine kicked in) and a lot less user friendlier than the Xantia. Around town i imagine it would make sense, but for my cross country, hilly routes it was hopeless IMO.
Peter.N.
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Re: Should anyone buy a Citroen C8...

Post by Peter.N. »

Hi Andy

An Hdi XM would be brilliant, in fact the 2.1 was very good on fuel, unfortunately there aren't many decent ones about now or I would still be running them. I was doing up to 30k miles a year in mine and there were so many about and so cheap that if anything went seriously wrong with them I just went and bought another one.

I only fairly recently disposed of my last one, a white estate, it failed the MOT on a cracked windscreen, I arranged to have a new one fitted but the surround had rusted out and a repair just wasn't viable. I have four 2.5 diesels in the field but they don't belong to me and although they drive nicely they are not so good on fuel and much more difficult to work on and get spares for.

In my opinion the 406 is the best value car on the secondhand market, I bought mine five years ago for £950 and until a week or so ago when the auxiliary belt broke it has never gone wrong, its done 245k , about 60k of which I have done, it still has the original DMF and clutch - and most other things, its lovely to drive with excellent visibility and the best headlights I have ever had. It has very comfortable electric seats and loads of room in the back with the seats up or down, not quite as much as the C5 but excellent for a modern estate.

You can pick up one in fair condition for about £500 on ebay, a lot of them have 200k+ on them but don't let that worry you if they have been well maintained, if the drive alright and sound alright they probably are. Fairly easy to work on too and the parts are cheap. You see some for sale with 300-400k so they last.

Never driven anything as new as a prius, well out of my price range.

Peter