406 or Xantia?

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406 or Xantia?

Post by robster_1981 »

Exactly as the title suggests really!

i'm not interested in the looks of the car, but as it's going to be a taxi, the reliability is an issue! I know the two cars have the same running gear, but i'm slightly worried about the Citroen's suspension. The reason i'm tempted by them is the big gap in price!! I've seen a nice Xantia exclusive HDi on a W plate for £895, with 2 owners and 125k miles. What sort of proposition would this be bearing in mind that the equivalent 406's are almost double the price!!

Thanks :)

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Post by rory_perrett »

Don't be scared of the Xantia suspension - the hydraulics are very reliable, but the rest of the world IS scared hence the low price. I'm now on my 4th "hydraulic" cit - 1 BX 3 Xantias with two of them going near to or passed 250,000 miles. A part from changing spheres £25 each and 30 mins job I've never had any real problems.

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Post by robster_1981 »

That's kind of what I was thinking. I'm pretty handy with the spanners so i'm not too worried about the maintenance, just don't want to buy a potential money pit!

Thanks for the advice

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Post by CitroJim »

As Rory says and as practical experience shows, a Xantia can be extremely reliable, just needing routine care to keep it in tip-top condition. The secret is to keep on top of jobs and to resolve small issues as soon as possible.

Nothing is fantastically difficult to do and you have this forum for help!

Your passengers will, I'm sure, love you for having a Xantia. A good Exclusive with its Hydractive II suspension is supremely comfortable.

My son has a 2.1TD 406 and I a 2.1TD Xantia. Same mechanicals exactly but I by far prefer my Xantia on drivability and comfort.

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Post by addo »


If you have any doubt in your mechanical abilities, or this is to be your only car, I suggest a 406 petrol.

Yes, I have a Xantia (estate) and wouldn't swap it for quids - but recognise that the occasional "handicaps" it enjoys would taint it badly in the eyes of many.

Issue number two with Xantiæ, is that having been a cheap car for some while now, many are suffering the effects of under-maintaining. Picking up someone else's slack is rarely rewarding (at least, in the shorter term).

As a car enthusiast, I prefer to see the "good ones" in hands of people who are going to use, maintain and appreciate them - rather than people who buy an apparent bargain, discover it's a Trojan horse and proceed to damn the marque to all within earshot forever after.

Regards, Adam.

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Post by Xaccers »

I normally budget for:

replace all the spheres at £20 each (6 on the non-hydractive, 8 on the hydractive)

a service (oil and filters change)

replace LHM with hydroflush and 500-1000 miles later replace again with new LHM

clean and lube the height correctors

So that adds what? Up to £200 to the buying price.
Of course it may be that not all the spheres need replacing, normally the suspension ones have been done because they're noticable when they fail or get low, but the accumulator and anti-sink spheres normally get missed, likewise with the LHM change, of the 5 Xantias I've owned in my life, none of them had their LHM changed or hydroflushed even with full dealer service histories.
To do it all is about a day's work and not difficult at all.
To be honest, the suspension (for me anyway) being hydraulic makes things much simpler. I'd hate to have to renew the suspension on a steel sprung car! For starters, it can't jack itself up! Could you renew the front suspension on a steel sprung car in 15 minutes?
That has to be one of the best features. Oustide my house, due to the camber of the road, I can set the car on high, slip axle stands under the jacking points at one end, set the car on low, and it tilts lifting that end up.
So much easier to work on than a car that needs manual jacking all the way up!

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Post by Citroenmad »

Obviously you need the HDi for a Taxi, which return around 50MPG and, as far as i know, are pretty hardy engines.

I agree with the above, if you find a good xantia and look after it then you should have a reliable and fairly cheap to maintain car.

Its recommended to get the spheres regassed after 30K miles or 3 years, which is cheaper than buying new ones but you have to have a set minimum pressure in each sphere to allow it to be regassed.

The only other thing to worry about are the pipes, shouldnt be too much of a concern on a later HDi Xantia but you have to keep that in mind for the future.

Id go with the Xantia because 406s are of little interest to me, the Xantia may need its suspension servicing but its a far nicer car in my opinion, and the hydractive exclusive is the one id go for too.

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Post by red_dwarfers »

A couple members of our family own 406's.
Although they are more comfortable than our 05 plate Vauxhall Astra (which appears to have leaf spring suspension), the Xantia would make an even better Taxi with the HDI engine as it will be so much more comfortable for your passengers.
The motto seems to be - get a good one and look after it then reliability won't be an issue. Xantias are also a lot safer if part of the system fails eg. servo brakes on other cars, you've only got whats left of your vacuum. Xantias are quoted to have up to 50 hard brakings on a fairly new set of accumulator spheres :o
They are generally easier to work on too due to the quirks of the self levelling suspension.

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Post by robster_1981 »

Thanks for all your opinions :)

I've pretty much made my mind up on a HDi Xantia, but unfortunately, the exclusive I saw has been sold :( and they are quite hard to come by.

I may well need some help in the future as some of the terms used i'm not familiar with e.g. "height correctors" and "pipes"

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Post by myglaren »

robster_1981 wrote:Thanks for all your opinions :)

I've pretty much made my mind up on a HDi Xantia, but unfortunately, the exclusive I saw has been sold :( and they are quite hard to come by.

I may well need some help in the future as some of the terms used i'm not familiar with e.g. "height correctors" and "pipes"
That's what we are all here for. :D

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Post by FrenchLeave »

One thing that hasn't been mentioned on the Xantia although there are lots of posts elsewhere, do please examine the upper front suspension mounts for any sign of corrosion, peeling rubber or anything other than perfection. If one lets go it's a new bonnet.

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Post by newmezuk04 »

I would have bought another Xantia as my company car opt out deal, thats if they were made younger than 6 years old.

Best car I have ever owned, sadly it free'd up all my weekends instead of the zx woes (albeit cheap).