Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Yep, that's the one. Was one of the first 2009 cars the dealer sold - and delayed my getting it as Peugeot didn't have half the accessories I ordered updated for the new model when I ordered it.

Reckon it's the (now defunct) dealer that's to blame here, she was run for four years with the pedal effectively pressed about 25% down (you couldn't even wiggle the end of it - was actually hard to adjust initially because there was so much tension on it), before I found reference to the adjuster online completely by chance when looking for something totally different.

Bearing in mind, this is the same dealer that it took three trips to before I finally sorted the ABS light issue myself - by plugging the connector back in that they had left half plugged in when they did the wheel bearing under warranty (NSF one packed in at about 7500 miles for no readily explicable reason).

Can't really complain to be honest, it's the first major failure we've had really. Two wheel bearings, a radiator and A/C condenser are the only other bits changed so far save for normal service items.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by daviemck2006 »

I can't remember my one needing anything other than tyres, oil changes and spark plugs. But although it was doing over 500 miles a week, it was an easy life. 50 miles from home to work, mostly all country roads pootling along at 50 mph in 5th gear for the most part, never braking. That's why my best tank of fuel was 78mpg, and average from when I bought it at 11k and I sold it about 65k was just over 60 mpg.

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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Sorry to hear about the 107's clutch Zel... Are you doing the job yourself or getting a garage to do it?

On the face of it the job looks easy enough... If you are I'd be interested to take a look although very busy with karate all this weekend...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Not doing this one myself, just dropped the car off at Two Wrestlers. I might have had a shot were it not for the fact that I'm off up north leaving tomorrow and won't be back until Wednesday evening.

Have asked for the old clutch to be stuck in the box so I can take a look at it as the way it's behaving now is most peculiar and I'm really curious to see what's happened. Release bearing is definitely toast as it's squealing, but the odd thing is that the bite point seems to change every time you press it and there's a low frequency pulsing effect through the pedal - lower than engine speed. Almost wonder if it's shed one of the springs or a couple of fingers from the diaphragm. Had that happen on a Metro once and the behaviour wasn't entirely different.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

I'm curious too Zel so when you pick the car up, and if I'm home, drop by and see me for a cuppa and a combined inspection!

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Will do Jim. Will probably be Abby who picks the car up (as she'll need it Thursday and it'll likely be late afternoon/early evening by the time I get back from Aberdeen - and I'll then still have a large van full of stuff to decant into the garage). Will certainly bring the clutch over for you to take a look at though at some point shortly.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote:Will certainly bring the clutch over for you to take a look at though at some point shortly.
Excellent :-D

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Little update here before I call it a night...

So on Saturday I flew up to Aberdeen (forced to use EasyJet from Luton as Virgin have stopped flying from Heathrow...grrr...), and picked up a hire car from the airport.

Turned out to be one of the current gen Toyota Aygos, which given I've got a 2009 Pug 107 I thought would be quite an interesting little comparison to do - even though I do believe that the Citroen/Pug/Toyota versions have diverged a bit more with the current version.

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I have to admit to being very, very, very impressed. The family resemblance is definitely there, but it overall feels like a far more polished and mature product than the 107 does. Basically every one of my niggles with the 107 (the windscreen pillars that you can lose small countries behind excepted) has been addressed. Windscreen wiper that smears more than it wipes irrespective of blade condition, fixed. Wiper that you can't lift clear to clean the windscreen, fixed. Lack of side support on the front seats, fixed. Seat backs which have a ratchet type adjuster which only lock slightly too flat or slightly too upright but nothing in between, fixed. Vague steering feel, fixed (even on the same rubbish Continental rubber that I think my 107 came with). Vague, occasionally baulky and just plain "cheap" feeling gearchange, fixed (and actually really nice now once you get used to it). Rubbish standard stereo (or at least the speakers), fixed and then some.

The interior fit and finish is leaps and bounds above that in my 107 as well. The dash and door cards are still pretty cheap plastic, but you only really know that if you go tapping them...they still look just fine, and given how far the dash is away from you, you have a hard time tapping on it! ...and let's face it, aside from Top Gear presenters, who really does that?

The instrument cluster is pretty space-age too...

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Equipment includes a trip computer (which I wouldn't mind having in the 107, just for the DTE readout when on a longer journey more than anything else), reversing camera (?!?...Seriously...it's a car the size of a shoe. I'd had the car a day and a half before I noticed it!), air con, cruise control, steering wheel stereo controls, touch-screen stereo with iPod, general USB connectivity, Bluetooth audio and phone, and DAB radio.

...I'm generally a serious hater of touch-screen based things *especially* in cars. Toyota get a massive set of points from me though for making this system really work well. It talked to my iPod absolutely seamlessly, and had a sensible browser function etc (even though I generally just have it on shuffle), and also connected to my phone first try. Voice quality according to my father on the handsfree system was pretty good too. I've used a couple of systems like this before, and this is the first one that I've ever really got along with. I was very impressed with the audio quality as well for a stock system in a car of this segment. It's not a patch on the stereo I had in my Renault 25 for audio quality...but then again, neither are most I've used in the house. It's more than adequate, and I wouldn't feel the need to upgrade it (and I do like my tunes).

The only gripes about the system are that when the stereo is off that it displays a truly *massive* clock unless you delve into one of the other functions, and that the screen could probably do with the ability to dim it a bit further after dark. Granted, there is a "screen off" option in the menus though if you want to switch it off.

Speaking of things around the touchscreen - the glossy piano black inserts that are so in vogue at the moment are present around the touchscreen and the instrument panel in the Aygo - and they collect dust and fingerprints just as fast as they do in every other car. Given my level of interior cleanliness OCD, that would drive me around the bend.

The only other niggle I really had with the car was that whoever positioned the gear lever suffered from what I termed "Corsa Syndrome" because the first place I encountered it was in my L plate Corsa. They either had really long legs or really short arms - the gear lever is a good six inches or so too far back for me, so I have to adapt my posture a bit so that my arm doesn't hit the back of the seat when going for second or fourth. It's not really a problem, but you do notice it the first time you drive it.

Engine seems relatively unchanged from in the 107, though markedly better in economy terms (managed 54.3mpg over a few hundred miles while I had it - I can count on one hand how many times I've managed to get my 107 over 50mpg, and I wasn't driving it any easier than my 107 gets driven), and it seems a little more eager - the flatspot on full throttle around 3800rpm that my 107 has was notably absent. The engine note seems a little more aggressive as well - still doing an astonishingly good impression of a flat six in terms of soundtrack! The seemingly obligatory "shift up" light on the dash these days however is a complete joke - even when on full throttle, it comes on at about 2250rpm...the engine doesn't seem to even come close to being on the boil until about 3500rpm, and does its best work north of that, and if you're looking for rapid progress is then happy to zip up to 5000rpm or so before the power delivery slows up a bit. I did try obeying the light for a while, and almost inevitably found myself having to change back down a gear again to avoid progressing so darn slowly that I was a hazard to other road users! Economy actually dropped then as well! Sort the firmware Toyota...It's a small detail, but it is pretty irritating...If I had one I can see that getting black tape stuck over it.

Cruise isn't a true cruise control system, rather a speed limiter (so you set the speed then just keep your foot on the accelerator), but works nicely enough. Like my 107 this car seems to like to creep up from 70 to 80ish, so on the open road is actually a pretty nice feature. Set it to 70mph and you can just drive normally without having to do anything, it'll just gently stop your acceleration when you get there. There's a feature as well where if you push the pedal past a detent right at the end of its travel that it overrides the system in case you do need to accelerate out of trouble.

Overall, very, very impressed. If I was looking for a newer replacement for my 107, I would definitely be giving this car very, very serious thought. Obviously I'd have to try to 108 as well...but I do have to confess to rather preferring the space-ship looks of the Toyota. Especially in a brighter colour which really bring out the black accents. If you're looking at the segment, give one a shot. I drove a VW Up! a couple of years back (which kept being touted as the market leader as I recall), and it left far less of an impression than this. Yes, a very accomplished package, but utterly soulless. The Aygo though felt like it had a really fun character and made me smile every time I drove it. VW did a poorer job of including a shedload of toys in a way that wasn't distracting/overwhelming as well. I never really felt at any time in the Aygo that they were distracting me or anything (the shift up light excepted!).

Yesterday though I had to hand that back and pick up my chariot for the next couple of days...

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Theeeeeere we go...something more up my street in scale terms! Okay, so it's not a bus, but at 7 metres odd it's about as close as I'm likely to get anytime soon...and requires the same sort of forward planning in tight spaces (the entrance to the Redgarth Inn car park in Oldmeldrum being a good example!).

I'm loving it to be honest, definitely the nicest driving van I've been behind the wheel of. Great visibility, pulls like a train, good steering lock, comfortable cabin (even in poverty rental spec), more storage compartments than you can shake a stick at, good headlights, smooth engine and drivetrain, even rides pretty well (even when empty!). Should have taken a photo of me standing next to it, really is a pretty big brute!

Last couple of days it's been consistently returning me between 35 and 37mpg as well...which for something that size (granted, not with much weight in) just seems to defy physics. Was loaded up today, and was still showing 32.9mpg when I got back to my friend's place. She'll be on the motorway back down to MK tomorrow, so we'll see how that figure looks when I get there!

Have always liked Merc vans ever since I had an (utterly clapped out!) old 80s era 308D which I loved driving. Reckon if we do ever pick one up to do a motorhome conversion on, it'll be a Sprinter...Just don't like how Transits drive, and have had too many problems with Renault vans (the Traffics from the 80s/early 90s excepted...but most of them have surely dissolved now) at work to really trust one. ...admittedly, what I'd really like would be an 80s 208/308 to appear at the right price and completely free of rust...but that's not likely to happen.

...Have been utterly confusing everyone around the Turriff/Fyvie/Oldmeldrum/Ellon/Pitmedden/Inverurie areas the last couple of days by being a friendly and courteous van driver!

So, tomorrow I'll be out of touch all day as I'll be driving...if you see WR64 KLW on the road tomorrow or before 12:00 on Thursday when I have to give her back (awww...), give me a wave!

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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Excellent :D Good to hear of a review of the new Aygo from a long-time 107 owner.. If you reckon they're good then that's recommendation enough for me Zel :D

I take it the Aygo in question had the three-pot 1000cc engine and not the bigger 4 pot 1200cc job?

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Not sure on the size Jim, but I can tell you for definite that it was a three pot. No mistaking that noise.

Looked all but identical under the bonnet, only change I saw at a glance was that they've redesigned the air cleaner/intake.

Home safe and sound. Reset the trip computer in the van when I fuelled up in Aberdeen and made it home showing an average speed of 60mph, 8 hours and 5 minutes driving time, and 28.3mpg. Not bad going I reckon. Very relaxed trip, only real traffic was around Birmingham, other than that was just a nice relaxed cruise. Van will be unloaded in the morning then will have to go take it back.

...having got to know it properly today now *really* don't want to!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by daviemck2006 »

It's a rare thing to find a courteous van driver! Pity I haven't been anywhere but Banff and Macduff for about a week. I would love to have seen such a thing [emoji13] [emoji23]

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and

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daviemck2006 wrote:It's a rare thing to find a courteous van driver! Pity I haven't been anywhere but Banff and Macduff for about a week. I would love to have seen such a thing [emoji13] [emoji23]
It really does mess with people's heads!

Likewise seeing the looks on their faces when you thread it through the gap they just struggled to get their Fiesta through...a lot of people have asked if I've found it stressful driving it, have had a really hard time explaining that I actually really enjoy the whole forward planning and working out how to manoeuvre it through the tiny gaps the real world present. Plus sitting about three or four feet above everyone but lorry drivers never gets old...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by daviemck2006 »

That's what I love about vans and buses too. I was driving a vw lt 46 lwb 5 years ago for work, I was behind a Peugeot expert taxi in the town, cars parked both sides with not a lot of room. The taxi driver stopped and asked me to reverse as he could not get through. Once he got out of my way I went through with a few inches to spare, and I had twin rear wheels which widened I'd by quite a bit. Some ppl shouldn't have a license [emoji48] [emoji23]

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote:Not sure on the size Jim, but I can tell you for definite that it was a three pot. No mistaking that noise.
I believe it's the exact same engine as in mine then... The later zero-tax three-pot...

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Been a little while since the last update as I've been pretty busy trying to make sense of everything brought down from up north. Haven't even started to scratch the surface yet, but at least this has dropped out of the chaos. Somehow managed to forget to bring it down in the last shipment, which was driving me mad.

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Emulators just aren't the same. Yes, that is an old AT PC power supply unit it's tethered to by that stupidly oversized umbilical. I ran out of patience with the original power supplies which tended to die without warning if you so much as looked at them wrong.

Also have I think four multisync Acorn branded monitors which I'll be dropping off at the National Museum of Computing as I imagine they're rather handy devices for them given the ability to stuff pretty much any video signal into them and letting the circuitry just make sense of it. Keeping the best two for my own Acorn and Amiga collection, but six is a bit overkill, so four of them can go to a good home.

Initial journey down south was initially delayed as this appeared in the van on the way into Aberdeen...

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Turns out that it was serviced the day before I picked it up, and they'd overfilled the oil. Simple enough to fix, but did mean sitting around for a couple of hours while they tried to get hold of an engineer. Credit to the guys in the Enterprise office, they really were trying their best and were on the phone literally every couple of minutes to try to get hold of him and couldn't have done more to help. If it hadn't been for the van being packed full I'd have just taken their offer of switching to another vehicle and being on my way (well...I'd have considered it, would have meant changing to a SWB VW Transporter, which I was utterly unimpressed with last time I drove one). I'd originally planned to be out of Aberdeen before 10:00, ended up being 12:15 before I hit the A90. Actually worked out really well in the end as I hit rush hour in the back end of nowhere and aside from a bit of congestion around Birmingham before I headed onto the M6 Toll, it couldn't have been more free flowing. Managed to average 60mph and 28.7mpg over the whole run which I was pretty darn happy with. Usual stop at Lancaster around the 4 hour mark was the only interruption to progress.

Few more shameless photos of the van that nobody's going to be in the slightest bit interested in just because I enjoyed having it for a few days far too much...

The Saab really isn't a small car, so I'm not really used to seeing it dwarfed by things on my drive...
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This space usually occupies at least a Xantia and 2/3rds of a VW Scirroco R...
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Cab has certainly got a lot more civilised since the day of my old Merc - though it's downright creepy how familiar it feels, they really have used the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach. Controls are still where I expect them to be (okay the hazard switch has moved), and it still feels like a Merc van. I'm surprised that the everything-on-one-stalk indicator/wiper/windscreen washer control has survived though as that always seems to baffle people the first time they encounter it.
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If this isn't a commanding driving position I don't know what is...
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I find the fact that I basically managed to fill this rather alarming.
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Unloading took about an hour. Loading it took an entire day - utterly not helped by my father who seemed to insist on unpacking everything I put in the van every time I disappeared up into the loft to get the next lot of stuff. Reckon I must have actually packed it about three times over...

Anyhow...Back to my actual fleet...

Hoping to pick up the 107 tomorrow, was a bit of a delay getting it into the shop because they had another job that took longer than expected so there wasn't a ramp available. Given how quickly Two Wrestlers have usually got stuff done for me in the past, I'm really not going to complain if on this one occasion things have taken a bit longer.

Have got oil and filter sitting in the boot of the Xantia at the moment and hope to get that changed early this coming week. Also really need to whip the back wheels off as I'm sure one of the brakes is dragging and I keep meaning to check it out and keep running out of time...So hope that the next update might actually contain more of my actual fleet!