CitroΓ«n Saxo (96 - 03) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

i First 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

My 2003 Saxo 1.1 Desire is honestly the best car I have ever owned (and it's my eleventh). It is fun to drive, economical, and I can fit my large dog comfortably in the boot. I've had it from new, it's now 12 years old and done 122,000 miles but it has been remarkably reliable for its age and mileage, with only minor problems like the CD player, cigarette lighter and remote central locking ceasing to function over the years. Realistically it's probably coming to the end of it's life now, but it's a measure of how brilliant it is that I am finding it really hard to come up with a comparable replacement. (Any suggestions, anyone?) So, if you find a lower mileage one with one careful lady owner (yes, that's me) it would definitely be worth looking at. Only problem - she's not likely to be getting rid of it.

Angela Nicholls, Warwickshire, February 22nd 2015

i Desire 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

My first car. The good old Citroen was my first love and what can I say for what I thought would be a bake bean can on wheels it was instead fantastic and for a 1.1 went like stink. The interior wasnt much to be desired but not many peoples first cars are. The mpg was average for a 1.1 petrol and the reliability was also average I only had to replace few parts over the couple of years I had it but the car had done 90000 miles so I expected this. The steering of the car was extremely fun and sensitive for an oldish car which I was surprised. I know the saxo is known as a chavs dream but I honestly loved this car and if you find yourself a good not modded one you are in for a treat as to this day it still goes down as one of the funnest cars I have driven. The only downside I would have was comfort. I am quite tall so often I found the saxo quite uncomfortable when on long journeys but the drive made up for this

Matt Hamill, Devon, October 29th 2014

D X 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG50 mpg

I have had a Saxo on loan from a garage for a week now while my VW Passat is undergoing major repairs. I've not driven a small car for a long time and am pleasantly surprised with this one. The only criticism i would have is that the pedals are too close together for anyone who drives wearing heavy shoes or working boots. There is a factory fitted immobiliser consisting of a keypad just in front of the gear stick. You have to enter a 4 figure PIN code before the car will start. Don't forget the number! I find this feature quite irritating. I can't comment on reliability, but the diesel engine is smooth running and doesn't sound strained even at motorway speeds. (This car is 10 years old and has 187,000 miles on the clock!) I would recommend the Saxo for anyone in the market for a small car, but go for one with PAS, as without it, the steering is heavy at low speeds. I would estimate the fuel consumption at 11 miles/litre or 50 mpg with a mixture of long distance and town driving. I'm enjoying driving this little car, and if they can't fix my Passat, i may even buy a Saxo myself!

martin mccluskey, January 15th 2009

i SX 3dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

My dad bought this from new - ex demonstrator - and he loved it although it was small. I bought it from him when it was 5 yr old. It certainly looked the part, even the number plate the factory put on said SAX. 1.1i engine was nippy and the handling was excellant - sadly thats where it stops being great. Body panels are very thin and flimsy. Gear change is notchy, especially 3rd. And despite paying Citroen Β£150 to fix an oil leak - i still ended up doing it myself because they didnt believe it was leaking... (it was from the lower seal of the block near the crank). Rust started kicking in underneath by this time too. Inside however was pleasant, good looking dash and plastics. Funky colours and quite refined - engine/wind/road noise levels all good for a small car. Bit of a boy racer car though, spoils the image.

Andrew Hood, July 18th 2008

i 16V VTS 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

this cars ia superb! fast fun go cart that will leave most cars standing, i have owned a 1.8 sri corsa and i thought that was fast until i got my vts. the only downside is the fuel consumption its not great as i find 25mpg as an avarage not 33 like citroen say. thrash it and ul drop below 20! but i would recomend this little sport car to any1 thats looking to find themselfs a little fun car, handling is also superb and the car looks great. great drive outstsanding performance good value for money. go and get 1

john gleeson, merseyside, June 18th 2008

i 16V VTS 3dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought a vts model on an s plate 1998 model, The trim level was very basic and the stereo was not very good compared to modern cars but the engine combined with the light weight of the car made for a great driving experience. The car was very quick at accelerating and could leave most things behind of the lights but unfortunitally i had to part with a lot of money to keep this car going. New exhaust, steering rack, suspention, drive shaft discs, and the thing kept leaking so had to sell it. Going to buy another one but one that has been looked after properly. In summary a great car to drive but needs to be well maintained

lee green, April 5th 2008

i Forte 3dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This was my first car, and i didnt want to part with it, so i made my mum buy it, and 6 years on and its still going well, and she loves it as much as i did! Good reliable car, thats cheap to run and insure. The body work is good, the interior on this model is fun, with funky coloured seat belts and yellow gear knob and locks! Interior is roomy for a small hatchback and boot is sufficient. The only thing that i disliked about this car was the lack of power steering, it can be very heavy without it! But i did buy the basic model so its my fault! Overall excellent car, cheap to tax, insure and good fuel consumption! Would recommend!

Emma Thorne, Bucks, April 4th 2008

i Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive1/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is the worst car I have ever driven. If you want a nice, cheap, value-for-money small car, buy a Proton Savvy Style.

rod bradford, March 19th 2008

i SX 3dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I got my 1.1 SX P reg Saxo as a replacement for a 1.0 AX (a car full of er character!) and all the things I liked about that car are in this one in bucketloads but without the tin pot feel. The saxo boot is huge, and with the seats down I have moved house, carried gear to gigs and carried home heavy loads from DIY stores. The only time that she hiccups on starting is in very damp conditions but has often been left for a week or more and starts first time. Performance wise mine has suffered a bit from age and over the last year only being used as a runaround, she is much better acceleration wise if used more often. The car is always obvious when something is wrong, I have kept up with servicing and any niggles I do get checked out. Accident wise she bumped a renault megane and the bigger car came off worse, had it not been for wet roads she would have stopped as well! Didn't even crack a headlight! This car is fun and forgiving, insurance wise she is cheap and living on a terrace row she is very easy to park!

Sarah Taigel, February 10th 2008

i Desire 3dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I've had mine for near-on 7 years now (brought June 2001 and glad to read those built after 2000 are a lot more reliable), This statement I would agree with. This car has been lovely to drive (even on the coldest and wettest of weather) and seems to have got better over the years (especially petrol consumption despite the rise in cost of petrol). Anyway, I do a good mixture of both town and motorway driving and for it's engine size, don't do too bad for a car this size, I've even driven all the way from London to Sunderland and back on at least 3 occasions (650 mile round trip each time at least!!) and it sat quite nice and comfortable driving all the way on that motorway. The only downside I find is the cost of running, mainly servicing costs etc, however my local Citroen garage have now cottoned onto this and now offer their customers a great price for their Saxo annual services. Which has been a result !!! Other than that, if anything has gone wrong, its when the garage have forgotten to do something or replace something (Bldy forgetful mechanics!!) As for the boot (which I read here was described as being small) I would dispute that fact as compared to other cars I've seen, this is definitely a large boot, I've managed to fit no end of stuff in the back including one full sized large Bernese Mountain dog who is able to turn around, lay down etc quite comfortably. As said previously: TREAT IT GOOD AND IT GIVES BACK TO YOU :)

S Densley, January 19th 2008

i VTR 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Have had mine for 6 years and still love it. It's done 95000 miles now with no engine or mechanical failures yet. Still drives and handles like a go-kart which I enjoy. Still looks smart and distinctive in my opinion. Only problems have been due to expected wear and tear really. I'd recommend replacing the water seal on the sunroof though to prevent problems with the electrics caused by leaks. The clutch and steering are quite heavy compared to today's new cars. Enjoy!

Loz Ager, Surrey, January 3rd 2008

i Desire 3dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have had this car for about 7 months now. It is very reliable, starts up first time, every time. It is a really funcar to drive although there are a lot of rattles from the cabin that get quite annoying even on shorter journeys. It handles all roads well and is great fun on country roads and pulls almost indecently strongly for a 1.1. It has had to have some replacement parts since I've had it. The whole exhaust system had to be replaced as it started to sound like a Subaru Impreza as the whole exhaust system was rusted through. It is quite cheap to run though, insurance and tax are reasonable and isn't too heavy on fuel consumption and parts are cheap. Overall I think this is a great car to own.

James Muir, East Sussex, October 27th 2007

i Forte 3dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I own a 2001 1.1 Forte. It is my first car and have owned it for about 6 months. As a first car it ticks the boxes - cheap to run, cheap insurance and cheap parts. Unfortunately the interior is lacking and build quality can also suffer. Reliabilty is good, its on 55,000 and I've done 7k of those with no problems (just new rear wheel barings and front ball joint following service). The ride can be noisy even at slow speeds but turn the radio up and it soon goes away! Overall a good purchase, but I will be trading up after one years ownership.

Iain Jordan, Tyen and Wear, October 24th 2007

i Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned my Saxo 1.1i Expose for three years now, and I must admit I am really impressed with its reliabilty. OK, it lacks space and luxury, but for economical and practical reasons, it's fab. At first I hated the fact I was forced to buy it (from having a flashy BMW 325i coupe) due to having more children, but I am now glad, because it has honestly never let me down come rain or shine. It's cheap to run and nippy, too. I am desperate for an Alfa 156 now but will be sorry to see my little Saxo go.

Amber Hickey, September 28th 2007

i Forte 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned my 1.1i Forte since May 2002, and at just over five years old I have found it to be a fantastic car for the money I paid. OK the standard equipment isn't too good, but I don't spend as much time in it as I use to, and it therefore has everything that I need. There is a lot of road and wind noise flying through the cabin when travelling at speed, but this isn't very often. I currently only use it to travel about 20 miles a day. But in the second year of owning it I travelled over 120 miles a day. The driveability was brilliant, and the car was so responsive. Travelling on A roads, motorways, and inner city roads on this journey and this car has handled them all very well. The best thing about this car is the reliability, albeit apart from general wear and tear and the odd bump and scrape this car (touch wood) has never broken down anywhere. There have been many parts replaced on the car, but as previously stated these were just general wear and tear. Entire exhaust system has been replaced, had brakes and tyres done a few times, cambelt done at 75k, and most recently (at almost 100k) the cat converter and lambda sensors were changed, this may sound a lot but in a span of five years I think it is fantastic. It is currently at 102k and running more-or-less like the first day I bought it. I will be sad to see it go next year, but with our first child on the way a five door car would be more sufficient.

Sean Hudson, September 3rd 2007

i Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought it with 63,000 miles on the clock and I have had nothing but problems with it. Firstly the electric windows, then both driveshafts, went, along with tracking rod ends and ball joints. I got the timing belt done on it and now the head is gone on the car and the car is not worth getting repaired. The only thing I will say about this car is that the parts are cheap and it's good to run on petrol.

vivienne gunn, highlands, August 14th 2007

i Forte 3dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned this W reg vehicle three years, and had it regularly serviced. It has only done 21,000 miles but the bonnet released whilst driving, breaking my windscreen and causing extensive damage to the body. The car may be written off.

Diane Cardwell, Highland, July 30th 2007

i Desire 3dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is my first car. I've owned a 03-reg Desire model for 7 months now. I find it cheap to run, as the fuel consumption is good (over 40mpg so far) and the insurance is fairly low. The CD player & sound are fine, and having a sunroof is great. I can also fit plenty of shopping in the boot, which - in my opinion - is a good size for such a small car. My other half, who has been driving for 13 years, thinks it is very easy to manouvre. However there are a few niggles - the plastic interior trim is shoddy, and my door handle has come loose. I find the mirrors are difficult to get in a good position. There is a lot of rattling inside, even at fairly low speeds. I'm not short (5ft 7in), but the driving position is terrible - the pillars obscure my vision at junctions. Shame the seat isn't height adjustable. The pedal positioning is rubbish, even my narrow little feet get stuck on the sides of the footwell. Overall - if you can get a good deal then it's OK for a first or second car, but I don't think many experienced drivers will be impressed by it.

Rachel Callaghan, W Yorks, June 1st 2007

i SX 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

i have recently purchased a citroen saxo as my first car and i am currently learning in it. i was lucky enough to purchase an R-Reg version from a relative who has had it in her garage for all of its life and its had very little use with only 35.000 miles on the clock. Pros: I must say the car is querky and powerful for its small engine and is economical. though i do not pay the insurance myself, my father tells me its cheap! Not bad equipment inside with electric windows and central locking and a key code immobiliser! Cons: Although the car is great, i found i had to put some VTR wheels on it just to make it a little more exciting. I am no boy racer but i like the look of a set of sensible alloys. My driving instructors micra has power steering and anti lock brakes which i would like on my saxo but the steering is so light anyway, it seems it doesnt need it. The cabin lacks a CD Player and looks quite dated. I have had to purachase an inexpensive tape which i can link with my ipod nano to save some money. The saxo is a fabulous little car and i believe i will have her for years to come and hopefully get continuous pleasureble driving experiences!

Elliott Plumb, Middlesex, April 10th 2007

i VTR 3dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

First venture into citroen,and sadly never again.Superb little car to drive,excellent fuel economy,great looking,roadholding is on par with a competition car-I just can not fault that at all. But the build quality,and materials are atrocious.I bought my car at one year old,with 10k on the clock-with full dealer history.At 15k it had to have both the engine and gearbox re-sealed because of the amount of oil it was leaking.At 17k it had to have a new suspension drop link which had worn out.Paint started flaking off the bumpers at about this mileage,and disks all round had to be replaced even though the pads were fine.At 25k both top suspension mounts had to be repaced because they had worn out.I have never heard of top suspension mounts needing replacement at this sort of mileage.The struts run in rubber bearings,and are just not up to the job.Air bag warning light comes on because the connection under the seat pulls apart - because you have to sit on it!!Depreciation seems to be bad also. AS I said my first and last venture into citroen,I will be going back to my japanese cars.

antony graham, October 14th 2006

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