Used Citroën Saxo 1996 - 2003 reliability

Category: Small car

The Saxo could be good for a first-timer, but be careful when you're buying - and driving

Citroën Saxo (96 - 03)
  • Citroën Saxo (96 - 03)
  • Citroën Saxo (96 - 03)
Used Citroën Saxo 1996 - 2003 review
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What should I look for in a used Citroën Saxo hatchback?

Saxos are tough, and most problems arise from poor or skimped maintenance. However, cars built after the 2000-model face-lift are markedly more reliable.

On a test drive, check the suspension, which is prone to knocks, and the brake discs, which need renewing every few years. Likewise, check for coolant leaks, which usually happen because the system has been left too long without a fluid change, which should be carried out every three years.

Look under the oil filler cap for thick gunk that signals head gasket failure - if it's there, the bills could be serious.

Clutches are a weak point on VTRs and diesels, but parts are cheap and replacement is straightforward.

If buying a VTR or VTS, first have it inspected by a professional who can check for past crash damage. These cars' popularity with young drivers means many have had a bump or two.

Unmodified cars are by far the best: big exhausts, lowered springs and body kits hurt resale value and may lead to an MoT test failure.

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Is a used Citroën Saxo hatchback reliable?