What should I look for in a used Citroën Xsara coupe?
Many Xsaras were bought cheaply new by owners and it's a fair bet that servicing has been skimped, which is bad news. Patchy work early on accelerates engine wear and probably means a clogged-up radiator and worn brakes.
You can also expect the VTS to have been driven hard and perhaps crashed. To cut a long story short, whatever model you're interested in, buy only if there are good service records, backed by bills for work. Citroen's poor showing in JD Power Customer Satisfaction Surveys warns would-be owners to expect trouble, and the Xsara is a typical Citroen. Clutches are a weak point, so expect to buy a replacement if it still has the original one. Chances are that the suspension will need repairs, too - unevenly worn tyres are a sure sign of problems. Check also that all the electrics work properly because faults are common and repairs can be dear, even for minor jobs.