Used Citroën Xsara Estate 1997 - 2004 review

Category: Estate car

It's roomy, refined, economical and comfortable, but there's a definite lack of quality

citroen xsara estate
  • citroen xsara estate
  • citroen xsara estate
Used Citroën Xsara Estate 1997 - 2004 review
Star rating

What's the used Citroën Xsara estate like?

The estate is the real star of the Citroen Xsara range, offering more space than many of its rivals. Even with all the seats in use, there's still room for four large suitcases and a golf bag in the back. The seats split and fold on all models, and once they're down, the load area is flat and wide. Extra luggage can always go on the integral roof rails.

Up front in the cabin, attention to detail is not so impressive. Although all the controls are within easy reach, the design is plain and some of the plastics look cheap. The economical diesel engines were the best in their day and are still impressive, especially the later 1.9 and 2.0 turbo units. Although the ride can be firm around town, it's comfortable everywhere else. There's more body roll than you might like, but the steering is sharp and the handling fine.


It's roomy, refined, economical and comfortable, but there's a definite lack of quality

  • The Xsara estate gets the basics right, with a huge boot and a practical load area
  • It has too many reliability problems, cheap cabin trim and a notchy gearchange

Ownership cost

What used Citroën Xsara estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Citroën Xsara estate?

The thirstiest model is the 1.8-litre petrol automatic, which returns just 30mpg. The 71bhp 1.9 diesel from 1998 is good for 45mpg, and although the 90bhp turbo packs a stronger punch, economy tails off slightly to 43mpg. Don't be put off by the later, larger 2.0-litre unit, as it's the most economical model. The 90bhp model gives 54mpg, while the 110bhp version manages 52mpg.

Insurance is reasonable, ranging from group 5 for the 1.4 petrol to group 10 for 1.8 16v Exclusive, while the 2.0 HDI with the same trim is rated group 9. Official Citroen dealer rates are not as expensive as you might think, and it'll cost more per hour to have your Ford, Fiat, Vauxhall or Volkswagen worked on. And, according to Warranty Direct, a standard repair bill on a Xsara is less than that on the equivalent VW Golf or Vauxhall Astra.

Our recommendations

Which used Citroën Xsara estate should I buy?

Citroen launched the estate with a 1.4-litre petrol engine. It may have 75bhp, and it may feel OK if you're on your own, but fully loaded? Forget it. The 103bhp 1.6-litre and 112bhp 1.8-litre petrols give a better and more refined drive, but when there's load lugging to be done, you can't beat a diesel.

Prior to the Xsara's 2000 face-lift, a 68bhp 1.9 diesel and a 90bhp turbo unit were on offer. The best engine arrived in June 1999, a 2.0-litre HDI common rail unit, with either 90 or 110bhp. There are five trims, X, LX, SX, Exclusive and Desire. Post-'99 models all have anti-lock brakes, and cars from 2000 onwards have air-con from LX models upwards. SX trim provides a height-adjustable seat, but we recommend seeking out an Exclusive for the alloy wheels, heated electric mirrors, CD autochanger and luggage floor net.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Citroën Xsara estate?