Should i buy an XM?

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Jaypee
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Should i buy an XM?

Post by Jaypee » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:10 pm

Hi all, new here and considering joining this esteemed fellowship.

Obviously my question is to a biased audience but hear me out.

I currently have an old mondeo estate (2002 2.0tddi) which was cheap as chips, never lets me down, doesn't matter if it gets a knock or scrape or rust, cheap to run, ok to drive. We live in a terraced house so it lives on the street. In many ways its ideal for our needs.

In particular our very local mechanic maintains it and all i have to do is drop the keys in and tell him where i last parked it!

BUT I'm hankering after something more interesting and a diesel XM estate really fits the bill. I've always had a soft spot for DSs and CXs. My on off stepdad (not that we ever called him that!) had several CXs. I love the idea of the XM being the (almost) pinnacle of the hydro suspension idea.

There's a lovely XM for sale fairly near me and my wife seems to be coming round to the idea.

I guess my main hesitation is that I'll have car that I'll feel some responsibility to really look after. I have enough responsibility already and very little spare time! I'd hate to be responsible for the demise of a lovely old machine that's fairly rare. Obviously I would do my best but i can't protect the car from the elements and wouldn't have as much time as others to polish and maintain it.

The nearest old citroen specialist is an hour away in Bexhill so that's an extra factor, particularly if it won't start (though perhaps local chap could do the basics - or would you guys advise against that?)

So am i just not ready to run an almost classic as my main car? I have kids, work full time, am generally busy and not particularly mechanically able (and don't have time to tinker). What do others in that position think? Is this an itch i should wait a few years before scratching? Or should I let my heart rule my head and go for it?

I gather these are pretty reliable if you get a good one but its still an old (probably) high miler.

I guess no one but me can really answer the question but any thoughts gratefully received!

chriscousins
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Re: Should i buy an XM?

Post by chriscousins » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:25 pm

Hello and welcome.

As a fellow new-joiner to this forum I can say that there is some good technical info on these pages.

I had an XM 20 years ago and ended up accidentally buying another one recently with short MOT and quite a few faults.

Sadly there is no Citroen specialist near me (or at least not that I have found yet), so I was reliant on my local garage to fix the one I bought.

They did so very quickly and cheaply. My view would be tall to your local garage first, so they’re on board from the start.

Most cars seem to suffer most from lack of use so as you’d be buying as a daily you could/should avoid a lot of the problems.

There is no reason not to go for it - XMs are much more reliable than most folk give them credit for.

xmexclusive
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Re: Should i buy an XM?

Post by xmexclusive » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:35 pm

Hi Jaypee

I am afraid my advice would be not to take an old XM on as your single main use car in the circumstances you describe.
Particularly not an estate as these are typically kept outside and worked very hard over the years.
Compared to a car they usually are much higher mileage and have an extra rear end rust history.
That your ownership might end up with an XM going to scrap is bottom of my list of concerns.
I run Mk 2 XM's as main cars and have done for the last 18 years, most were high mileage so got through quite a few in that time.

Stay on here and follow up your interest in XM's at arms length for now.
Watch what others manage and the sort of problems and costs they have with their XM's.
You may miss that perfect gem XM but my opinion is that over the next year you will most likely also miss out on twenty plus problem ones.
I suggest that you physically look at as many for sale XM's as you can.
Assume that sellers are painting a bit of a rosy tinted picture as they are giving up on the car.
The seller most likely has no idea what the next problems are or any idea when they will hit.

John

DerekB
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Re: Should i buy an XM?

Post by DerekB » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:07 pm

Cars cost a lot of money, so it makes sense to spend all that money on a car you actually like. I see no sense in spending money on a car which you don't actually enjoy travelling in. Right now I have 2 Xms and a c5. C5 estates are fine cars. A 2005/6/7 ish Mk2 C5 estate would be a fine buy. The C5 hydractive suspension needs very little maintenace, no need to worry about having specialist attention, mine is maintained by my local garage.
Derek
2005 C5 Exclusive Estate
1993 XM 2.0i Turbo

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White Exec
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Re: Should i buy an XM?

Post by White Exec » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:37 pm

Hello Jaypee, and welcome.

I think you are approaching this from the right perspective: you like the idea of the car, but is it wise to buy one now?

John's advice above is quite right: in the case of an estate, you need a good one, and it presents extra risks and challenges over a hatchback, particularly (as they all are now) 20 years old.

I think you have probably answered your own question, though:
- little spare time and not the time to tinker
- not particularly mechanically minded
- specialist help some distance away

The XM is a technically fascinating vehicle, and because of that requires a good level of understanding of how it works and what it's faults are. As such, they can present a challenge to even conventionally trained mechanics, because of their unique Citroen hydraulics and electronic control components.

They do require a commitment of time and understanding, and in return are hugely rewarding to own and drive, but without attention and input are not a car to take for granted and rely on for uninterrupted daily transport. We have owned ours since new, and after the first 5-6 years (when faults were few), there has been a steady supply of issues to be sorted, on top of normal regular maintenance and careful corrosion prevention measures. Ours is now garaged, and in a mainly dry climate, too.

Our forum is a superb repository of documentation and experience for the XM, in its various engine, trim and body versions, and a great support and learning resource, and, as John says, a good way to mug up on what makes the car tick and what needs watching. However, the time commitment cannot be side-stepped, nor the need for access to some workshop facilities (eg for underside work on suspension and hydraulics) from time to time.

Tend to agree with you about XM being something of a pinnacle of technical development, following a string of earlier (and less complex) hydropneumatic Citroens, so attractive for that. BX (although older and now rarer), and many Xantia would be less complex, although both would need decent rustproofing. C5 can be a good car, but C5 III (C5 X7) might be one to positively avoid from the point of view of complexity, reliability and DIY maintenance.
Chris
1996 XM 2.5TD Exclusive RP7165 Polar White
2003 RAV4 D4D 2.0 5dr LHD Silver WORKHORSE
1989 BX19RD Delage Red Deceased; 1998 ZX 1.9D Avantage auto Triton Green Company car 1998-2001; 2001 Xantia 1.8i auto Wicked Red Company car 2001-2003

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sageman
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Re: Should i buy an XM?

Post by sageman » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:36 pm

I would talk to your local machanic to see if he has any experience with hydropnumatic Citroen’s or if he know anyone local that do if that’s not the case bearing in mind you say you don’t have the time or knowlage to work on these yourself then it might not be the best idea unfortuantly
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Peter.N.
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Re: Should i buy an XM?

Post by Peter.N. » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:04 am

I ran 2.1 diesel estates for about 15 years, I used them for work and clocked up a lot of miles and they were reliable once you got to know them. I did all my own repairs and was initially on a steep learning curve but having gained a bit of experience I found them very reliable. When we went on holiday to Scotland we just got in and went, probably covered a couple of thousand miles and never had a breakdown, I used at one time to do 30,000 miles a year for work and I had a couple of cars with nearly 300,000 miles on the clock - not all done by me I hasten to add.

The main problem now seems to be rust, as John says probably due to their higher mileage, my last one died as a result. I wouldn't mind running one now if it was possible to get one at a price I could afford.

They are a very nice car and the 2.1 manual is very economical giving better mpg than the 1.9 engine, its also very smooth and will pull smoothly from almost a standstill. The head gaskets seem to fail at around 100k miles but once replaced with a metal one don't seem to give a problem.

Peter
'96 'N' 2.1 td VSX manual estate White RP6695. Sadly gone
'01 406 Hdi estate, blue
'02 406 Hdi estate, blue



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Jaypee
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Re: Should i buy an XM?

Post by Jaypee » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:28 pm

Thanks for all the replies. Have to say I'm impressed with the quality of the contributions on this forum.

It's my son's birthday today but I'll reply properly soon.

Jaypee
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Re: Should i buy an XM?

Post by Jaypee » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:44 pm

The XM I was looking at was this one and does look very nice and rust free. High-ish mileage (150k) but very well kept. I've spoken with the owner and clutch and belts etc have all been done recently.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3325269343

However Chris/White Exec has got me thinking about C5s. I read up on XMs (and Xantias to an extent) because i heard these were the "last of the real citroens" so I assumed the C5 must have abandoned the hydractive system. Not so i realise now. Why are they not considered by many to be part of the DS/SM/CX/XM lineage? They are a bit boring though i think the C6 has some flair. Thanks for the inspiration Chris.

I have found a few and this one for example looks very good value. Also high mileage at 147k but i find these more modern cars, if they get that far, can be pretty reliable.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2165462895

There's a lot more choice of C5s and I think something more unusual might be better left for the future as suggested.

My wife really suffers from poor ride quality (leave it!) due to vertigo (balance impairment) which was part of the attraction of the XM but if i can get the hydractive suspension for now and save something classier and more complex for another day then that might be best.

Do love that blue XM though!

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Re: Should i buy an XM?

Post by White Exec » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:51 pm

For C5 forum support and info, go to https://frenchcarforum.co.uk/landing_page/, and click on Forum, and register.
Lots of C5 (C5 I, C5 II and final C5 III (C5 X7)) info and insight there.

Suspension system evolved through the models, as did complexity and with it (just one view) very dubious - and expensive - reliability of the X7. NB: steering racks. X7's also got a choice of fluid suspension or steel springs.
C6 was actually built on the XM floorpan, SFAIR, and takes a lot of its technology from C5, but (say several owners) is less softly sprung than XM or C5, and can be a bit claustrophobic in the cabin.

Plenty to thumb through!
Chris
1996 XM 2.5TD Exclusive RP7165 Polar White
2003 RAV4 D4D 2.0 5dr LHD Silver WORKHORSE
1989 BX19RD Delage Red Deceased; 1998 ZX 1.9D Avantage auto Triton Green Company car 1998-2001; 2001 Xantia 1.8i auto Wicked Red Company car 2001-2003

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