Citroën XM: top or flop?

ER Classics Desktop 2022

There's a plate of an XM with a diesel heart around here. It is unsaleable. Because it is a diesel. But the gorgeous XMs have another problem: At the cocktail tables, they're just as bad as Citroën BXs. And that they are bad? Everyone knows that! Everyone except the BX riders M / V who are happy and completely satisfied keep accumulating kilometers. We know a BX GTI driver who now has his car over four tons. With no more than normal maintenance and repairs.

A good XM

And a good XM? It is just as reliable as a Mercedes diesel. It just offers indescribably more comfort and emotion.

It is all cocktail table talk

Why that Citroëns have such a bad reputation among the people who seem to have an opinion about it without ever having ridden it? The thing is, a good XM (or BX) is a great car. But the hydrauliques simply require more technical care than the average Toyota. And if the third or fourth owner spends all his money on audio to drive 'a fat bucket' for little? Then the overdue maintenance piles up and when you buy such a car ... The son of an acquaintance bought an XM V6 for € 1.000. Then he took his pride in a very people-friendly, specialist Citroëngarage owner calculated that about € 3.000 would be needed to get the car back in order… Not perfect. But just technically okay. And that money was not there.

So be critical. And buy a good copy at a trusted address. And that especially applies to the XMs with V6 blocks.

So the XM

De Citroën XM was introduced in 1989. The XM would remain in production for over 11 years. In 2000, the very last XM left the production line.

Changes and Updates

In those 11 years, quite a few changes and improvements have been made to the XM. Like the restyle in the summer of 1994 or the upgrade to Hydractive II just before that. May 23, 1989 was the birthday of the XM, June 5, 2000 went into the books as the death of the XM. In those 11 years, some 333.000+ copies left the factories. And meanwhile there is the Citroen XM Club Netherlands.

Our photo model

Our photo model was also in the Netherlands, at Garage de l'Est in Vlaardingen: a silver-colored 'XM 3.0 V6 24V Exclusive'. That was the absolute top of the XM series and the car has now been sold. The four-cylinder XMs are very French, extremely comfortable touring cars. The six-cylinder packs impressive bonus points in terms of dynamics, luxury and performance. In the meantime, beautiful, good XMs usually don't last long. But they are still being bought by car enthusiasts, they are not yet at the heartless investor level.

Cheap is expensive

Because unlike the unsaleable diesel XM in Velp, good XMs are nowadays already sought after by pure enthusiasts. And those enthusiasts realize that - certainly at Hydrauliques - 'cheap expensive purchase' is. Once we heard someone say, “You forget the price. But the fun remains. ”

Get started joining the club!


Give a reaction
  1. Provided I skin Citroens and ridden, lots of ducks, a dyane, an Id19, but bigger ones citroëns never really appealed to me when they appeared. Only after it was long out of production did I buy a CX GTI turbo 2, what a wonderful travel car, but just too sensitive to small recurring malfunctions. I bought my first XM in 2002, so also after she was out of production, a 21 td automatic break, a wonderful car, but then I fell for the Avantime. Meanwhile 6 years ago I bought my second XM again a 21td automatic but sedan. Despite the fact that she had run very few km's, I really ran out of it. Two years ago unfortunately to the scrapyard: head and engine torn ... This summer it itched again and now I drive a V6 also automatic, what a wonderful combination

  2. In 2003 I bought an XM 2.0 16v from 1996 and in 2015 I got rid of it for a 2.0 Turbo TC Exclusive from 1998 and I still have it. I have both cars for daily use, including holidays to Southern Europe. The first major service of both cars was pricey, despite the fact that the 2nd was always maintained at the dealer and according to the mechanic was in top condition. He was even outraged that the car had not been offered to the dealer for sale because he had wanted to buy it himself. But after that pricey first major turn, I have had normal maintenance on both cars without crazy things. A disadvantage is that repairs take more time on average and the workshop rate always represents a significant portion of each bill. But in the end it is a very nice, comfortable car to drive. Maybe that in all those years has cost me an average of € 1000 per year in maintenance. I don't worry about that.

  3. Very recognizable your story Dolf!
    I also bought my XM V6, 3.0 machine for 1000euro and repairs for 3000euro, only with the difference that I knew that there were nice repair costs….
    But otherwise a wonderful car with all the luxury you could wish for ...
    The only thing I miss is heated seats. That is wonderful with leather seats

  4. Good story Dolf,
    XMs are delicious and reliable mileage eaters. The series 2 from the late 90s in particular are virtually trouble-free. Series 1 is a bit more unique with sometimes a single-spoke steering wheel, etc. It is also nice that the cars, unlike their predecessors, practically do not rust. I have two and am very careful with them!

  5. Have had 4 bx's. I bought a 1.6 with more than 3 tons on the clock for 250 euros and have driven it for almost 2 years without problems. When I trade in on another bx, I got back 250 euros. Rarely have I enjoyed a car so much. The last I had was a 1.9 tzi, was a great car but unfortunately the timing belt broke and then it was over.


  6. After several deux CVs, GS and Peugeots 505 respectively in the first 90s I have a young XM 2 ltr with few km (bought at the dealer) and driven. I particularly liked the design.
    Nothing but praise about the hydraulics, handling much better than the terribly understeered CX and. Engine performance (122 hp) turned out to be below par: overtaking maneuvers required many a prayer.
    To my surprise and disappointment, I did not like the fine-looking and beautifully upholstered seats: they always stumbled out after a longer ride. Modification of the front seats with air cushions, etc. to no avail.
    Sold it at 150.000 km (trade-in value meager) because of oil consumption, broken catalytic converter, leaking sliding roof, faltering electric windows. Estimated repair costs then already 3.000 guilders.
    I am still impressed with the design and concept, but it is an eternal shame that the quality of this beauty has turned out to be so sub-par.
    In perspective I can report that the Volvo's (850, v40 T4, S 80 V6) really didn't live up to their reputation for indestructibility.
    It turned out that the Mercedes, which I have been driving since then, was a relief, even though quality demands a high price ...

  7. I have a lot in the past Citroëns worn out, from the duck to the XM. All unique, the last one was a Xantia! I have seldom had large expenses and then for my work as a sales representative I did a lot of miles! I now have a duck again (this was my 1st Citroën) as an old-timer.

    • We know the satisfied drivers. And we hear the horror stories of people who have heard them from people…. In practice most of the roughel stories are not too bad. Even with a Yugo, you can have tons of unpretentious fun and few problems. So let the world talk. We know better 🙂

  8. Let the large crowd think that an XM or BX is bad, then the cars will at least end up with the enthusiasts.
    From my own experience; an XM 2.0 from 1990 with extensive experience in terms of mileage, bought in 2002. The counter was already somewhere at 270000. The price was ridiculously low and yet the car looked neat on the eye.
    The car salesman was one who bought everything that was loose and stuck and this car was undoubtedly obtained as a trade-in of a Citroën-agent..
    Point of attention? the LPG installation, because a few things had to be replaced because of the lifespan and also a head overhaul.
    That cost me a pretty penny, but from that point on the car has taken me everywhere: Denmark, Milan, Paris, twice to Nice and almost without stopping, because as the other commenters have already pointed out: the comfort is second to none.
    Problems afterwards?
    Dynamo (voltage regulator) broken and its replacement within the warranty period again, once a hydraulic line and a pressure regulator for the fuel supply.
    Seems pretty clear for a car of that age.
    Priceless: seeing the carriage reaching driving height every time when starting.
    That is a shortcoming with the later versions of the XM.
    In addition, the XM is a great draft horse, not bothered by a heavily leaning carriage. Tip: drive with a somewhat heavier trailer in the fourth gear, because the fifth gear is less suitable for that.

  9. I don't get you calling the BX a bad car. It's just a Peugeot (or the other way around) but with different suspension. It is true that hydrolic suspension provides more maintenance, but that is mainly as the years have progressed and little maintenance has been done.
    I drove a BX for 15 years between 1985 and 2000 (resp. 16trs, 16tri and a Turbo Diesel). In addition to normal maintenance and a few inconveniences (occurs with every car) I can not remember that I had really big costs.
    Perhaps also because the cars were relatively new (1 year, bought new and in 1990 the TD of 1988 purchased). Old cars now cost money.
    But that doesn't make the BX a bad car. That was just a very good car and most models with relatively little electronics.

    • In the meantime, you pay quite a bit for a nice and good BX. They are / were fine cars in use and a strong design. Less than 900 kg, I thought, room for four people and economical. My father has had two, but indeed the necessary misery. Diesels. Broken fuel pump, but it was covered by warranty.

  10. I was once allowed to drive in an XM 24V V6.
    Beautiful comfort and an impressive engine. Although I was a bit more used to my then, quite ticklish, Ford Scorpio 2,9
    with manual gearbox. The XM also drove like on rails.
    Another Citroën I had experience together with an acquaintance in his ID from 1967. He drove without slowing down at full speed over a serious speed bump. I even turned around to see if it really was a threshold. And yes. A very serious one. In the ID I only felt a slight bump. Phenomenal.
    When we talk about the standard for comfort and suspension, that standard is called Citroën. No doubt about it

  11. Ever had an xm break, best car I could ever own. Sixteen hours of non-stop driving was no problem (not even to refuel). Converted into a mobile home, it took me all over Western Europe without any significant problems, comfortable, spacious, economical, simply perfect!
    When I bought them, she had been standing under the trees in a yard for six months Citroëngarage that only did ds, cx and xm. But she started immediately and the deal was closed. In just under four years I have driven almost 170.000km with it. Without too great a cost. I still miss them ...

  12. Wonderful car such an XM, bought at the time from a real Citrofiel so the technology was fine, never really had any problems with it. Replace the spring bulbs once.
    Unfortunately sold because I moved from Nieuwegein to Friesland and drove daily back and forth between Friesland and the Randstad and the fuel costs increased considerably.
    Never had such a nice car afterwards.

  13. Four memories.
    1. Because I'm at a Citroen garage I could go to the dealer presentation. Those XMs with yellow streamlined headlights and hood, the presidential lines, the luxurious interior…. top class also available in a middle class + version. The 2 liters also ran fine.
    2. I once drove an XM V6 board up the bear pit roundabout in Eindhoven. Wow, this is what this car can really do. The ordinary was already super tight, but the car deserved the V6.
    3. I drove back from winter sports at night with a mate, sometimes for a long time at 200 km / h on the Autobahn. No fatigue whatsoever or anything. After 8 hours just get out fit.
    4. My buddy came with his XM to visit the old city district where I lived at the time. His XM would fit half in the parking lot and half on the road. Welcome Reine de la route 😉

    In short: I know the XM as the last real sporty, luxurious, top class Sedan / Break van Citroen which was attractive and affordable for a wide audience. A real Citroen due.

  14. The trouble with bubble talks is that it hurts so much when they turn out to be true. As a young boy I once drove along with the DS of mother's niece who came by. Very strange. I mean that car. And about 33 years later I was allowed to ride along with someone with a DS and back BOOM: that nice feeling, also visually. How come the DS is the pinnacle of Citroën is? I've never ridden an XM. Well with a CX, that was nice too. The DS is of course a monument of a car.

  15. We have had two and although I am an Alfa male with two Labradors at the time and needed a big car, this was a logical choice. 2.0 CT, both purchased with relatively high mileage. They have proven to be very reliable and super comfortable. Very nice cars with a nice slow engine that you can drive like a diesel.

  16. I drove Bx for years and this was one of my best cars, unfortunately I never drove Xm, I think it's a beautiful car. citroën Dyane

  17. An XM? It's not as bad as a BX at all. And then you can ask yourself whether a BX is that bad. However, there is one insurmountable drawback: they are nowhere near as good as a CX. And don't come close to a DS at all. And I'm not necessarily talking about reliability, but about something more important: CX's, and especially DS's are horny ...

  18. When I see with what average mileage an XM nowadays passes… then reliability is fine.
    Reliability stands and falls with timely and correct maintenance.

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