1 Aug 1998
By CHRIS HARRIS
TO Citroen traditionalists the Xsara represents the nadir of its design potential – not only was it bland but it was also not very attractive.
The Xsara replaced a model Australians never saw locally, the 1991 ZX, and shared many drivetrain and platform components with the 1994-2001 Peugeot 306 hatchback.
But the cabin quality and presentation – as well as the equipment levels – generally exceeded the 306’s, while maintaining that model’s renowned steering and handling qualities.
Initially two five-door hatchback models represented the Xsara.
The 1.8 comes in two guises – a 74kW/153Nm single-cam 8-valve unit (for the four-speed automatic) or an 84kW/155Nm twin-cam 16-valve motor for the five-speed manual.
A 97kW/184Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine – also with the same gearbox options – was the better-equipped Xsara.
Confusingly a 67kW/136Nm 1.6-litre single-cam 8-valve four-speed automatic model was available throughout 2000 only.