Last Chance To Buy . . . Citroen Saxo

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The Saxo stopped production in 2003, but there are a few hundred left in the country.

When is it going?

It's already gone. The Saxo stopped production in 2003, but there are a few hundred left in the country.

It has been a phenomenally successful model selling over 260,000, and 66,000 of those were the high-performance VTS and VTR.

What's good about it?

On paper the Saxo always looked like Citroen's version of the equally discontinued Peugeot 106 with some minor styling details.

So why buy a Saxo?

Around town it is quiet and well behaved. The controls are light and the power steering allows fast, confident changes of direction.

Once the road opens up the 1.6 engine is enthusiastic and will tug the VTR to 60mph in just over 9 seconds. Top speed is up to 120mph. Thrash it all day long and you'll never get less than 30mpg. Show some restraint and the VTR will stretch to 40mpg.

What's bad about it?

Driver comfort is compromised by the small footwell, a non-adjustable steering wheel and a tightly grouped pedal layout.

Back and front seat passengers can feel very restricted. Headroom is also at a premium.

The smallest engines provide decent enough performance. Go for the 1.1. The 1.6 seems to have a gearbox set up for cruising rather than darting around.

How much?

We got excited about a 2003 VTR at Citroen Retail World, but it was sold. Citroens Direct (0800 328 1873) came to the rescue though with some Saxo 1.1 Desires at £5,995 saving £2,800 on the list price.

Any snags?

Look for accident damage under the bonnet, in the boot and around the floorpan. A check of the under-boot carrier is a must to see if the spare wheel is still in place.

Servicing costs are reasonable at just over £100 every 10,000 miles with big bills arriving at the 40,000 and 80,000 cambelt change mark.

FACT FILE

Launched: 1995

Engines: 1.0, 1.1, 1.4 and 1.6 litre petrol engines and a 1.5 diesel.

Bodystyles: 3 or 5-door hatchback

Performance: VTS will reach 127 mph with 0 to 60mph in 7.7 seconds

Economy: The diesel will return 65mpg on the open road

NCAP safety:

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