The Citroen Xantia Is a Weird French 1990s Midsize Sedan

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS CITROEN XANTIA ON CARS & BIDS!

This is the Citroen Xantia, the weirdest French 90s midsize sedan. Today I'm examining this Citroen Xantia, and I'll show you all the numerous peculiarities and functions. I'm likewise going to get behind the wheel of the Citroen Xantia and reveal you what it's like to .

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DOUGSCORE CHART:

CHAPTERS:
00:00 THIS …
00:29 It Can Be Yours on CARS & BIDS!!!
01:06 Introduction
02:22 Even Beginning It Is Quirky
03:33 Hydroneumatic Suspension
05:31 Active Anti-Roll Bar System
06:12 Unusual "Activa" Design
06:30 More Quirks & Characteristics
08:08 Strange Caution Chime
08:31 Much more Quirks & Characteristics
09:43 Back Seats
10:58 Powertrain
12:26 Style Aspects
13:00 Hatchback
14:17 Sunshade
14:52 The Name "Xantia".
15:33 Driving Experience.
16:11 Hate to Admit …
17:02 Convenience.
17:27 Anti-Roll Bar Suspension Works!
18:10 Manual Transmission.
18:19 Better Than I Idea.
19:58 Last Ideas.
20:23 DougScore.

#dougdemuro #cars #citreon #xantia.

The Citroen Xantia Is a Weird French 1990s Midsize Sedan

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About the Author: RareCars

49 Comments

  1. A fun fact about the xantia is the handbrake situation it’s on the front brake rotors instead of back ones

    1. Aye, made changing pads a more complicated job than it needed to be, but once you had done it a couple of times it wasn’t to bad 👍🇮🇲😜

    2. Yes, I had a Citroen BX with handbrake cables to the front. I remember changing them myself and it was very straightforward.

  2. This was my father’s car when he suddenly died in 1999. I had to drive it a few kilometers to their house, two days after he died. “Probably 1234”, mom said, when I asked for my dad’s Xantia code, and she was right. When I sat down in the 100000 kilometer car, the driver’s seat, shaped by my father’s back, perfectly fit my own back. I parked the Xantia in the parking spot in front of their garage. It is 2023 now; no car has ever been parked there since; and I am now older than he ever was.

  3. As I remember, Xantia Activa still holds the speed record on the so-called “Moose-Test”. It runs test faster than modern days sportcars. That suspension is an engineering masterpiece

    1. The moose test was made more difficult at some point so the Xantia Activa’s results aren’t directly comparable.

      But that’s not to take away from just how wildly dominant this Citroën’s results were for the 90s.

    2. @_HOON_ Actually, the only thing they changed was the the speed limit for pass or fail the test (from 70 km/h to 72 km/h). I’ve been reading that magazine for ages and the Xantia still holds the record. That doesn’t mean that it’s the best and/or most fun handling car in the world, but it’s nevertheless very impressive.

    3. There are 2 versions of the moose test.
      The Xantia Activa performs less well in the version used by km77, for example. But that’s mainly because the vehicles tested were a bit worn, new very stiff original tires weren’t available, and it doesn’t have ESP. Handling is always excellent, of course. Especially if the Activa system is very well maintained and fitted with good UHP or UUHP tires.

    4. yes, holds the record above super or hyper cars, the ride quality is amazing, they call it the flying carpet, did the test with 85 kmh, the second was some porsche 911 with 83.

    5. In the swedish Moose Test ( the one the Mercedes in the previous Doug’s video failed miserably ) the Activa is the benchmark and has beaten every Porsche, Mc Laren, Tesla, Mercedes, Lotus you name it. In fact the active suspension was comparable with the 90’s F1 cars

  4. Never stop making these videos Doug. I will ALWAYS watch a video of yours about weird, quirky, older cars.

    1. Agree 💯 way better than the Corolla Cross Hybrid. I’m from the Range Rover warranty and Nisan Snail thing days.

  5. BTW, since the hydraulic pump is powered by the engine, if you slightly press the gas the car goes up/down significantly faster. Another fun fact about the hydraulics is that the same pump provides pressure not only for the suspension, but also the power steering and the brakes. The activa model, as far as I remember, didn’t have antiroll bars at all. The roll was entirely handled by the hydro-pneumatic system. I’ve seen the whole system disassembled down to the last piece and still don’t fully understand how this self-leveling actually works 🙂

  6. Wow, first car Doug reviews that I actually drove myself. It was my first company car and it was the old boss car, now relegated to pool car for new starters. Had over 300k on the odometer and ran flawlessly, great car to drive.

  7. Definitely wasn’t popular just in France. It was very common in rest of Europe as well. I see them basically every day even now, not as many as back then of course but I always notice. I’ve always found 90’s Citroens quite cool. Never wanted one but they were cool.

  8. Owned two BXs…essentially the same suspension but without the active ‘Activa’ element. Bear in mind that the high and low settings were essentially for maintenance, not for actual running, although the high setting could be used briefly at very slow speeds – eg. I used it to cross moderate floodwater. The main benefit of the hydro-pneumatic system is the self-levelling regardless of load, brake bias adjustment and power braking, plus the incredibly comfortable ride… I personally prefer the BX saloon styling by Bertone with Marcello Gandini’s angular lines a la his Lamborghini Countach…

    1. I use the high setting when I have old people getting in or out of the car. Also in some cases it is helpful for loading or unloading.

  9. I am so happy that many of my favourite cars from the 90’s, from when I was a little boy, are now turning 25+ years old and now can be imported to the US! Many Doug’s reviews are coming up I am sure of it!

  10. I drove this car from Massachusetts to California last year to deliver it to the owner, my son. I call her Giselle, and she’s a darling, graceful goer, so comfortable that my legs didn’t cramp up at all at the 500-600 mile-a-day pace. Everything that needed to be repaired has been repaired and the suspension parts should be just fine for five years.

  11. THIS is the reason I watch your channel, keep your hypercars and new cars, give me the quirky mad ones we used to think were totally normal (like this as I’m from the UK, there were hundreds of thousands of them here, Citroen is very popular), Dont stop making these videos, they keep people like me very happy! Plenty of weird Brit cars you could do, Austin Allegro, the Maestro with the talking audio system, so many!

  12. It’s always amusing to see Doug reviewing these cars which are so common in Europe but so strange to the US folks 😁😁 There were so many Xantia’s here in Croatia too

    1. Not eveywhere in Europe. It’s a uncommon car here in Norway too. I can’t remember the last time I saw one and there are only three for sale nationa wide.

    2. Here in Greece they do still exist, same goes for the Xsara too! A rare sight is the older Xantia looking 5 door liftback Citroen that mostly sold in white colour

    3. @Fredrik it has become uncommon.
      In the 90s, before corrosion made its way through sills, Xantia’s were popular over there just like other hydraulic Citroën’s.

      Actually Norway was a major market for Citroën : your country bought 10% of XM estates produced, as Varebiler cars, which is enormous.

    4. We had a lot of those here in Israel too and even more Xaras 😂 It’s amazing to see him get so worked up over things that are so normal here

  13. My dad had one of those and he refused to give up on it because it had very comfortable ride.

    Sadly, some parts broke down and he couldn’t find any spares anymore and he had to scrap it.

    Some things that Doug didn’t mentioned:
    1: You’re not supposed to drive on the top up and top down positions of the suspension – these are maintenance modes only, although we ran through a flood on the top position once – we didn’t broke anything but it was so stiff that we were bouncing on the seats. If you pause on the part with the lever, you can see two horizontal lines in the middle – these two positions are for normal use.
    2: Because of the suspension, it is supposedly possible to drive with three wheels only.
    3: The brakes were also connected to the pneumatic suspension, so if something happens with the hydraulic pump, you loose your suspension and your breaks.
    4: The green balls/spheres on both sides near the firewall are part of the suspension and they have to be refilled with gas from time to time or fully replaced if you’re out of luck (there’s a membrane in the middle that separates the gas from the hydraulic fluid – if this gets broken, you have to replace the sphere).
    5: There’s a funny way to diagnose if you have to gas up the spheres – if you push down the car on its corners and it’s super stiff, you need to go to the mechanic. If everything is fine, the car should bounce around 1,5 times.

  14. The Xantia has also quite a fanbase in Brazil.. it and the ZX were the first Citroëns massively imported to the country after restrictions were lifted. They didn’t came in huge numbers but made quite the (bad) impact for Citroën’s image to this day 😅

  15. Xantia was popular not only in France, but in all western Europe countries. I was 5 years old when it came out and it was so advanced compared to the competition back in 1992. Whenever I saw it I couldn’t help myself not to look at it, especially when the car was parked and it automatically dropped to the ground. My parents then bought it in 1998 and it was still the most advanced car in this class. A car to remember.

    1. I remember seeing them in Paris in 1999…I loved the old style Citroens….they had character

  16. I always amazed Xantia’s calm and minimalist design with all the complicated engineering features. We used to have XM Turbo and Xsara Diesel and they are strange as they are attractive 😉

  17. The name Xantia wasn’t only chosen because of the Greek meaning, but also (mainly?) because it started with an X. For a while, most Citroëns had names starting with an X or at least having an X somewhere in the name: Saxo, Xantia, Xsara. Earlier, all Citroëns had two letter names, one of which had to be an X: AX, BX, CX, XM. Today, it’s all about the Cs: C3, C4, C5, …

  18. Thanks for the fun review Doug.
    I owned a 2 litre turbo Xantia Activa and it was our family car with three boys regularly in the back seat. They adored the car & said it felt like a roller coaster around mountain roads due to the lack of body roll. We kept it for 10 years and had zero major mechanical issues which surprised me. Citroen must have truly worked hard on this model as it never developed rattles and was super reliable. Even now I miss the combination of family car practicality + comfort + good performance + amazing handling.

  19. Always love these reviews of cars I was used to see in my dad’s humble garage. Thanks for bringing value to things we thought as “normal”.

    By the way, Doug, you forgot to say that this very specific car holds the absolute speed record on the moose test –and as tendency in the automotive industry goes, it’ll probably hold it for life.

  20. My grandpa had one of these when I was a kid, he would always show me the raising suspensions and I was amazed every time and he was so proud lol. Thanks Doug for giving some weird old cars some showtime.
    We all think Citroën is a weird brand today still, they never stopped and probably never will 😂

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