With everybody being urged to eat healthily to kerb an obesity crisis, cars are currently selling markedly better than hotcakes in the UK. With credit being so readily available the dealership order-books are bulging and suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand. This is great news for the economy.
It’s great news for the used car market, too, as a lot of recent cars head for early trade-in, and a stock oversupply leads to some good deals, so people are now driving around in cars which are a lot newer than they previously expected to be able to afford. A lot of these folk aren’t desperate for new wheels, there’s nothing wrong with their existing conveyance, it might just be a little old hat.
We’re now in a situation where there are an awful lot of elderly but usable cars out there which have been rendered homeless thanks to attainability of newer, more fashionable stuff. I thought I’d begin an occasional series looking at just what there is out there at the very bottom end of the market. Setting the upper limit at £200, this was the pick of today’s crop.
My first feature car is, I think, a bit of a corker. The vendor’s description is as follows:
“Very reliable, starts first time every time. Excellent first car or station car., 4 owners, Next MOT due 11/05/2016, No service history, Electric windows, Height adjustable driver’s seat, Height adjustable passenger seat, Folding rear seats, Spare wheel (Full), Central locking, Immobiliser, Driver’s airbags, Passenger airbags. 5 seats, SILVER, £200 “
Ok, let’s approach the negatives first. There is no service history. This either means it has been lost or that it has never been properly maintained. Realistically, it’s most likely a blend of the two. Of those four owners the first couple may have been reasonably doting, and then it’s fallen into more apathetic hands later on.
But whichever way you look at it, it’s a running car with an MOT valid until the second week of May. After then it either fails or passes its road-worthiness inspection, and you either fix it or bin it.
It’s also a Citroen Xantia. These were roundly showered with plaudits on their launch and are still generally seen in a positive light (by those who still care) even now. The hydro-pneumatic suspension system, though complex, isn’t necessarily a ticking time-bomb, the engines are relatively simple (this one is the lowly 1.8 litre gas unit) and they’re not as prone to sudden and unexpected electrical apocalypse like certain more recent French cars I could mention.
Finally, in case you don’t see it as value enough already, just look at it. The Xantia was certainly the most crisply styled of the middleweight family cars of the ’90s, a Mondeo or Vectra of the same age looks blobby and unimaginative by comparison. Think of the Xantia as a more compact, less fragile XM and you wouldn’t be far wrong.
So, is this homeless French Fancy worthy of your £200 ($287.82 right this second)
(All images taken from original Autotrader.co.uk post found here. If you buy this car, please get in touch and let us know how it works out)