Product Type: CitroŽn cars
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NaÔve little me
CitroŽn Saxo 1.1i Forte 3-door
Member Name: teagirl
CitroŽn Saxo 1.1i Forte 3-door
Date: 07/08/02, updated on 07/08/02 (5401 review reads)
Advantages: Economical, Long manufacturer's warranty
Disadvantages: Spare wheel theft!
I'd never had a car of my own till September last year, but then I made the fatal mistake of hiring a car and discovering the wonderful benefits they bring. Not being rained on at bus stops being my favourite, I just had to get me a car! Convinced that all second-hand car dealers were out to con me, and scared by the '1 in 3 used cars has something to hide' adverts, I had to buy new!
One of my friends suggested the saxo, and as it was in my price range, I bought one! Now, I realise that may sound a bit naÔve, but having only driven a handful of small cars and never having loved the prospect of driving, I didn't have a clue and so it seemed as good a car as any to start with. I wanted transport...it wasn't until a few months down the line that I fell in love with cars.
Down to business then:
I opted for the Saxo Forte 1.1i, (1124cc) as it cost 'only' around £6000 (after a £700 cashback offer) and had a cd player. I recall being very nervous taking it for a test-drive as all I wanted to do was get it back to the garage without crashing it. I paid little attention to any of the important things like gears, steering, etc. I remember asking the salesman if it had speakers in the back. Being a girl who likes her music, that was an important question! I also remember that he laughed at me for only asking about a part of the car which in reality probably cost very little and probably didn't really matter. BTW, yes, there are speakers in the back (and the front)!
I was very surprised when it came to doing the paperwork, that the price I'd been quoted wasn't the price I paid in the end. You see, if you want any other colour apart from white, it's going to cost you. Metallic paint (at the time, a choice of quartz, Poseidon blue or topaz) cost an additional £250, whilst the other colours (black or red) set you back £200. Road fund licence was also extra, as was my 'delivery pack,'
which I assume was for the licence plates, etc, but it may as well have been for the evil coffee they stock in their machines at my local dealership, as I never found out.
Citroen reckon you'll be interested in the following:
*Front seatbelt pre-tensioners with force limiters. (This effectively means that in a crash, explosives in your seatbelts will cause your seatbelts to tighten more efficiently. The manual states not to be alarmed at the sound of the explosions. I was extra careful not to crash in case my car blew up ;-).)
*Full folding rear seat
*Tinted glass. (Apparently)
*Front and rear anti-roll bars and energy absorbing side impact protection.
*Colour coded seat belts.
*High level third brake light.
However, the main additional features are:
*Built in immobiliser (no separate key required)
*CD player and tuner
*Sunroof (slide and tilt)
To be honest, the dashboard is a very dull-looking dark grey plastic and all of the controls are basic, though functional. There is nothing complex to learn. The upholstery is plain (thank goodness,) but you seem to get different coloured seatbelts, and doorknobs and gearsticks depending on what paint colour you choose. For example, Poseidon blue has the joy of yellow blobs on the end of the door locks and a yellow gearstick. Black comes with red seatbelts, and a silver gearstick. So, check what you're getting if you don't like certain colours!
Saxos are small, and are basically the same as Peugeot 106s. If you don't like small cars, you won't like the saxo. You'll particularly dislike the fact that the pedals are very close together, again as they are on the 106. Women with small feet will feel at home I guess. However, for the rest of us, it takes very little time to get used to the pedal arrangement, despite feeling a little weird at first. Boot space and passenge
r space isn't generous, but generally sufficient if this is your runaround car rather than your family car.
This car handles pretty well, but being a light car, I noticed it could get thrown about a bit on the motorway if it was windy! My saxo always coped well with motorway driving. As well as being comfortable enough, it happily sailed along with the rest of the speeding British public at 90mph. Around town, it was a comfortable drive, but at 60bhp, you won't win any traffic light races.
The brakes on the saxo compare well with other small-engined cars (fiesta, micra, corsa) that I have driven. However, there is no ABS and these brakes are pretty much what you would expect on a small, low spec car. There is no power steering, and it's tiring parallel parking in this car, but generally you don't need power steering on such a light car.
I would say that this saxo is good value for money and an excellent first car. It's an all-rounder if you want to travel long distances or around town, and it is very economical (Citroen say that with combined urban and extra urban use it should give 46.3 mpg.) My saxo had a 3-year (or 60,000 miles) Citroen warranty including a paintwork warranty. I did notice that the paintwork was poor, and especially being non-metallic had a lot of surface scratches after only a few months. I used the manufacturers' warranty to have squeaky brakes repaired and when my rear windscreen washer leaked into my high-level brake light, causing water to leak on to the parcel shelf! The saxo forte is in insurance group 4.
The only really annoying thing that happened while I owned this car was that some nasty person stole my spare wheel. Watch out all of you who have spare wheels housed under your car, instead of being accessible from the boot. Apparently these are regularly stolen and sold on! For a new Citroen wheel, tyre and jack (the jack was originally inside the spare) set me back a
lmost £100 from the dealership. I couldn't get one from anywhere else, due to the huge demand for spares following the thefts.
At the end of the day, despite buying this car only on the strength of its price and ability to play music behind the driver's seat, I was pleasantly surprised at what it had to offer. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone with limited car knowledge, but wanting something reliable and reasonably priced.
Finally, for those of you awake enough to notice, I only bought my saxo in September 2001, and would recommend it, but no longer own it? I'm not hypocritical, I just fell in love with driving and cars and power, and the idea of modifying after I'd had my saxo for a few months. I couldn't bring myself to do an engine transplant in my saxo, and so it (sadly) had to go. A short but sweet relationship, but a highly recommended car.