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The Citroen Saxo VTS is a great little car. Small and compact but with performance and handling you will miss when you move on from them!
I had a Citroen Saxo 1.1i for 2 years, another great little run around, before I upgraded to the Saxo VTS. Although the 1.1i was pokey and responsive for its engine size, the Saxo VTS was a completely different animal compared. I have since had two Saxo VTSs, both from new: a Y reg and a 52 plate. Both VTSs that I owned were reliable, never failing me once.
Fuel consumption on the Saxo VTS is a disadvantage. The 1.6i (120 bhp) engine manages to eat at a rate of 22 miles to the gallon. The Saxo VTS is equipped, like all Saxo's, with a 60 litre fuel tank. For longer journeys, refuelling might become a pain. In my experience, driving on A classification roads, the Saxo VTS would do 400 miles to a tank of fuel. For some reason, I found that Texaco unleaded fuel lasted marginally longer than other brands and so was preferred. Another disadvantage of the Saxo VTS is its insurance, being rated a Group 14! Both these disadvantages are to be expected though on such a powerful compact car!
The Saxo VTS could have been enhanced with a higher quality build quality inside. The door panels were quite flimsy, easily flexing when pressure applied. Other than this though, the inside of the Saxo VTS is easy to clean, spacious for its size (I'm 6'4 and had plenty of room) and it is easy to upgrade the stereo due to Citroen using standard ISO connectors making any radio installation merely a matter of pulling the standard one out, disconnecting and reconnecting and putting in the new. Real simple!
The biggest disadvantage I personally found in my 6 years as a Citroen Saxo owner was the dealerships. Although generally helpful, the dealerships do tend to forget to provide a friendly service post-sale. For example, if there's a minor issue you're your Saxo that you point out during services, two of the dealerships I tried did nothing to solve the issue mentioned. This eventually resulted in my dissatisfaction of their service provided. Of course, this is merely my experience and I'm sure there are useful dealerships around.
Now that the disadvantages have been covered, I will cover some of the advantages. The obvious advantage is the Saxo VTSs acceleration - if redlined on a circuit, the VTS really does fly! Acceleration when in second gear is amazing, allowing a steady acceleration curve to 60 mph. With the Saxo VTS, once you hit 4000 rpm, the world seems a smaller place - purely because the ends of circuits run out much quicker! Of course, heavy acceleration increases wear and tear, forcing the higher fuel consumptions - but with the VTS, it's all worth it when you take the VTS off of the public roads and place it on the circuit!
So we know the Saxo VTS can accelerate, which is great, but breaking is another advantage. The Saxo VTS is equipped with callipers and ABS on all four wheels. In honesty, the breaks that are standard on the VTS soon wear out. Speaking to a local garage, they generalised saying this is common for car manufacturers to install break pads that are overrated for the break discs installed. This gives the illusion of more powerful breaks since the pad heats the disc much quicker, but eventually results in worn break pads and warped discs. The first time you change your break pads on the Saxo VTS might be a good time to inspect the discs for this reason alone. Overall, the Saxo VTS is certainly more than capable of bringing you to an abrupt but safe stop.
Handling is another advantage of the Saxo VTS. Its four low profile Michelin Pilot tyres, that are standard, provide excellent grip. Although the rubber in Michelin tyres are a little soft by some peoples taste, I personally like them since I'd prefer grip to keep me on the road over durability any day. These tyres work brilliantly in the hot, in the cold and in the rain - a brilliant all-rounder! The car really does go round corners like a train on tracks (well ok, maybe not like a British train!).
Looks are another advantage in my opinion. I know this is something that is down to individual taste but the Saxo VTS does have good looks. My first VTS was black and looked amazing but, like all black cars, required lots of cleaning. My second VTS was silver, which looks great but no replacement for the polished finish of my previous black VTS.
Overall, the Saxo VTS is true to form being a really reliable pocket-rocket. The VTS provides fantastic handling, amazing acceleration and breaking to match. The car does consume a fuel and at Group 14, is expensive to insure - the Saxo VTS does provide performance, so this is to be expected! If you're considering a Saxo VTS and appreciate the costs involved, take the opportunity to indulge since you certainly will never be disappointed!