Citroën XM: The Iconic Blend of Comfort and Innovation

Citroën XM

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Dive into the world of the Citroën XM, a car that not only defined an era but also showcased the pinnacle of automotive innovation and comfort. Launched in the late eighties, the XM demonstrated Citroën’s bold approach to design and technology. It’s more than just a vehicle; it’s a piece of motoring history that continues to fascinate car enthusiasts and casual drivers alike. In this comprehensive look at the Citroën XM, we explore what made it a remarkable and memorable addition to the automotive world.



Citroën XM

The Citroën XM, introduced in 1989, was a flagship luxury sedan that combined futuristic design with revolutionary technology. It was designed to be the successor to the renowned CX model, offering a blend of high-end comfort and innovative features. The XM stood out in the automotive market for its unique styling and advanced hydraulic suspension system, providing an exceptionally smooth ride. Available in both sedan and wagon formats, it catered to a diverse range of drivers seeking luxury and practicality. Equipped with a variety of petrol and diesel engines, the XM was praised for its performance and efficiency. Its spacious interior, coupled with a well-appointed cabin, made it a popular choice for those looking for luxury, comfort, and innovative engineering in their driving experience. The XM’s legacy is marked by its contribution to Citroën’s reputation for producing distinctive and technologically advanced vehicles.



Citroën XM

The Citroën XM’s journey began in the late 1980s, emerging as a visionary project to replace the aging Citroën CX. It was a period marked by technological advancement and a shift in automotive design philosophies. Citroën embarked on creating a vehicle that would embody the future of luxury motoring. Launched in 1989, the XM was the result of this ambitious endeavor.

The development of the XM was heavily influenced by the need for a car that combined luxury with advanced technology. Citroën invested significantly in research and development, resulting in the XM’s hallmark feature – the Hydractive suspension system. This system was a groundbreaking achievement, offering unparalleled ride comfort and handling. The XM also introduced a more aerodynamic design language, setting a new standard for Citroën’s vehicle lineup.

Throughout its production run, which lasted until 2000, the XM underwent several facelifts and upgrades, constantly evolving with the changing times. Despite facing stiff competition in the luxury car segment, the XM carved out a niche for itself, celebrated for its unique blend of French design and engineering excellence. Its legacy continues to influence Citroën’s design and technological pursuits, marking it as a significant chapter in its history.



Citroën XM

The Citroën XM was offered in various variants, each tailored to different user preferences and needs. The main variants included:


XM Base/Standard Model:

This was the entry-level variant, offering the core XM experience with essential features.

  • Engine Options: Initially 2.0L inline-4 petrol, later included a 2.1L diesel.
  • Standard Suspension: Hydractive hydraulic suspension system.
  • Basic Comfort Features: Standard interior amenities for a comfortable ride.


XM Break (Estate/Wagon):

Catered to families and those needing extra space.

  • Enhanced Cargo Space: Significantly larger boot space than the sedan.
  • Engine Options: Similar to the sedan, including both petrol and diesel engines.
  • Suspension: Maintained the Hydractive system for comfortable long journeys.


XM Exclusive:

The high-end luxury variant.

  • Advanced Features: Included leather upholstery, higher-quality trim, and additional technological features.
  • Engine Options: Included more powerful versions like the V6 petrol.
  • Enhanced Hydractive Suspension: Offered an even smoother ride with advanced settings.


XM V6:

Aimed at performance-oriented drivers.

  • Engine: 3.0L V6 petrol engine, offering superior performance.
  • Sporty Interior: More driver-focused cabin with sportier accents.
  • Suspension and Handling: Tuned for a more dynamic driving experience.

Each variant of the Citroën XM was designed to offer a different aspect of the model’s versatility, from practicality and comfort to luxury and performance, making the XM a great choice for a wide range of buyers.



Citroën XM

The exterior of the Citroën XM is a testament to Citroën’s flair for distinctive and forward-thinking design. The car’s silhouette was ahead of its time, featuring a sleek, aerodynamic profile that not only enhanced its visual appeal but also improved its efficiency. The XM’s front end was characterized by its sharp, angular lines and distinctive headlight design, which gave it a commanding presence on the road. The side profile was elongated, with a gently sloping roofline that flowed seamlessly into the rear, emphasizing its executive sedan stature.

Unique design elements like the concave rear window and the subtle use of chrome accents added to its elegance and distinctiveness. The build quality was solid, reflecting Citroën’s attention to detail. This design language not only set the XM apart in its era but also left a lasting impression, making it recognizable even today. The Citroën XM’s exterior design successfully combined functionality with an avant-garde aesthetic.



Citroën XM

The interior of the Citroën XM is a haven of comfort and sophistication, echoing the car’s exterior innovation. It features a spacious and well-appointed cabin, designed with both driver and passenger comfort in mind. The dashboard layout is ergonomic and user-friendly, featuring a mix of tactile buttons and dials that are intuitively placed for easy accessibility.

Higher-end models boast luxurious touches such as leather upholstery, wood trim, and advanced climate control, enhancing the premium feel. The seats are notably comfortable, offering ample support, especially on longer journeys. The XM’s interior is not just about luxury, but also practicality, with generous legroom for passengers and a sizable boot in both the sedan and estate variants. This combination of luxury, space, and practical design elements makes the Citroën XM’s interior a pleasing environment for both driving and traveling.



Citroën XM

The Citroën XM was offered with a range of engine options, catering to various driving preferences and performance needs. The engine lineup included:

  • 2.0-Litre Inline-4 Petrol: A standard option that provided a balance of efficiency and performance, suitable for everyday driving.
    • Power Output: Approximately 120-130 horsepower.
    • Fuel Economy: Balanced for regular use.

  • 2.1-Litre Diesel: Known for its fuel efficiency and reliability, ideal for long-distance driving and higher mileage users.
    • Torque Rich: Offering better low-end torque, suitable for heavier loads.
    • Fuel Efficient: Economical choice for cost-conscious drivers.

  • 3.0-Litre V6 Petrol: The top-of-the-line option, delivering higher performance and a more dynamic driving experience.
    • Power Output: Upwards of 190 horsepower.
    • Performance-Oriented: For those seeking a more spirited drive.

These engines were coupled with manual or automatic transmission options, providing smooth power delivery and a driving experience tailored to the driver’s preference. The XM’s engines were not just about raw performance; they were designed to complement the car’s luxury and comfort, ensuring a refined and pleasant driving experience.


Driving Experience

Citroën XM

The driving experience of the Citroën XM is a remarkable journey that balances comfort, performance, and innovative engineering. It encapsulates the essence of what makes Citroën unique in the automotive world.

General Feel: The XM offers a serene driving environment, largely due to its advanced hydraulic suspension system. This system, known as Hydractive, automatically adjusts the car’s suspension settings based on driving conditions, delivering an exceptionally smooth ride. Whether cruising on a highway or navigating city streets, the XM provides a level of comfort that isolates you from road imperfections and creates a sense of floating over surfaces.

Acceleration and Power Delivery: The range of engines in the XM, from the reliable 2.0-litre petrol to the robust 3.0-litre V6, offers varied performance characteristics. The acceleration is smooth and progressive, with the V6 engine providing a more spirited response. The power delivery is linear and refined, ensuring that the XM can handle both leisurely drives and more demanding situations with ease.

Steering Response and Feedback: The steering in the XM is precise and offers good feedback, allowing the driver to feel connected to the road without being overly demanding. It strikes a balance between being light enough for easy maneuverability in urban settings and providing sufficient weight for stability at higher speeds.

Braking: The braking system in the XM is robust, providing reassuring stopping power. The pedal feel is consistent, offering a good level of control that complements the car’s overall handling characteristics.

Ride Quality on Different Terrains: One of the most remarkable aspects of the XM is its adaptability to various road conditions. The Hydractive suspension system excellently manages to smooth out bumps and road irregularities, making it an ideal vehicle for long journeys. On highways, the XM feels stable and composed, effortlessly cruising at higher speeds. On rural or rougher roads, the suspension absorbs shocks, maintaining a high level of ride comfort.

Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) Levels: Citroën has put considerable effort into ensuring that the XM’s cabin is a quiet and peaceful space. The car’s excellent NVH levels mean that engine, wind, and road noise are all well suppressed, contributing to the serene atmosphere inside the vehicle.

Ergonomics and Driver Comfort: The driver’s area in the XM is thoughtfully designed, with all controls within easy reach and clearly marked. The seating position is adjustable, allowing drivers of varying heights and preferences to find their optimal comfort spot. The visibility from the driver’s seat is good, adding to the confidence while driving.


Driver Aids and Safety Features

Citroën XM

Safety and convenience were key considerations in the design of the Citroën XM. Though it hails from an era before the prevalence of advanced electronic driver aids, the XM was equipped with several features to ensure a safe and comfortable drive. These include:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System): Enhancing safety during emergency braking situations by preventing wheel lockup.
  • Power Steering: Aiding in easier maneuverability, especially at lower speeds or during parking.
  • Airbags: Offering added protection for the driver (and in some models, the passengers) in the event of a collision.
  • Seat Belt Pretensioners: Reducing the risk of injury by tightening the seat belts in the event of a crash.

These features, combined with the XM’s sturdy construction and its advanced suspension system, contributed to a safe driving experience. While the XM may not have the modern driver aids of today’s vehicles, it was well-equipped for its time.


Should You Buy a Citroën XM?

Citroën XM

Deciding to purchase a Citroën XM today largely depends on what you seek in a vehicle. If you are an enthusiast of classic cars or have a penchant for unique, innovative engineering, the XM is a compelling choice. Its advanced hydraulic suspension offers a driving experience that is still remarkable by today’s standards, providing unparalleled ride comfort. The XM’s distinctive design and luxurious interior also make it stand out as a symbol of automotive history and French engineering prowess.

However, potential buyers should be mindful of the age-related challenges that come with owning a classic car. Parts availability, maintenance costs, and the complexities of the hydraulic system require consideration. For those who appreciate its historical significance and are willing to embrace the responsibilities of classic car ownership, the Citroën XM can be a rewarding and unique addition to your collection.



Citroën XM

The Citroën XM stands as a testament to a bold era in automotive history, where innovation and distinctive design were paramount. From its pioneering hydraulic suspension system to its aerodynamic and futuristic design, the XM broke new ground in the automotive world. While it may not cater to the practical needs of modern car buyers, its appeal lies in its uniqueness and the joy it brings to classic car enthusiasts and collectors. Owning an XM is not just about driving; it’s about preserving a piece of automotive heritage. As a classic car, it offers an experience that goes beyond mere transportation – it’s a journey back in time, a reminder of an era when cars were about innovation and character.


Pros of the Citroën XM

Cons of the Citroën XM


The Citroën XM features a Hydractive suspension system, a sophisticated hydraulic setup that automatically adjusts the suspension’s firmness based on driving conditions. This technology provides an exceptionally smooth ride and excellent handling characteristics, distinguishing it from typical suspension systems.

As with any classic car, the XM’s reliability depends on its maintenance history and current condition. While it’s known for its robust engine and durable build, the complexity of its hydraulic system can pose maintenance challenges. Regular, specialized care is essential for keeping the XM in good running condition.

The XM delivers a comfortable and smooth driving experience, largely attributed to its advanced suspension system. It handles well for its size, offering a good balance between comfort and driving dynamics. The engine options, particularly the V6, provide adequate power for both city driving and highway cruising.

Written by: Motorcardata

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