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Hi everyone,

I have just got the go ahead from SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED to start looking for am XM of my own, hooray.

My sensible head guides me towards a diesel but with all those petrol models out there I am tempted to try one of those, probably a later 2 litre manual. Although I am sometimes tempted by the Dark Side to try a V6!!

Could you give me the benefit of your collective wisdom and experience and let on what sort of fuel economy you are achieving from the different types of engines available? Diesels and petrols please so I can see what I might be letting myself in for.

I am certain that this info would also form a useful resource for the forum.

Many thanks

BIGJOHNH cool.gif

I've only had diesels. One 2.1 estate and one 2.5 saloon followed by two 2.5 estates. Still have the latest 2.5. The previous estate (250k miles) is possibly for sale by present owner (Nottingham or Shrewsbury) and the 2.5 saloon is also now for sale (Strood, Rochester). I can vouch for the tlc lavished when in my care and the present owners seem to be keeping up the good work. 2.1 gave about 35/36 mpg; the 2.5 all gave about 33mpg overall over two or three years records.
I love them, especially the 2.5s.
Hi John,

My bias is clear for all to see. The 2.5td is my personal favourite. I get about 33-34mpg on a long run at 85-90mph. However, if i dawdle around (like I did last eater on holiday in the highlands) at 50-60mph then it shoots up to 47mpg which is superb in my book for a 2.5. (the biggest single factor in this is the condition of the injector nozzles)

Having said that, each model and engine variant has its ups and downs. As usual its all very subjective and therefore there's no hard and fast conclusion.

Hope you find what you're lookiing for.


noz cool.gif
Hi John

At present I alternate between a 2.5 TD estate that I use partly as a van and a 3.0 V6 auto. I tend to fill the tanks full and reset the trip counter. In broad terms the V6 achieves 400 miles where the 2.5 manages 600 miles by the time I refill. Both tanks are the same size.
I bought the V6 to take out the exclusive trim for a 2.5 VSX that is SORN. That was over a year ago as I enjoyed driving it so much that I have not had the heart to take it to bits yet. At various times I have had most types of the smaller engined XM's over the years and thought they were all superb cars until I got my hands on a 2.5 which made me realise what I had been missing. The V6 auto has come as a surprise to me and performs so well that I fancy trying a 24v.

The annual mileage is an important factor in the choice between petrol and diesel. All XM's are well worn now but are available at knock down prices. The diesels particularly 2.5's are hard to find in reasonable condition. Any XM now represents a risk from sudden need for high cost repairs. At todays prices scrap it and get another one just make sure you dont pay over the odds for the car in the first place.


Hi John,

Another 2.5TD driver. I recently took mine over to France and covered 1,800 miles with 4 passengers and luggage. For most of the journey there and back I stuck to the speed limit using cruise control so some 60mph, mostly 70mph and a fair bit of 80mph (130km/h) in France - plus there was the running around whilst we were there. I got 41 mpg overall on that trip. (It was quite scary to see the cumulative reading on the computer plummet when I went up to 80mph on the French motorways.)

I've done 5,500 miles since I got the car at the end of January and my overall mpg (including the above trip) is 38.1.

I hope this helps.

Hi Noz,

the biggest single factor in this is the condition of the injector nozzles

I'd be interested to know at what interval you would consider replacing them (if you would) and what else you do - ie fuel additives to clean them? Thanks.


Hi bigjohnh

I've had 3 XM V6's, all Series 1's... My current S1.5 has been OK but not Perfect.

The old 90deg V6 is a BAD one.. Its awfull for starter problems.. All three of mine have had starter problems.. The only easy way to do the job it to remove the WHOLE front end - except Air Con rad.. Front down pipe has to come off too!!!

Avoid the V6 - Go for the 2.0 Turbo 8v unit... The XU series of engine are much more reliable OR go for a late V6 24 with the New series of 60deg engines and auto adaptive gearbox.

AVOID autos too, the early boxes... thats all up to around 1996 (so has to be a S2 car) are also self destructive, and, mine at least is not smooth.. The old auto box is killing most XM's, so GET A Manual car..

Theres more 2.0 Turbos then any other unit.. Of course a TD is the Real one to get. Either 2.1 or 2.5 They are both THE DOGS WOTS ITS.... :-)

I have run diesels for so many years now I have got used to good mpg and dont think I could go back to petrol. I think too, that the diesels are nicer to drive, if you want to drive in a relaxed manner, all that low down torque means very little gear changing.

The choice depends largely on how many miles you do, as has been mentioned. Although I am retired I am still clocking 20k + a year, so save a lot in fuel by running diesel. My 2.1 td manual estate averages 40-45 with a best of 55 mpg on my Scottish runs, but, I do live in a rural area and dont drive hard or overly fast, you obviously wouldn't get that consumption in an urban area.

I personally favour the 2.1 td manual, but they are getting very hard to find, especially late ones and tend to make more money. I wouldn't have an auto, partly because I dont like their lack of efficiency and also because failure of the box would probably result in the car being written off.

I am heading north at the weekend to look at a low mileage Mk2 2.1 td manual estate, one owner with apparantly FSH, the first one I have seen for sale for the best part of a year, I would hazard a guess that there are less than 100 post 95s left in the country. I will let you know the outcome.

Thanks gents, as I suspected I will probably have to start looking for a diesel. I prefer the looks of a saloon and they will (just) fit on my drive, which keeps the neighbours happy. An estate woudn't fit and would have to be kept in the road.

Looking at the Haynes manual I am discouraged from looking for a 2.5 due to sheer complexity and lack of access, the only problem I can see with the 2.1 is the head gasket. Is it really necessary to take the engine and transmission out to get the head off or has someone come up with a clever dodge that allows you to do it in the car? I am not afraid to take an engine out occasionally but prefer not to, I am sure you all agree with that sentiment.

On the subject of fuel consumption has anyone got an honest opinion of the economy possible with a 2.0 turbo or 16V? Most of my journeys are at a steady 60mph on the motorway as this gives the best balance between boredom and fuel economy.

I have a 2ltr turbo manual and really out of the petrol cars it is the best of both worlds mpg is good and performance great but I cant help but think I really loved my auto. Normaly at 60mph on a motorway I get about 35 - 40 seems to depend on what brand of fuel.
I've got to put my fourpennorth in for the late model V6 with auto box. I've kept meticulous full-to-full checks on fuel consumption over the past three years and mine has averaged 24.5 mpg over this time. This includes a fair mix of town driving and some caravan towing. At the worst end caravanning and town driving gave 19 to 21 mpg whilst long distance running gave a worst figure of 26 and a best of 32.

Whatever lights your own particular fire (chacun a son gout as the French would say) but I love the effortless power delivery of the V6, with an almost level torque output from 2000 to 5500 rpm.

A word of warning, though. If you have to change any exhaust components you have little choice but to go to Citroen and the cost is pretty horrendous.

I can concure completely with Derek's figures. I drive across Aberdeen through typical congested city conditions every day, combined with a couple of 70 mile open dual carageway runs a week and two or three long runs down to the West-Midlands and North Wales a year. The fuel returns are identical. Ten years ago I used to run a Rover SD1 V8 EFI. I was lucky if I could get better than 14 mpg across town and 25 on the long run. The adaptive auto box is the slickest auto I've ever driven. One of its features is a converter lock-up clutch. The torque converters in older autos always have a degree of slip, which wastes energy as heat in to the fluid. The lock-up clutch overcomes this and goes a long way to bring the efficiency of the box closer to a manual box.

Rolande Howey
I have had my Mk2 turbo petrol auto XM for six years and alway zero my speedo and I get 450 miles to the tank which I roughly worked that out to 30mpg. Previusly I had a mk 1 petrol with fuel injection and got the same results. But the perfumance on the turbo is very good even at low revs. Like Bigjon I have been the go ahead to buy the latest model I can buy so I'm current looking for a turbo diesel with auto, as I drove one recently and it has plenty of pull for normal driving but the fuel saveing that people have quote 700-900 on a tank seem impressive. But I do like the overtaking accelaeation that the turbo petrol gives you. But having read the fuel consumption figures that some people are getting on their V6's I'm tempted to go for the ulterment XM experence.


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