By on March 14, 2018

It has six cylinders, it’s front-wheel drive, and it carries cloth seats and an automatic transmission.

No, we’re not talking about your grandmother’s 1995 Buick LeSabre — today we’re discussing the stylish and French five-door liftback known as the Citroën XM.

I can recall the very first time I ever saw a Citroën XM. Sitting at a Parisian café, enjoying an espresso in front of the Zenith, watching Ronin on a VHS tape rented from Blockbuster (look how dated this memory is).

Zooming across my screen in one of the film’s several car chases, the XM looked sleek, fast, and expensive. The car of choice for the bald bad man, the XM took on a protagonist driving an Audi S8. The XM’s V6 and comparatively diminutive size fared well against the beastly V8, Quattro, and general heft of the D2 S8. More on this clip in a moment.

In addition to being a movie star, the XM served the general population of Europe. Introduced for model year 1990, the Bertone-designed XM ran all the way through 2000. The XM competed in Europe’s executive car class against offerings like BMW’s 5 Series and the Mercedes E-Class. Naturally, an estate version was offered alongside the liftback starting in 1991.
Today’s Rare Ride hails from 1994, which was a year of change for the XM. Citroën refreshed the design of cars built in June of 1994 onward, adding revised badging, ground effects, and other trim alterations to the updated styling. Above, one notices Ronin used an original and a facelifted car in that chase. In the beginning, an older XM is shown, with the Citroën chevron logo located on the driver’s side of the grille. Later, when the chase enters the city, the XM is now a newer version, its grille logo centered. (This OCD continuity note brought to you by Corey.)“Too bad,” you’ve said to yourself “the XM was never imported into the United States.” Untrue! A very limited number of XMs were imported by CXA, a company which previously imported the CX25. That fastback was the successor to the DS and predecessor to the XM. The company imported inline-four and V6 XM versions from 1991 through 1997, when new emissions regulation shut down the operation. If you see one on the roads, you’re having a lucky day.Our subject today is interestingly equipped. It features the very largest engine put into any XM — a 3.0-liter V6. I’m sorry to say that it’s the PRV V6 you’ll also find in an Eagle Premier or a DeLorean DMC-12. Parts availability!

Joining the big engine and standard hydropneumatic suspension are excellent looking aero wheel covers. The interior surrounds passengers in tile-patterned grey cloth. There’s plenty of leg and luggage room, as one would expect in a large and comfortable Citroën.This XM, residing in downtown Canada, has just under 37,000 miles on the odometer and can be purchased by locals for $14,900 of their loonies. However, if it’s still on sale next year, an American can drive it right across the border.

[Images via seller]

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31 Comments on “Rare Rides: A 1994 Citroën XM From Right Next Door...”

  • avatar

    Crazy design. The front end doesn’t have a clue as to what the back end is thinking. It’s a hodgepodge. Kinda like that Chrysler Sebring/200 thing from a few years ago.

  • avatar

    Now we know where the styling for the Malibu Maxx came from.

  • avatar

    I thought that all Citroens had single-spoke steering wheels (?).

    • 0 avatar

      In the XMs case, before 1994 only the ones that had Diravi steering had single spoke steering wheels….

      After 1994, I don’t know. I’ve never driven one that new.

  • avatar

    Almost as ugly as the DS.

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    Most Citroen buyers went for the 4 cylinder versions. Apparently they were brilliant cars if they were running properly, but in the UK only a small number of specialists could achieve that. Most Citroen dealers just couldn’t cope with the complexity of this model.

  • avatar
    The ultimate family-friendly hybrid vehicle is finally here.

    There is a large rectangular square panel in the dashboard where the XM radio should be.

  • avatar

    I came thiiis close to buying one in ’98.
    The turbo diesel went for about $100K (NZ dollars) new in those days, five years old, the guy wanted $14k, I test drove it three times.
    I was just about to pull the trigger when the guy made a big thing about he’d throw in a service.
    ” How much is a service ?”
    ” They vary, but about $1500 usually”
    Even so it was a beautiful cruiser and handled well, I was tempted, instead I spent $16 K on a Daihatsu Sirion which got me 200000km of trouble free motoring with $200 services.

  • avatar

    One slight correction – the CX (the XM’s much more elegant predecessor) was not a liftback, despite the shape – it had a fixed rear window and a slightly awkward-to-access luggage compartment.

    Unlike the CX, the XM was conceived under Peugeot control and the eccentriity was thus a bit of a half-hearted, although it did stand out on the road, particularly in dark colours.

  • avatar

    Just 12 years until we can get a first-year C6. Pardon, but le sigh. Maybe a gift for my 41st birthday?

  • avatar

    Say what you want about Citroens, but they have style.

    • 0 avatar

      I do find it strangely attractive.

      It has the “floating roof” that’s so popular with Land Rover. Both front seats have back seat pockets. Temp settings on the dash have the traditional and effective 3 dial layout. And seats are “mouse fur!”

  • avatar

    A former work colleague of mine has (or had) an estate version with the diesel engine option. The last time I talked him (that was maybe two years ago) he informed me that it had an impressive 500,000 km behind it and was still going strong.

    I do not find them attractive. The Peugeot 605 was just as roomy and better styled.

  • avatar

    12 windows?!

    • 0 avatar

      Thirteen, actually. This might blow your mind, but there’s an extra glass panel inside the trunk, to prevent the outside coming in when the tailgate door is opened.

      Some models also have an electrically adjustable front centre armrest.

  • avatar

    Maybe not the most attractive car ever, but man…those seats (both front and back) sure do look comfy!

  • avatar

    I’d buy a black Citroen XM just because of Ronin. That movie had IMO THE BEST car chases of all time. Main thing I liked about it was they used IMO real world cars, stuff people could actually buy. 20 year old Mercedes S-class, check, midrange luxury car, the Citroen XM, check. 6 cylinder early 90’s 5 series, check, yes the Audi was a bit pricey for Joe every man in 1998 though. And the scenery, on location places where they filmed in France, the practical effects, the guns were very big, very loud and scary.

    • 0 avatar

      Have to agree. The movie has De Niro which is a huge plus anytime and car chases aside the action sequences are fast and furious….er…never mind..

      • 0 avatar
        cimarron typeR

        Excepting the fact that RD is the worst fake driver,with the seat fully reclined and his eyes half closed with way too exaggerated arm rotations.Great movie though.iirc it was the last movie of a famous stunt director whose name escapes me also.

  • avatar

    Residing in “downtown Canada,” eh?

  • avatar

    I like it.

  • avatar


    But if I grow tired of waiting for one, I may have to scratch that avant garde itch with a SVX.

  • avatar

    15 K {CDN) with nearly 60 KLMS ? Add 13 percent HST , then dealer prep/admin fees. Maybe 17 K out the door?

    Right..wait a year, bring 9 K USD and a trailer it can be all yours.

  • avatar

    No design house epitomizes the excesses of sharp, blocky 1980s design like Bertone. And this Bertone-designed Citroen has got to be the sharpest, blockiest, most 1980s car this side of a Maserati Biturbo.

    Except, of course, that the Citroen was sold in the ultra-aero-jellybean 1990s, when even full-size Ford pickups had every sharp edge rounded to a wind-caressing feminine curve.

    Citroen has always been for those who march to their own drummer!

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