When the XM was launched in 1989, it was the latest in a long and prestigious line of Citroën-badged luxury sedans. It shared its platform and a lot of its engines with Peugeot’s flagship, the 605. It offered passengers a smooth and quiet ride, and its aerodynamic body made it seem like a worthy heir to the DS and the CX.
The XM was equipped with all of the luxury bells and whistles one could want in the late 1980s. It even featured what Citroën called a 13th window, which was designed to shield passengers from the wind if the hatch was open. The general public was immediately wooed by the XM, and the press bestowed upon it the prestigious Car of the Year award in 1990.
There was one big issue with the XM: the electronic components. In an effort to rush the car to the market in order to replace the 15-year-old CX, Citroën had not quite finetuned the car’s electronic system, and early cars were plagued with all kinds of problems. “It was like the apocalypse”, said a former owner we talked to, “you just didn’t know what to expect when you turned the key.”
By the time the XM was phased out in 2001, Citroën had fixed a vast majority of the car’s electronic issues. What it didn’t fix, though, was the bad reputation that it had earned in its early days. This haunted the car through its entire career and translated to dismal sales figures.
What do you think? Will the XM finally get recognition, or will it forever be a forgotten flagship that couldn’t live up to its predecessors?