That the Citroen Saxo VTS has appreciated in value should be a surprise to nobody. Here is a car that, right up until 2003, was channeling the same happy-go-lucky spirit as the 80s’ icons of the genre. Those being the same icons - the Peugeot 205s, Citroen AXs and Renault 5s of this world - that seemingly haven’t been less than £10k for years now. So the same thing has happened with the French pocket rockets as has happened across the used market: those priced out of the classic they want go after the next best thing. And so the next best thing becomes more expensive, too…
Given how predictable this all was, what we should have done is burrowed a VTS away when they were Shed money, waited a few years and returned to a tidy little profit. Only none of us could do that - could we? The Saxo VTS - and, to a slightly lesser extent, the eight-valve VTR - were such good fun that owning one and not driving it would be next to impossible. It would be doing a disservice to one of the standout modern pocket rockets. And, let’s be frank, the Citroen was never one of the best looking hatches around - which is why everyone seemed to want the mechanically identical 106 GTI instead. It isn’t a car to admire stationary.
Moreover, that’s all assuming a VTS could actually be found. With Citroen having built the Saxo like the hot hatches that went before it - i.e. fast, light and pointy - it meant that plenty were smashed up early in their lives. Combine that with the scrappage schemes that arrived when values were probably at their lowest, and their numbers plummeted. There were more than 3,000 on the road in 2010; last year that number was just 190, according to howmanyleft. That’s uniquely the Saxo, too; while there were fewer Lupo GTIs around a decade ago (867) there numbers have remained more constant, with 493 taxed last year.
Bring all of that together and it’s almost a miracle that any Saxos like this are still around. Yet here is a standard VTS from 2000, with fewer than 30,000 miles recorded and just the one owner from new - incredible. As such it looks superb, right down to the jazzy seat fabric and the ‘16v’ badges that would let you know this wasn’t another VTR on the VTS wheels.
But back to the point - this Saxo isn’t as cheap as it would have been not that long ago. The selling dealer is asking £7,795, the VTS ready to rock and roll with a fresh cambelt, new brake discs and tyres. Now, while it would be easy to bemoan the fact that values have gone up, the Saxo still looks pretty good value given the obvious alternatives - this 106 Rallye is more money after another 120,000 miles of use.
With this particular example now 21 years old - and the Saxo having first arrived in 1996 - there’s now an entire generation of drivers for whom this was their hot hatch pin up, one perhaps out of reach because of purchase price or insurance. In 2021 the Saxo might not be much cheaper than it was at the turn of the century, but at least for those now older and wiser it shouldn’t be so much to insure. And one thing is guaranteed: it’s going to be an absolute hoot. Just make sure that 190 doesn’t become 189…
SPECIFICATION | CITROEN SAXO VTS
Engine: 1,587cc, four-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 120@6,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 106@5,200rpm
First registered: 2000
Recorded mileage: 30,000
Price new: c. £12k
Yours for: £7,795
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