The Xantia scored two stars, mainly as a result of the poor protection offered to the driver's head and chest in the side impact, and passenger compartment structural instability in the frontal impact. The two-star rating also resulted from the poor protection offered to the driver's chest, knees, thighs and pelvis in the frontal test. In this test, only the lower legs had good protection. There was excessive intrusion of the footwell, and stiff structures designed into the lower facia increased the risk of injury to the driver's knees, thighs and pelvis. In the side-impact test, the driver's head struck the pillar between the front and rear doors, and protection for this body region and for the chest was rated as poor. The Citroen Xantia has a standard-fit airbag that provided adequate head protection during the frontal impact.
In this test, the Xantia suffered excessive movement of the screen pillar. The impact also severely damaged the driver's door and separated the beam supporting the facia from the car's side. After the crash, the Citroen's driver's door could be opened only by using tools, though the car's passenger's door opened normally. The steering wheel moved rearwards by 145mm (5.7in) and upwards by 111mm (4.4in), the brake pedal was pushed back by 208mm (8.2in), indicating excessive intrusion into the driver's footwell.
Although dummy head results were good, the movement of the steering wheel would have created a greater hazard for different-sized drivers, so the results were down-graded. The airbag worked well in cushioning the driver's head, but neck protection was not so good. The restraint system kept the driver's chest away from the steering wheel. The driver's left knee hit the cladding above the column adjustment lever. However, if the knee had struck in a slightly different position horizontally it might have hit the steering adjuster bracket, resulting in serious injury. The driver's right knee struck the fuse box, which was supported on a structure behind it. Again, if the knee had been in a slightly different horizontal position it would have struck the column mounting bracket and, if slightly higher, could have hit the steering lock and column adjuster mechanism. However, if this knee had penetrated slightly farther, it could have hit either the column mounting bracket, fuse box mounting plate or column support tube. More localised knee injury could have been caused by the column mounting bolts, the column adjuster mechanism or the fuse box plate. For these reasons, the readings given by the dummy were down-rated. Protection for both feet and ankles was rated as poor because of the excessive amount of intrusion into the footwell.
Protection was generally good, except for forces acting on the chest (from the seat belt) and for the right lower leg. The results obtained from the passenger dummy were not modified on the basis of any structural damage sustained by the car.
The Xantia would have failed the side-impact legislation due to take force from 1998. The dummy's head struck the pillar between the front and rear doors, and there was a risk of life-threatening injury to its chest, although its abdominal and pelvic regions fared better.
There are slight mis-matches between the child and adult seats, but these are not thought sufficient to jeopardise safety.
Child head impact
Three of the six locations met proposed legislation. One was above the bonnet stay, one above the throttle cable housing and the last was on a bonnet crease. Two points were better than average but one point, situated above the corner of the battery, was worse.
Upper leg impact
None of the three tests met proposed legislation. On the bonnet's leading edge, all three locations were worse than average at the centre-line of the car, the inboard edge of one of the headlights and in line with the headlight centre.
Adult head impact
One location met proposed legislation: on the washer nozzle. The point above the brake fluid reservoir came close to requirements. Four points were better than average, one worse: above the bonnet hinge.
None of the three tests met the proposed requirements. The tests were worse than average at all three locations.