CX 25 GTi vs D Special - Opinions Sought
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Thread: CX 25 GTi vs D Special - Opinions Sought

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! CXVingtCinq's Avatar
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    Default CX 25 GTi vs D Special - Opinions Sought

    So.. having been "sans Citroen" for nearly a year now after sale of 'Cybil' ('84 CX 25ie auto), and since satisfactorily recovered financially, I am looking at something to meet my addiction. I am torn between the siren call of a 1974 D Special and the thrill of a 1987 CX 25 GTi Turbo. The D is significantly dearer and thus harder to justify but does look a picture and has been well cared for by the look of things. The CX probably has all the extra power lacking in my Cybil, (which was still a beautiful car) but I'm still not totally won over by the series 2 shape. It also seems in good nick but I have yet to view either vehicle personally. I believe it would be a Turbo 2 if that makes any difference.

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    DS prices are shooting skywards by the look of things and are starting to get out of reach of the average man. So if I don't go this way now it will be my last chance I reckon. On the other hand, the CX has long been a neglected step-sister type of thing in my opinion but surely will find favour one day and is such a joy to drive with the DIRAVI steering and a few more modern touches even if the Air Con is far from perfect. I must say here that I am buying for enjoyment and not investment, but obviously this is a consideration when spending $10K, $20K or $30K on a vehicle.

    I live in Nth West NSW and specialist mechanical assistance is a bit of an issue as well as the tyranny of distance. I have previously used Mark Brackstone in Toowoomba and have found him great but he is 440 klms away. How does a '74 D Special handle highway cruising at 100/110 kph for a couple of hours.? Is that pushing it too hard.? No Air Con in the D is a draw-back as it seems to be forever over 35 degrees out this way and 'she who must be obeyed' does not like hot cars. installation of AC could be an option of course but at significant cost I fear. The CX apparently has rear/dual AC and should eat up the cruising better than some new cars going on my experience in the 25ie. Does the Turbo require any additional care or caution when purchasing.? The 2500cc engine was pretty bullet-proof from my experience, but the turbo would add some additional stress maybe.?

    So I have it as practicality and ease of use - CX Turbo. Desirability and 'classic' appeal - D Special.
    Value for money now - CX. Value for money later - D Special.

    Any input from the collective intelligence and vast pool of experience much appreciated.
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    Cheers, Peter J
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    Previous - 1984 CX 25 IE : 1976 16TS : 1979 12 Virage

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    They are very different cars. Even a 25ie auto feels like a much more modern car compared to, say, an earlier 2400 manual. They come from very different periods with different ideas on how a car should be built, maintained and behave. There is no reason you can't drive a D as an everyday car if you are keen, but the CX is what you would buy if you want a more competent all year round car just because it is more modern and has integrated A/C, although you may well want to improve the insulation etc.. The D may ride well, but it just isn't very fast off the mark, even compared to the slower CX variants. The D is obviously simpler and parts are now quite easy to get and there is certainly less plastic involved.

    Perhaps, consider buy either as hobby car on club plates and then something recent (C5, 407 or similar) as a daily/long distance car. Then you are not likely to be faced with the need to fix the D/CX just to buy milk, which is the best way to end up hating the thing. Being able to close the garage door and walk away for a week or so when they break is the best way to live with these older cars.

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    1000+ Posts forumnoreason's Avatar
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    good advice there, with either you will become intimately familiar with why they won't function properly. Everything is wearing out. I'd get a C5, which I'm actually pondering....
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    mnm
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    If it’s always above 35C the DSpecial will not be enjoyable without aircon.

    Matthew

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    Excellent advice from David. Club plates $40 pa and keep it for occasional use and you'll love it. I agree that if used as a daily you won't have it or your sanity for long.

    I have wanted a/c in all my cars incl my current (not French) classic car. I spent $1500 restoring its a/c and it still isn't great for air flow.
    I'm thinking of selling that car and its replacement may not have a/c. I might not go with this, but the current thinking is that I use it in winter or shoulder seasons, not in the middle of summer. So maybe a DS used that way for you? Or retro-fit a/c, will prob cost a lot.

    Another thing is prices. CX values seem to be rising (but the two on Carsales seem to have been there a while?) but are nothing on DS values. A question: do you want an immaculate CX or a so-so or even shabby DS. I would have a DS Safari in a heartbeat, but if it's $15K for something pretty rough... well, I don't have the $ or time to throw at it to make it a beautiful car.

    I could be way off, but wouldn't an earlier S1 CX increase in value more quickly that a late GTI Turbo? I would take the Turbo any day, love the S2 facelift... but do any have a/c, as none were local delivery?

    Sorry about the waffling, just that I have been thinking along similar lines (buying a classic Citroen) lately!

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    Fellow Frogger! CXVingtCinq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnm View Post
    If it’s always above 35C the DSpecial will not be enjoyable without aircon.

    Matthew
    I agree.

    Apart from about 4 or 5 months across winter it can be quite hot here but the humidity is not high so is usually tolerable most times. The next 7 days are all forecast for 36 & up, with 40 on Tues. In January we had 14 consecutive days over 40. Not a great time to be outdoors or driving without AC but I am not looking at the car as a daily drive, just weekends / outings as suits the weather. I have a Renault 16 nearly ready for roadworthy and it also has no AC but is just a hobby, so not critical. So in Summer a Sunday morning cruise to the coffee shop in town only if it is cool is the idea. And more intense use in Autumn/Winter/Spring.

    All thoughts so far much appreciated by the way.
    Cheers, Peter J
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    Previous - 1984 CX 25 IE : 1976 16TS : 1979 12 Virage

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    Fellow Frogger! CXVingtCinq's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Sans_sagesse;1602263]
    I could be way off, but wouldn't an earlier S1 CX increase in value more quickly that a late GTI Turbo? I would take the Turbo any day, love the S2 facelift... but do any have a/c, as none were local delivery?

    Yes, interesting thoughts.

    I have seen the two CX 2500 cars on car sales and one has been there a long time but they are both very much what I had and seem a little 'in between' to me. Not worth the money being asked and not desirable enough to raise my heartbeat or want to go look at them. Maybe my feelings there are symptomatic of why the CX is not appreciating like the DS. The CX Turbo in question has AC and rear outlets so I assume dual units.
    Cheers, Peter J
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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    There is no comparison .... Go the CX .... If you have never driven a CX GTi Turbo you will understand as soon as you get behind its wheels. You are talking about a DSspecial cruising at 110km/h ............. Well that CX will cruise effortlessly at 220km/h++. They are a very fast car........... For there time.

    Dspecials are lovely, but slow and noisy compared to a CX. You need both. DSpecials are great, but certainly not as a city car/ daily driver. They are so slow and cumbersome in traffic (where as the CX is always effortlessly fast ... agile yet very comfortable).

    Don't worry about the turbo motor. I've never heard of anyone killing a standard CX turbo motor .......... well ever. They are extremely unstressed. I'm not sure if you have driven a turbo charged car from the 1980s. You know how they are awful, laggy, frantically fast on boost... generally hideious to drive in traffic ...................... Well the CX is not that at all. Excellent off boost... you can pull away from idle in pretty much any gear without any issue.

    Oh, CX's are HOT .... god damn HOT in summer. You might have twin air, but you are still going to fry under that big windscreen!

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    Depends what you really want the car for? Vintage speed - or Vintage Style? You probably donít want to drive either in the city too much - but out of town itís a different matter


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    Re the CX or D dilemma: The avatar shows a CX so I assume you already have CX exposure. Apart from the fact that either choice will have to rely upon its individual history or care/decay/neglect/abuse at the hands of probably multiple owners who have tried to keep a specialist vehicle alive with increasingly reducing expenditure maybe the following will be of help.
    Your comfort level may depend on your seating style. The D has tall almost upright seating with legs almost able to rest in a nearer to vertical way. The old " sit up and beg" style may suit you more than the "lie back in a bathtub and bake under a huge glass screen" the CX will demand. The style of entry into the cabin is different too with the rake of the rear of the CX window frame being awkward for some. I suspect you might find a lower in the range D a disappointment in the noise/harshness/vibration race too. A nice Pallas with its greater internal heat and noise suppression is a better option but again it will depend on the actual vehicles you compare. A D has a more vintage feeling narrow cabin. Make sure your feet fit the footwell.
    Either way neither will be a consumer friendly buy. A DS automatic could be fraught with BorgWarner disease, a Cmatic is in a similar boat. If choosing manual cars ( and a CX as such will be rare ) be sure you can live with the clutch pedal stroke. The D will have a long arc with an awkward ridge for the left foot and a heavy action made more "assertive" by the vertical return spring atop the pedal. Brakes in both cars are superb but require some learning...some never get the sensitivity a DS mushroom requires...the CX self centering steering equally can be daunting to the inexperienced but gets better with exposure. Depending on the vehicle both CX and D are likely to have sun damaged interior trim and melted steering wheels. Both are likely to have dodgy wiring looms and years of bodging, the CX especially so. Wonderful cars both but a case of buyer beware. Try before you buy.
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    I had a CX 2400 Pallas for awhile and never liked climbing into it when on low, I'm a bit over 6 foot and it always felt like an effort getting in and out of it. I just jump in the D though and lots of room. Thats another reason why I wouldn't get a 2CV because they are tight inside, a GS is ok though. Cars are a bit like suits in that respect!
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    Tough choice...!

    The CX ; electrical and rust issues (any Turbo would have come from OS - likely the UK - check it out very carefully), smooth refined and IMHO the best hydro Citroen ever made, but much more likely than the DS to leave you stranded. Parts are a big issue - reproduction parts are few and far between. I think values will slowly improve over the next 10 years.

    The DS ; solid and reliable especially in DSpecial form. Noisy at speed and gutless compared to the Turbo. Unfairly gets all the attention and therefore is more likely to appreciate more rapidly than the CX.

    I would buy both LOL. They are just two very different cars. Given you have had a CX before you may be disappointed with the DS - to me they feel old fashioned after driving a CX for a while.

    Cheers,

    Mark
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    I've got three S2 CX Turbos so I can't claim to be impartial..!

    Downsides of the CX will be:-
    - air-con is almost useless (even here in UK)
    - clutch is rock hard (like trying to crush a brick with your left foot)
    - it will break down regularly & always at the most inconvenient moment
    - rust & dodgy electrics

    Upsides:-
    - when it is playing nicely, it is a delight (comfortable, fast & safe - for its time)
    - it will turn heads
    - (here's where I start a fight!) far better looking than a DS <running for cover..!>
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddief View Post
    - (here's where I start a fight!) far better looking than a DS <running for cover..!>
    I for one agree with you but I like the series 1! I am not a fan of those plastic bumper bars!
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    Cheers Gerry

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    Default Cx25gti vs d special

    Hi Peter - it is hard to believe that almost a year has gone by since I took the train journey to Narrabri to collect the car(nice train journey through some beautiful country and towns but I know that the drought has been very testing for many up that way).
    Here a couple of photos for your memories - I have found it to be a really nice example - I haven't done much to it yet apart from changing all of the spheres and check the cooling system etc. It still has the original ignition coil system and perhaps it could perform better with a 123 system but it isn't broken so I won't tinker for now. The grey cloth upholstery is in near perfect condition but I think a nice blue such as I had in a previous CX would give some nice contrast.
    Anyway I don't drive it nearly enough - traffic is pretty busy and fast in Sydney - when I do take the car out people are interested and say 'its in great nick' etc. The young mechanic who did the pink slip thought is was the coolest car he had ever driven!
    Pleased to hear that you are in the market for another Citroen - I can picture a C6 looking most fitting on your driveway, suites to you as you're tall and great for cruising on those country highways! All the best with your decision - cheers Chris
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    Fellow Frogger! CXVingtCinq's Avatar
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    Thanks for you comment Chris and I'm glad you are appreciating my old Cybil. I was glad to see it go to a good home. I see from one photo you appear to have a DS in the garage as well. Nice looking blue with white roof. How do you find them in comparison.?
    Cheers, Peter J
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    Tadpole
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    Hi Peter - Yes the blue DS was my first Citroen - running nicely but not registered, the colour is Blue Lagune for the record- I had it re-sprayed at the panel beaters in the country town where I grew up - I hope that one day it is back on the road. I find that the CX and D Special are very different cars but ultimately both rewarding and fun to drive. I suppose in short, in a D one is very comfy in those big seats and the suspension and steering focus the driver on the drivers experience less than getting to a destination.
    The CX is a different driving experience including from the Diravi which modern cars seem to be including as a modern option, they are a nice set up and I have to admit I am more partial to CX. I have never driven a series 2 CX or turbo and in Sydney the speed limits are tightly enforced so I think a series 1 CX is more than adequate for me as an extra / non-daily driver. Both are great cars and appreciation of them will continue to grow. I have driven a BX 1.9 GT and it was very nice to drive, but I don't have experience of the modern Cits - I have usually had a Toyota as a reliable daily driver. But others will have more to offer around this comparison between the 2 models and I recall that is has been the subject of previous forum discussions
    All the best again
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    Do any of you Queenslanders remember a red 1974 DSpecial with a white roof.? It was apparently owned by a sadly deceased CCCQ member name of Tredinger or similar.? It has been repainted in recent years and restored inside with carpets and velour trimmed seats. I have looked at it and appears OK however There is no paperwork nor history available from the dealer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CXVingtCinq View Post
    Do any of you Queenslanders remember a red 1974 DSpecial with a white roof.? It was apparently owned by a sadly deceased CCCQ member name of Tredinger or similar.? It has been repainted in recent years and restored inside with carpets and velour trimmed seats. I have looked at it and appears OK however There is no paperwork nor history available from the dealer.
    I assume you are looking at the red D Special currently on offer at Undercover Cars at Capalaba ???

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    Fellow Frogger! CXVingtCinq's Avatar
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    Yep. Thatís the one.
    Cheers, Peter J
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    With CXs, I'd love a late model, post 1986 model, turbo or otherwise, but these late model CXs very hard to find in AU. At one stage I looked at and drove a CX Prestige. To be honest it felt narrow and agricultural in the engine department.
    CX turbos to one side, it you could somehow fit a VW Golf and DSG gearbox into a CX, you might have the best of both worlds. Plenty of torque and refinement.

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    A nice genuine DSpecial would probably be worth that amount.
    Not a tarted up one like the one mentioned above, , with ridiculous 1990 badges, wrong upholstery , wooden dash, coloured steering wheel etc...etc.... Of course if you fancy it personally then who cares! But to bring back that DSpecial to a genuine appearance, you would need to spend another 5-10K

    I would spend instead not much more and get a Pallas, get someone who knows these cars with you, and you will forever be happy.

    DSpecials are disappointing in everyday use by their lack of performance, minimum creature comfort, where a 23 Pallas, keeps up there with the best of them, then some.
    Last edited by harrisson_citroen; 22nd February 2019 at 04:40 PM.
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    DS Un jour, DS toujours !

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    I agree. I have thought that about the D Specials I have driven. Spouse has a VW turbo diesel with DSG and if that could power the D it would be best of both worlds.

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    One solution is to try both. Get a DS first now to see if you like it... you will. People may admire CXs, but smile, wave and sometimes laugh as you drive by in a D. If you get a solid D, you will not lose financially if /when you decide to sell (you won't).
    We have had a CX2400 Pallas (Cmatic) and loved it except for the broken park pawl and weak handbrake (carried a brick in the boot).
    We have also had a DS23 Pallas efi auto with AC which was a great car with power and comfort, but engine overheated on hot days. Sold it because as a hobby car we thought it too complex. Our first Cit was a D Special which we still have for its relative mechanical simplicity. No AC, but good airflow through vents, less power than DS23 when taking off but will cruises any speed under 150km/h all day. Part of the satisfaction with a less powerful car is you have to anticipate and actively drive it The open road is where these big Cits shine...city driving in a D is a drag IMO. While not as much fun as this video.. it does conveys some of the thrill of a D Special.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGIwvoLPoAU
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    Quite a few Specials have ended up with 21 pistons during an engine rebuild. So, some may appear better on the road than others.
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