Best Citroen ever?(and hence best car ever, hehe)
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Best Citroen ever?(and hence best car ever, hehe)

    Taking into consideration things like :

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    -Driveability
    -Handling
    -Practicality
    -Economy
    -Reliability
    -Ease/Difficulty of Servicing
    -Crash Safety without airbags
    (Geez sounds just like a GS! )

    Which model in your opinion takes the crown?

    P.S. Must be at least 10yrs old or more anything under that has'nt proven its reliability/longevity yet!
    Last edited by raver; 23rd February 2006 at 07:48 PM.

  2. #2
    UFO
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    Easy. Whichever one in your fleet is (currently) most reliable and giving you the biggest grin when you drive it.

    End of topic AFAIC.
    Craig K
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  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! PSvensson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raver
    Taking into consideration things like :

    -Driveability
    -Handling
    -Practicality
    -Economy
    -Reliability
    -Ease/Difficulty of Servicing
    -Crash Safety without airbags
    (Geez sounds just like a GS! )

    Which model in your opinion takes the crown?

    P.S. Must be at least 10yrs old or more anything under that has'nt proven its reliability/longevity yet!

    According to your list it sounds like a early 2cv (meaning in enlgish two horse)
    1970 ID20 SUPER
    1971 DS21 IE non PALLAS,5 Spd
    1973 DS20 SUPER Singapore model but now an Aust resident(Rebuilding)
    Late 1994 Xantia VSX 5speed (for sale)
    1966 R10 round eye (sombody want to buy?)

  4. #4
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    I've owned more GS's than I really could give myself credit for, and yes they're amazing little cars. Each time I sell one, I end up with two - I'm still not sure how that works, really.

    Here's how the GS scores with me...

    -Driveability A-
    -Handling B+
    -Practicality B
    -Economy B-/C+
    -Reliability A
    -Ease/Difficulty of Servicing C+
    -Crash Safety without airbags C
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  5. #5
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    I think it would be the AMI actually.....

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    Yes but Daniel... they don't come in Auto so you could not have driven one!
    BX TZI Hatch
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  7. #7
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    I think it would be the AMI actually.....
    Ami 6, Ami 8 or Ami Super?

    I (for some reason) thought you were going to say the LNA.



    Oh, I didn't know they used Dyane headlights. You learn a new thing every day.
    Last edited by donat; 23rd February 2006 at 10:08 PM.
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  8. #8
    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by donat
    Ami 6, Ami 8 or Ami Super?

    I (for some reason) thought you were going to say the LNA.



    Oh, I didn't know they used Dyane headlights. You learn a new thing every day.
    And crooked at that!
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  9. #9
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO
    And crooked at that!
    I like how the owner used a red air freshener to contrast with the green car.

    Very colour co-ordinated!
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    GS: my personal car of the century. Absolutely packed with glorious engineering but still with a robust simplicity. Few cars can combine such driver appeal with such superb comfort. What 1220cc can do is astonishing. Function and form of the highest order. And does anything have more character?

    Xantia: because it was mainstream enough to be profitable, is durable and solid. A turn of the century proper Citroen but economically realistic.

    Then again if you look at a DS, drive one then consider when it was conceived....
    John

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    Fellow Frogger! PSvensson's Avatar
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    Well the Traction was a big hit, love the sound of them
    mmmmm big 6
    1970 ID20 SUPER
    1971 DS21 IE non PALLAS,5 Spd
    1973 DS20 SUPER Singapore model but now an Aust resident(Rebuilding)
    Late 1994 Xantia VSX 5speed (for sale)
    1966 R10 round eye (sombody want to buy?)

  12. #12
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    I don't think that question can really be answered, as I don't think any model of Citroen meets ALL of those requirements at once.... and while there are many models to like, they tend to be liked for very different reasons.

    For example my favourites are GS, CX, and Xantia in no particular order, and yet I like them all for very different reasons...

    The GS I like because it was my first car, and because of the unique blend of simplicity and engineering excellence - eg the suspension geometry and mechanical design is unsurpased in any later Citroen, (CX included) and yet it was available in a small and relatively cheap car.

    The engine is so charming and likeable, even despite a lack of power by todays standards. Mine was an estate, and so very practical.

    Design ideology instead of bean counter economics was at the forefront of the GS design, and thats a very rare thing today.

    Is it my perfect car ? Nope. Would I drive one today as a main car ? No, probably not, even if I had one in good condition.

    By todays standards it simply doesn't have enough horsepower, 60 hp is ok for a first car, but not for my 4th or 5th car. The styling, while unique and while I liked it at the time, does seem to have dated now.

    The basic shape is good, and it has some nice lines, but it just looks a bit to bulbous and foreshortened at the front compared to what I'm used to now. (Just IMHO )

    As far as safety goes, the GS bodyshell is extremely well designed in terms of mechanical construction and strength for its time, (especially with the added strength of the suspension sub chassis) and mine survived a head on crash at 50Km/hr with only (fairly significant) panel damage, and no damage to the wheel alignment or suspension.

    Even the engine survived, and its right in the nose! After bending a bent front guard out of the way I managed to start it and drive home. A new front bumper and undertray and a bit of panel work, and it was back on the road.

    My Dad's GS survived a car crashing into the front passenger door and centre pillar from the side at over 50Km/hr, pushing the car 20 feet along the road, from being initially stationary. None of the occupants were injured, including my 3 year old self who was in the passenger seat at the time !! It did require a new door and some repair to the centre pillar, but the other car was a writeoff. I may even owe my life to that GS...

    The big problem with the body though is RUST. Even at 17 years old my GS was a nightmare to keep the rust at bay, I had huge rust holes in the floorpan, the windscreen wiper cavity, the sides of the boot, the boot lid, the doors, everywhere Initially strong body shell when new, TERRIBLE rust proofing and water drainage design. (Like most cars of the era to be fair)

    The thought of trying to deal with a GS and its rust problems nowadays when they're going to be between 23 and 36 years old is completely unapealing to me, unless it was a fully restored specimin.

    The CX I like for different reasons.... possibly the biggest reason is simply the shape.... what a terrific shape. For a car that was styled in the early 70's, it still looks fabulous, if you get the right year with the right body trim etc. (Some trim variations do look a bit odd, I definately prefer the series 2 models)

    Long and sleek, very low to the ground with a low roof line (the lowest roofline of any Citroen ??) and wide wheel track that puts many modern cars to shame. The front profile is just awesome, it has a menacing shape that can put fear into the hearts of the driver in front of you looking in their rear view mirror very imposing and intimidating, and yet at the same time, beautiful.

    The top down profile with the very wide front wheel track and narrow rear wheel track is also very nice, and a trademark of older Citroen's. Chrome door handles at a time when most other cars had switched to cheap plastic handles is also a plus.

    The CX shape is already 30+ years old and I think it shows all the signs of becomming a classic.

    In terms of suspension it has most of the good design aspects of the GS, but minus the centre point steering. (Which strictly speaking, isn't needed with diravi, and may have been the driving force behind the design of diravi ??) Although it does have some kingpin inclination, it is relatively little compared to modern cars, and it still has a proper top control arm.

    A large amount of suspension travel compared to a GS or a Xantia, probably only exceeded by the SM and DS, makes driving over large humpback speedbumps fun instead of a chore One of the highest delivery HP pumps of any Citroen makes for a relatively quick lift in the morning. (And entertaining teasing of nearby motorists when you get bored at the lights and play with the height )

    Another inovation is full isolation between suspension chassis and body - something not seen in any other Citroen (that I'm aware of) and proabably very few modern cars. The entire body is mounted on a large number of rubber bushes to isolate the road rumble and harshness from the suspension chassis, but WITHOUT introducing rubber bushes into the suspension arms themselves and sacrificing the geometry.

    So you get the accurate geometry and handling of a rubber-bush free design, but with the vibration isolation of rubber bushes. The first time I drove a CX the complete absense of road rumble was very obvious, especially compared to the GS, which did suffer a bit from road rumble from the front suspension, due to the front suspension chassis being bolted directly to the body with no isolation...

    Then there is the engine.....on paper you can't help but think that the DS derived 4 cylinder engines are antiquated and crude. No overhead cams ? 8 valves ? Phooey.

    Yes, they are a bit lumpy under 2000rpm, and they don't rev usefully above 5000rpm, but they are SOOOOO drivable thanks to dollops of mindrange torque.

    You just can't help but be impressed by the torque and the willingness to fly up hills in high gears without the slightest effort. Probably one of the best overtaking cars I've ever driven. Even the lowly 2347cc carburetor models which are a paltry (by todays standards) 115hp still feel a lot more torquey than you'd expect from such a low horsepower.

    I've never driven a turbo model (alas!) but by simple extrapolation from the lower models I can see what an awesome drive they must be...(there must be a reason why Shane keeps going on about them )

    I would do anything to get a Series 2 2500 GTI EFI or Turbo but I can't see it happening any time soon due to both lack of money and shortage of available cars to buy over here...

    People mention the body roll of the CX... yes it does roll a lot by todays standards, but its a lot less than a GS, and despite the roll and the extreme front heavy weight bias I find the grip extremely good and the handling is deceptively neutral with very little in the way of understeer. (Provided that you have good front tyres)

    Finally lets not forget the steering - diravi is the kind of engineering first, bean counters second design you wont see anymore these days. It takes some getting used to, but it is almost surreal. Since the only other models to use it are the SM and some LHD early XM's, the CX is really the only widely available model to experience this steering system on...

    Downsides of the CX ? Quite a number unfortunately.... Shane will no doubt be first in line to critisize the cabin cooling system, and its easy to see why... my Dad's series 1 had TERRIBLE cooling....you could hardly get any air through the vents, and no matter what you did, the lower centre console was always hot.

    Driving was always a "windows down" experience because of this. Series 2 models are a bit better in this regard, but not by much.

    Poor boot space - sorry, but in a car that size, a small side loading boot like that just isn't acceptable, for an only car, anyway... when I was weighing up the choice between a CX and a Xantia last year, the poor boot accomodation was one of the swinging factors that eventually made me lean to the Xantia.

    What WERE they thinking not making a hatchback version like was introduced in the GSA ? Yes, there are estates, but unlike the GS estate which is basically the same as a saloon but with a different roofline, the CX estate is a lot bigger and more cumbersome than a saloon. (And somewhat ugly IMHO)

    The gearbox - a little bit too notchy for my likes, even my 1984 daihatsu charrade had a very smooth and slick gear change compared to a CX.

    Series one dashboard instruments - drum speedo ? Yuck.

    Body rust ? Same old problems as the GS

    Still, I think the CX is a classic car and I still intend to own one one day

    And then the Xantia. A lot of Citroen fans critisize the Xantia for being too "normal", and I guess it is in some ways, but if a tidy and useful interior where things work as expected is normality, I'm all for it. (Compare that to a series 1 CX dashboard, which is very spartan and oddball looking)

    After the visual abomination that was the BX (sorry BX fans ! But I just can't stand the shape of the BX, it would have to be the most un-Citroen like Citroen visually) the Xantia, although not being quite as unique or "out there" as the styling of the CX, is already showing signs of being another timeless design.

    The shape of the Xantia is already 13 years old, and I still get people that see mine, and don't know anything about Citroen's telling me how much they like the styling, and asking if it is new, and being very surprised to find out that model came out in 1993.

    It's a shape that seems to offend no-one but has enough unique traits to give it a bit of style without being pretentious or "overstyled" as a lot of 2000+ cars seem to be. I think it has a nice blend of sharp angles and curves, somewhat like the GS and CX in that regard, if not in actual shape.

    (I don't like car styles that are either all sharp lines, eg BX, or all fat bloated complex curves with big bums, eg most 2000+ jap cars )

    In short, I like the styling of the Xantia a lot, even though a CX is a bit more of a statement to be seen driving in. There are only two minor things I would critisize about the Xantia styling - the first is that the nose is a bit too plain, with a simple wedge shape and rectangular headlights - although that was improved somewhat in the series 2 facelift models.

    The other thing is the lack of the trademark covered up rear wheel of the GS and CX - a feature I really liked on both of those, and I think a rear wheel arche similar to the GS would have really worked on the Xantia.

    However the non-round wheel arches of the Xantia are certainly better than plain old boring round wheel arches, when I saw a C5 up close yesterday (parked next to my Xantia at random in a car park in fact) I couldn't help but notice how ugly and plain the standard round rear wheel arches on the C5 were....

    The hatchback design of the Xantia is also wonderfully practical, when you compare it to something like a CX, even if there is a lot of folding and mucking around to get the rear seats down.

    Other good points - possibly the first Citroen EVER that doesn't rust. Just about every Citroen I've ever been involved with has simply rusted away well before the mechanics gave out, that this was a BIG decider for me in choosing a Xantia.

    I've seen quite a number of Xantia's now during my searches to buy one, and there are now 3 in the family, and NONE of them has the slightest bit of body or panel rust, with the oldest one being 13 years old. Incredible.

    Even in the UK - the capital of car rusting, the Xantia seems to stand up especially well.

    Then there is the fit and finish, and the feeling of solidness, even if in reality it probably isn't mechanically as solid as a GS or a CX. The point is that it FEELS solid. Doors thunk nicely when they're closed. The bonnet is heavy and solid. (The heaviest bonnet I've ever seen in fact)

    All the doors and windows have double seals. There is extensive sound deadening material in the car and the engine bay. Despite the 8 valve petrol engine having relatively noisy tapits, they can't be heard inside the car. My 8 year old VSX is quieter inside at low or high speed than many brand new cars I've been in, in fact its one of the quietest cars I've ever been in, including no annoying high speed wind whistles, which many older Citroen's seem to have.

    As much as I like things about the CX, its so nice to have working air conditioning, remote central locking that works, nice round dashboard instruments, good heating and cooling with plenty of airflow, ABS. The seats are firm, but otherwise comfortable. (My VSX has the electric seats)

    Hydractive 2 suspension - what a great idea. Yes, I have had some problems with mine that have been plauging me with intermitant harsh ride issues, but I really do think that my problems are a bit out of the ordinary, and not representative of the system in general, and I'm fairly close to having them solved.

    The technology of the HA2 system appeals to me a lot, and the Xantia is the cheapest car to get it on. When it has been working properly the ride is extremely good for a car that corners with basically no body roll.

    Passengers are fascinated by a car that wafts along like its hardly touching the ground at all, and then takes a sudden corner with almost no body roll and excellent handling.

    Then there is the Activa of course - the first production passenger car to have fully active anti-roll ? I think so...

    Downsides to the Xantia ? Yes, unfortunately, there are two thorns in its side in my opinion, both of which can fortunately be lived with if you're willing to overlook them and/or deal with them.

    The big one can be described in two words - McPherson struts. Put simply, the worst thing about an otherwise excellent car. Too many compromises in suspension geometry (excessive kingpin inclination, lack of passive anti-dive geometry, lack of centre-point steering, geometry requires strut mounting block to twist forwards and backwards with steering and suspension movement)

    Issues with the hydraulic cylinder also having to double in the role of support strut and bush means that static friction increases under dynamic loads making the ride harsher in cornering or braking than it needed to be, also a sliding bush system like a strut inherantly wears out faster than a pivoting bearing on a control arm.

    The top strut designs seem to be plauged by a design fault which can cause eventual catastrophic failure of the strut top rubber block (in hot humid countries) or rusting out of the top mounting plate (in countries with salted roads) which together with the price of new ones, makes buying any Xantia without inspecting the strut tops carefully a very risky buy indeed.

    My own one at only 8 years old and otherwise visually as-new condition needed both strut tops replacing before buying due to near impending failure of the rubber blocks. What are these going to be like when they're 15 years old ? 20 ? Bad marks to Citroen there.

    Having said all this, a Xantia with both strut tops and strut cylinders in as-new condition will still ride and perform very well, but the design is certainly not as robust as earlier models and has to be considered a weak point.

    The other problem is a lack of higher performance engine options. Apart from the 2 litre petrol turbo, and the 3 litre V6, most of the Xantia range could be considered "underpowered" for a car that is 1280Kg to 1590Kg depending on the model.

    Even the BX had the BX16 valve with 160 hp in a 1000Kg body, there is no equivalent to this, and that is disapointing. Far too many of them are "slugomatics" as Shane likes to call them, including my own one, which has ok, but not stellar performance.

    123hp to lug around 1300Kg with an automatic just isn't enough IMHO. The turbo diesels with manual gearboxes fare a little bit better, but I find the 1.9TD has a power band that is much too narrow compared to the petrol even if the peak torque is higher. I havn't driven a 2.1TD but presumably it is a bit better in that regard.

    2 litre petrol turbo - what happened ? 150 hp for a 2 litre turbo is underwhelming to say the least. Yes, they went for a CT design, but why bother ? The engine (and the Activa suspension) is just begging to be opened up to 200 hp, and the fact that many people that have done this claim to get better fuel mileage makes me wonder why they were so severely limited in the first place.

    3 litre V6 - great, but where is the manual ? As far as I know the same engine was used on a Peugeot with a manual gearbox, so why not the Xantia as well ?

    All in all, a very nice car though, and it could well be the last model to have "real" Citroen suspension and brakes - eg LHM, mechanical height correctors, high pressure power brakes etc, as it looks like they're going to stick with vacumm servo brakes and unservicable mystery control blocks for the hydraulics on the new models....

    Ok, better sign off before I bore you all to tears...

    Regards,
    Simon
    Last edited by Mandrake; 23rd February 2006 at 11:15 PM.
    1998 Xantia Mk2 V6 Auto Exclusive

  13. #13
    Local Tyrant gibgib's Avatar
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    I prefer a drive in my 2CV over my old GS.

    I was reminded of the GS recently from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast. It would be my second choice.

    Not driven a D in a while, like 15 years (Darren D's D), but did reverse GB's D on Saturday out of his driveway

    To drive a Traction is on my to do list.

  14. #14
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    I don't think that question can really be answered, as I don't think any model of Citroen meets ALL of those requirements at once.... and while there are many models to like, they tend to be liked for very different reasons.

    For example my favourites are GS, CX, and Xantia in no particular order, and yet I like them all for very different reasons...

    The GS I like because it was my first car, and because of the unique blend of simplicity and engineering excellence - eg the suspension geometry and mechanical design is unsurpased in any later Citroen, (CX included) and yet it was available in a small and relatively cheap car.

    The engine is so charming and likeable, even despite a lack of power by todays standards. Mine was an estate, and so very practical.

    Design ideology instead of bean counter economics was at the forefront of the GS design, and thats a very rare thing today.

    Is it my perfect car ? Nope. Would I drive one today as a main car ? No, probably not, even if I had one in good condition.

    By todays standards it simply doesn't have enough horsepower, 60 hp is ok for a first car, but not for my 4th or 5th car. The styling, while unique and while I liked it at the time, does seem to have dated now.

    The basic shape is good, and it has some nice lines, but it just looks a bit to bulbous and foreshortened at the front compared to what I'm used to now. (Just IMHO )

    As far as safety goes, the GS bodyshell is extremely well designed in terms of mechanical construction and strength for its time, (especially with the added strength of the suspension sub chassis) and mine survived a head on crash at 50Km/hr with only (fairly significant) panel damage, and no damage to the wheel alignment or suspension.

    Even the engine survived, and its right in the nose! After bending a bent front guard out of the way I managed to start it and drive home. A new front bumper and undertray and a bit of panel work, and it was back on the road.

    My Dad's GS survived a car crashing into the front passenger door and centre pillar from the side at over 50Km/hr, pushing the car 20 feet along the road, from being initially stationary. None of the occupants were injured, including my 3 year old self who was in the passenger seat at the time !! It did require a new door and some repair to the centre pillar, but the other car was a writeoff. I may even owe my life to that GS...

    The big problem with the body though is RUST. Even at 17 years old my GS was a nightmare to keep the rust at bay, I had huge rust holes in the floorpan, the windscreen wiper cavity, the sides of the boot, the boot lid, the doors, everywhere Initially strong body shell when new, TERRIBLE rust proofing and water drainage design. (Like most cars of the era to be fair)

    The thought of trying to deal with a GS and its rust problems nowadays when they're going to be between 23 and 36 years old is completely unapealing to me, unless it was a fully restored specimin.

    The CX I like for different reasons.... possibly the biggest reason is simply the shape.... what a terrific shape. For a car that was styled in the early 70's, it still looks fabulous, if you get the right year with the right body trim etc. (Some trim variations do look a bit odd, I definately prefer the series 2 models)

    Long and sleek, very low to the ground (the lowest roofline of any Citroen ??) with a low roof line and wide wheel track that puts many modern cars to shame. The front profile is just awesome, it has a menacing shape that can put fear into the hearts of the driver in front of you looking in their rear view mirror very imposing and intimidating, and yet at the same time, beautiful.

    The top down profile with the very wide front wheel track and narrow rear wheel track is also very nice, and a trademark of older Citroen's. Chrome door handles at a time when most other cars had switched to cheap plastic handles is also a plus.

    The CX shape is already 30+ years old and I think it shows all the signs of becomming a classic.

    In terms of suspension it has most of the good design aspects of the GS, but minus the centre point steering. (Which strictly speaking, isn't needed with diravi, and may have been the driving force behind the design of diravi ??) Although it does have some kingpin inclination, it is relatively little compared to modern cars, and it still has a proper top control arm.

    A large amount of suspension travel compared to a GS or a Xantia, probably only exceeded by the SM and DS, makes driving over large humpback speedbumps fun instead of a chore One of the highest delivery HP pumps of any Citroen makes for a relatively quick lift in the morning. (And entertaining teasing of nearby motorists when you get bored at the lights and play with the height )

    Another inovation is full isolation between suspension chassis and body - something not seen in any other Citroen (that I'm aware of) and proabably very few modern cars. The entire body is mounted on a large number of rubber bushes to isolate the road rumble and harshness from the suspension chassis, but WITHOUT introducing rubber bushes into the suspension arms themselves and sacrificing the geometry.

    So you get the accurate geometry and handling of a rubber-bush free design, but with the vibration isolation of rubber bushes. The first time I drove a CX the complete absense of road rumble was very obvious, especially compared to the GS, which did suffer a bit from road rumble from the front suspension, due to the front suspension chassis being bolted directly to the body with no isolation...

    Then there is the engine.....on paper you can't help but think that the DS derived 4 cylinder engines are antiquated and crude. No overhead cams ? 8 valves ? Phooey.

    Yes, they are a bit lumpy under 2000rpm, and they don't rev usefully above 5000rpm, but they are SOOOOO drivable thanks to dollops of mindrange torque.

    You just can't help but be impressed by the torque and the willingness to fly up hills in high gears without the slightest effort. Probably one of the best overtaking cars I've ever driven. Even the lowly 2347cc carburetor models which are a paltry (by todays standards) 115hp still feel a lot more torquey than you'd expect from such a low horsepower.

    I've never driven a turbo model (alas!) but by simple extrapolation from the lower models I can see what an awesome drive they must be...(there must be a reason why Shane keeps going on about them )

    I would do anything to get a Series 2 2500 GTI EFI or Turbo but I can't see it happening any time soon due to both lack of money and shortage of available cars to buy over here...

    People mention the body roll of the CX... yes it does roll a lot by todays standards, but its a lot less than a GS, and despite the roll and the extreme front heavy weight bias I find the grip extremely good and the handling is deceptively neutral with very little in the way of understeer. (Provided that you have good front tyres)

    Finally lets not forget the steering - diravi is the kind of engineering first, bean counters second design you wont see anymore these days. It takes some getting used to, but it is almost surreal. Since the only other models to use it are the SM and some LHD early XM's, the CX is really the only widely available model to experience this steering system on...

    Downsides of the CX ? Quite a number unfortunately.... Shane will no doubt be first in line to critisize the cabin cooling system, and its easy to see why... my Dad's series 1 had TERRIBLE cooling....you could hardly get any air through the vents, and no matter what you did, the lower centre console was always hot.

    Driving was always a "windows down" experience because of this. Series 2 models are a bit better in this regard, but not by much.

    Poor boot space - sorry, but in a car that size, a small side loading boot like that just isn't acceptable, for an only car, anyway... when I was weighing up the choice between a CX and a Xantia last year, the poor boot accomodation was one of the swinging factors that eventually made me lean to the Xantia.

    What WERE they thinking not making a hatchback version like was introduced in the GSA ? Yes, there are estates, but unlike the GS estate which is basically the same as a saloon but with a different roofline, the CX estate is a lot bigger and more cumbersome than a saloon. (And somewhat ugly IMHO)

    The gearbox - a little bit too notchy for my likes, even my 1984 daihatsu charrade had a very smooth and slick gear change compared to a CX.

    Series one dashboard instruments - drum speedo ? Yuck.

    Body rust ? Same old problems as the GS

    Still, I think the CX is a classic car and I still intend to own one one day

    And then the Xantia. A lot of Citroen fans critisize the Xantia for being too "normal", and I guess it is in some ways, but if a tidy and useful interior where things work as expected is normality, I'm all for it. (Compare that to a series 1 CX dashboard, which is very spartan and oddball looking)

    After the visual abomination that was the BX (sorry BX fans ! But I just can't stand the shape of the BX, it would have to be the most un-Citroen like Citroen visually) the Xantia, although not being quite as unique or "out there" as the styling of the CX, is already showing signs of being another timeless design.

    The shape of the Xantia is already 13 years old, and I still get people that see mine, and don't know anything about Citroen's telling me how much they like the styling, and asking if it is new, and being very surprised to find out that model came out in 1993.

    It's a shape that seems to offend no-one but has enough unique traits to give it a bit of style without being pretentious or "overstyled" as a lot of 2000+ cars seem to be. I think it has a nice blend of sharp angles and curves, somewhat like the GS and CX in that regard, if not in actual shape.

    (I don't like car styles that are either all sharp lines, eg BX, or all fat bloated complex curves with big bums, eg most 2000+ jap cars )

    In short, I like the styling of the Xantia a lot, even though a CX is a bit more of a statement to be seen driving in. There are only two minor things I would critisize about the Xantia styling - the first is that the nose is a bit too plain, with a simple wedge shape and rectangular headlights - although that was improved somewhat in the series 2 facelift models.

    The other thing is the lack of the trademark covered up rear wheel of the GS and CX - a feature I really liked on both of those, and I think a rear wheel arche similar to the GS would have really worked on the Xantia.

    However the non-round wheel arches of the Xantia are certainly better than plain old boring round wheel arches, when I saw a C5 up close yesterday (parked next to my Xantia at random in a car park in fact) I couldn't help but notice how ugly and plain the standard round rear wheel arches on the C5 were....

    The hatchback design of the Xantia is also wonderfully practical, when you compare it to something like a CX, even if there is a lot of folding and mucking around to get the rear seats down.

    Other good points - possibly the first Citroen EVER that doesn't rust. Just about every Citroen I've ever been involved with has simply rusted away well before the mechanics gave out, that this was a BIG decider for me in choosing a Xantia.

    I've seen quite a number of Xantia's now during my searches to buy one, and there are now 3 in the family, and NONE of them has the slightest bit of body or panel rust, with the oldest one being 13 years old. Incredible.

    Even in the UK - the capital of car rusting, the Xantia seems to stand up especially well.

    Then there is the fit and finish, and the feeling of solidness, even if in reality it probably isn't mechanically as solid as a GS or a CX. The point is that it FEELS solid. Doors thunk nicely when they're closed. The bonnet is heavy and solid. (The heaviest bonnet I've ever seen in fact)

    All the doors and windows have double seals. There is extensive sound deadening material in the car and the engine bay. Despite the 8 valve petrol engine having relatively noisy tapits, they can't be heard inside the car. My 8 year old VSX is quieter inside at low or high speed than many brand new cars I've been in, in fact its one of the quietest cars I've ever been in, including no annoying high speed wind whistles, which many older Citroen's seem to have.

    As much as I like things about the CX, its so nice to have working air conditioning, central locking that works, nice round dashboard instruments, good heating and cooling with plenty of airflow, ABS. The seats are firm, but otherwise comfortable. (My VSX has the electric seats)

    Hydractive 2 suspension - what a great idea. Yes, I have had some problems with mine that have been plauging me with intermitant harsh ride issues, but I really do think that my problems are a bit out of the ordinary, and not representative of the system in general, and I'm fairly close to having them solved.

    The technology of the HA2 system appeals to me a lot, and the Xantia is the cheapest car to get it on. When it has been working properly the ride is extremely good for a car that corners with basically no body roll.

    Passengers are fascinated by a car that wafts along like its hardly touching the ground at all, and then takes a sudden corner with almost no body roll and excellent handling.

    Then there is the Activa of course - the first production passenger car to have fully active anti-roll ? I think so...

    Downsides to the Xantia ? Yes, unfortunately, there are two thorns in its side in my opinion, both of which can fortunately be lived with if you're willing to overlook them and/or deal with them.

    The big one can be described in two words - McPherson struts. Put simply, the worst thing about an otherwise excellent car. Too many compromises in suspension geometry (excessive kingpin inclination, lack of passive anti-dive geometry, lack of centre-point steering, geometry requires strut mounting block to twist forwards and backwards with steering and suspension movement)

    Issues with the hydraulic cylinder also having to double in the role of support strut and bush means that static friction increases under dynamic loads making the ride harsher in cornering or braking than it needed to be, also a sliding bush system like a strut inherantly wears out faster than a pivoting bearing on a control arm.

    The top strut designs seem to be plauged by a design fault which can cause eventual catastrophic failure of the strut top rubber block (in hot humid countries) or rusting out of the top mounting plate (in countries with salted roads) which together with the price of new ones, makes buying any Xantia without inspecting the strut tops carefully a very risky buy indeed.

    My own one at only 8 years old and otherwise visually as-new condition needed both strut tops replacing before buying due to near impending failure of the rubber blocks. What are these going to be like when they're 15 years old ? 20 ? Bad marks to Citroen there.

    Having said all this, a Xantia with both strut tops and strut cylinders in as-new condition will still ride and perform very well, but the design is certainly not as robust as earlier models and has to be considered a weak point.

    The other problem is a lack of higher performance engine options. Apart from the 2 litre petrol turbo, and the 3 litre V6, most of the Xantia range could be considered "underpowered" for a car that is 1280Kg to 1590Kg depending on the model.

    Even the BX had the BX16 valve with 160 hp in a 1000Kg body, there is no equivalent to this, and that is disapointing. Far too many of them are "slugomatics" as Shane likes to call them, including my own one, which has ok, but not stellar performance.

    123hp to lug around 1300Kg with an automatic just isn't enough IMHO. The turbo diesels with manual gearboxes fare a little bit better, but I find the 1.9TD has a power band that is much too narrow compared to the petrol even if the peak torque is higher. I havn't driven a 2.1TD but presumably it is a bit better in that regard.

    2 litre petrol turbo - what happened ? 150 hp for a 2 litre turbo is underwhelming to say the least. Yes, they went for a CT design, but why bother ? The engine (and the Activa suspension) is just begging to be opened up to 200 hp, and the fact that many people that have done this claim to get better fuel mileage makes me wonder why they were so severely limited in the first place.

    3 litre V6 - great, but where is the manual ? As far as I know the same engine was used on a Peugeot with a manual gearbox, so why not the Xantia as well ?

    All in all, a very nice car though, and it could well be the last model to have "real" Citroen suspension and brakes - eg LHM, mechanical height correctors, high pressure power brakes etc, as it looks like they're going to stick with vacumm servo brakes and unservicable mystery control blocks for the hydraulics on the new models....

    Ok, better sign off before I bore you all to tears...

    Regards,
    Simon
    Me thinks Simon needs to drive a CX GTi Turbo ... There only 168 hp BTW:, and that's from a 2.5 litre motor, so 150hp from the CT turbo isn't to bad (why is it so slow compared to the CX though ).

    It's easy, you just get a boring Xantia for SWMBO (so you have a hatchback with decent air con), and drive the proper yourself ... That way if it's 40degrees outside you can still take the Xantia.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/citro%EBn-forum/90325-best-project-car-you-have-ever-seen.html
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    Me thinks Simon needs to drive a CX GTi Turbo ... There only 168 hp BTW:, and that's from a 2.5 litre motor, so 150hp from the CT turbo isn't to bad (why is it so slow compared to the CX though ).
    Shane, I would LOVE to drive a CX GTi Turbo.... if I'm ever over in Victoria again, (not very likely admitedly) expect a surprise knock at the door

    Why is it slower ? Simple, heavier car, and a lot less torque. (I dont know the exact figure but I think its something like 187ft/lb compared to 217ft/lb for the CX turbo)

    Remember a standard 2 litre turbo Xantia is only 8.9sec 0-100Km, which is nothing fancy at all compared to 7.8 for a CX turbo and 7.4 for a (real) BX16 valve...

    Regards,
    Simon
    1998 Xantia Mk2 V6 Auto Exclusive

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    Quote Originally Posted by gibgib
    To drive a Traction is on my to do list.
    Same here, but I know when that day comes, I'll want to own one.
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

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    Icon6 I'm Converted Sorry

    CX TURBO T2 BEHAVING JUST can not afford a rhd SM this year
    BX 16v 89, I Renault Floride 62, Volvo P1800 68, Aston Martin DB6 68, Daimler 250V8 68, Jaguar XJC 76, Falcon Ute XL 62, Falcon Ute XY 4WD, Jeep Grand Larado 03, Mazda 6 Wagon 05, inter 483 tractor 86, makita cordless drill CX TURBO its dented D Special 1 62 ID192000 Xantia V6 2000 Cadillac STS stolen by the princess,KANGA 720DL LOADER

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    Mandrake that was an incredible story about being involved in a major crash in a GS when you were still a young lad and not being injured!!!
    Almost unbelievable!!
    Thanks for sharing that with us , more ammo for the GS!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    Shane, I would LOVE to drive a CX GTi Turbo.... if I'm ever over in Victoria again, (not very likely admitedly) expect a surprise knock at the door
    Yeah me too... Me thinks next time I am down that way I will have to arrange a back to back up Mt. Cole and back... whaddya reckon, Shane??
    "You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles... Radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat." - Albert Einstein

    Xantia Activa CT - Chock full of upsy-downsy goodness!

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    GS break with a 1300 and the tall 5 speed.

    Chris.
    1964 Type 3 Squareback. 1974 L Bug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raver
    Mandrake that was an incredible story about being involved in a major crash in a GS when you were still a young lad and not being injured!!!
    Almost unbelievable!!
    Thanks for sharing that with us , more ammo for the GS!!!
    Yeah, kinda scary when you think about it, in those days there were no air bags, no side intrusion beams in doors, etc etc, but what the GS did have already was the concept of a rigid passenger compartment shell with crumple areas around it.

    The doors were thick enough (outer to inner skin gap) with thick enough outer skins that the doors acted pretty well as safe crumple zones, aparently in that crash (I don't remember it, and thank god for that or I'd still probably be having nightmares ) the outside of the door was completely crushed inwards, but there was hardly any sign from the inside that the door was damaged. Of course the pillars around the door probably took a lot of the strain due to the shape of the approaching car. But compare that to the very thin flimsy doors of a lot of cars of the 70's and 80's and you realise how far ahead they were...

    They also had plenty of box section bracing sideways across the floorpan under the front seats, something a lot of other cars didn't have at the time. According to Dad who has seen a couple of GS wrecks that have had high speed head on collisions the motor and gearbox actually tear away from their mountings and dive mostly UNDER the bodyshell with very little intrusion into the passenger foot wells.

    A great little car with a lot of sentimental value to me even if I wouldn't have one as a daily driver now for reasons outlined in my first post...(And I doubt that one with lots of hidden body rust would be nearly as safe in a crash, Dad's one was only 4 years old at the time, so basically spanking new and rust free....)

    Regards,
    Simon
    Last edited by Mandrake; 24th February 2006 at 06:23 AM.
    1998 Xantia Mk2 V6 Auto Exclusive

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    I don't think that question can really be answered, as I don't think any model of Citroen meets ALL of those requirements at once.... and while there are many models to like, they tend to be liked for very different reasons.

    Simon
    Absolutely

    Each era brought a completely different car, even the transitions from the early Ds/IDs to the later model D and DS produced vehicles with their own unique characteristics.

    There is however something, possibly more especially with the hydraulic cars that links the marque for enthusiasts from those early 50's right though to today.

    For me these cars are as individual as the people we meet everyday. Very slight changes in wear and tear, perhaps the way the car was run-in, maintained, subtle variations in the way the car is/was set-up? The result being that no two (like model/year) Citroens are identical. I've owned and driven cars that looked amazing, a DS23i full leather, immaculate in appearance and mechanically, all but perfect - a beautiful car but it just never felt right, on the other hand I've had beaten up neglected, old long stroke IDs that felt like a well worn glove, just wonderful to drive and ride in, and gave the impression they would go on forever.

    Even within our current fleet, '70's D, '80's BX, '90's XM and '02 C5 what is common and unites is the same thing that makes each car different - and they are so very different. Ask me today which I prefer and you'll get a different answer tomorrow.

    I love the D because she is such an unhurried girl, she likes to adjust her clothing and check her make-up before we set off, no amount of yelling, screaming or coercion is going hurry her. I'm used to her now (we've been together a while), when we start in the morning I carry on with my own business whilst she slowly rises, I feel her steering lighten as she pressurises, her rear already lifted she rises at the front and we slowly move off. Despite her calm, she likes then to show me that there is still plenty of life left in her as she competently competes with the morning traffic, floating over and around obstacles with all the grace of the lady that she is. We arrive at our destination un-flustered and on time. As I leave she briefly rises with a curtsy and then slowly settles in readiness for her next outing. She is still, despite her age truly beautiful. I often catch myself just staring at her, I see past the scars that have formed in the last 30+ years and see her as the young women she once was. (I'd probably pass her up for a nice DS21 Hydraulique though )

    The BX16v, a young brash teenager, wants and needs to do everything in a big hurry. No sooner have I turned the key in the ignition and it's up and ready to go. Forget gliding through traffic, this youngster carves his way through, taking the line of least resistance. He doesn't believe in corners, "slow down why slow down, c'mon we've got places to go, people to see c'mon, c'mon!!" We arrive at our destination grinning at one another, hours later he sits still pressurised and at the ready c'mon, c'mon." Like a teenager, he makes demands, I feel I'm forever puting my hand in my pocket, "I need this, I need that." Small amounts but a fairly consistant and constant drain - but, oh so rewarding, when driven the way it was designed to.

    The XM, well, a bit pompous and snooty like an 'English Butler' (he hasn't heard that he was quite a failure for Citroen) He wouldn't understand the reputation he has for un-reliability either - how did that happen?? He's looked after us now for five years and really has been 99.9% reliable - sure, shortly after joining us he proceeded to lose all of his LHM in one big gush (a worn high pressure line) but he did ensure that this happened within 2 seconds of our destination. The rest of his stay with us to date has been fairly routine, testament to this is that my teenage son uses him as his man-servant and has done so now for over 12 months - apart from regular services and minor routine maintenance he hasn't caused us any real trouble. He's convinced that nothing short of the Royal Yacht is going to get you to your destination in greater comfort and with a minimum of fuss. He is starting to show signs of his age, wrinkles in the leather and a few cracks appearing in his plastic bits, but he gives the impression of being a loyal family friend for many years to come.

    I can't believe we've had the C5HDi for so long now, must be 4 years, for us a very sensible addition. Must be one of, if not 'the' largest hatch available - copious amounts of space absolutely 100% reliable so many creature comforts for a vehicle in it's price bracket. A brilliant family tourer, for a diesel 'quite' and surprisingly quick when hurried. This is Mrs GB's daily drive, she is not fussed on gadgets or things that buzz and demand attention - she hates the XM for this reason, 'turn key in ignition, key in code into numeric key pad (whilst listening to that Citroen beee baaah beee baah)' so none of this in the C5 - just turn the key in the ignition and move off, no waiting for the suspension to rise, that happened electronically as soon as the car was unlocked. I think it will take a while longer for the C5 to develop it's own personality, but it does most of what the rest of the fleet does as well and some things better - not as comfortable as the D, not as sporty as the BX, no where near as stylish as the XM but could replace all of them.

    ….but for me the ultimate Citroen, is an SM, I would love to have one in my care, not a pristine example that I would be hesitant to take on the road, but a reasonably sound car preferably RHD it might throw ‘raver’s’ initial criteria out the window but IMO it is the pièce de résistance, the pinnacle of all things Citroen.

    To choose, from the current fleet or the many (oh so many) that have since left us would be like choosing which of your children you prefer - not possible, I just love them all

    ...erm thanks for listening

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

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    The great thing about being enthusiasts and Citrophiles is to be able to have such a debate in the first place... To consider the GS as the best Citroen ever made in itself is quite amazing... which other marque can consider a car that can be had for anything from a slab of VB to up to $6,500.00 according to the classic cars value guide for a minter... is testemony to the engineering principals and purity of the Citroen philosophy.... Even a mint DS would not push $25,000.00, a 2CV van be had for $15,000.00 and a usable RHD restored SM can be had for under $50,000.00.....as for an XM less than $20,000 buys you a nice one and $5,000 will get you a great BX...and you could argue for any of them on any given day... try and find such an eclectic and legitimate choice from ANY other Marque... and yes I am totally biased of course... but never the less....

    Let's see Ford, GM, Jaguar, Mercedes, et al try and do the same... $200k for a GTHO, $100,000.00 for the best of the Bathurst Monaros... how about a Gullwing Merc or an E-type or XK120....or $30,000.00 for a decent TR6....!

    You could have one of each of the Cit's nominated for less than the cost of a new Landcruiser Sahara and that's what makes them all great...
    BX TZI Hatch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Dunham
    GS break with a 1300 and the tall 5 speed.

    Chris.
    Make mine with c-matic and aircon. That'd do me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBlood
    ….but for me the ultimate Citroen, is an SM, I would love to have one in my care, not a pristine example that I would be hesitant to take on the road, but a reasonably sound car preferably RHD it might throw ‘raver’s’ initial criteria out the window but IMO it is the pièce de résistance, the pinnacle of all things Citroen.
    I agree 100%.

    And well said for the whole post, Greenblood. I can see why you're such an integral part of this forum with such passion, understanding and sensitivity towards Citroens. Well done.
    Care factor = -273.15ºC

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