A lovely "What car should I get" thread
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
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    Default A lovely "What car should I get" thread

    Righto. After deliberating for months upon months, I'm heading back to Tassie on wednesday night, and The Volvo will head down to the yard on thursday afternoon. So, all things being good, it shouldn't take too long to sell (one buyer is already lined up), and I should have about $9k to play with. I've decided not to tip a heap of my savings in, as mid-way through next year, I'll be moving off campus, and be needing to buy furniture and the like. Originally I had grander plans for the next car, but I've had to use my head and think *semi-practically* - which means 4 doors and nothing fancy. I need to be able to cart people around and load the car up with all my gear moving back and forth from melbourne to tassie.

    So here's a list of the cars I've considered.
    Cit XM - Great car, but I need to spend about 15k to get an average one, and I'm a bit scared by all the tech in them, so probably a no no.
    Citroen BX 16V - Love the look, love the seats, yet to drive one, but I assume they are to be fairly similar to an Mi16? Better handling a bit less weight?
    405 Mi16 - Currently the most likely choice. Comfortable, pokey, nice highway behaviour, bit of luxury.
    205 GTi - I've decided I really do need 4 doors.
    306 XT/XR - Too boring. Did not enjoy one bit.

    So basically, its a toss up between an mi16 and a bx16v for around $8-9k. Obviously the die hard Citroen fans (Alan S ) will scream BX, and a lot of the pug fans will say the Mi16. But basically, I'm not too phased by expensive part prices (within reason), but I don't really want something that will be off the road too often. Something capable of highway trips, but also nipping around the city.

    So I'd appreciate it if people could throw in the Pros and cons of the 2 models, and give any advice/opinions as to ownership of each.

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    Cheers,
    Nick

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    mi16 or bx16...

    both of these cars are great....it really is hard to choose between the two...
    both have endearing qualities...


    406 mi16....they "seem" like a more solid car than the bx so would appear to be tougher both crash wise and driving wise ie. structural integrity....i make this comment from a visual perspective...it may not be the case...

    the interiors seem to wear reasonably well in the mi16s...not sure about the bx...hopefully better than the cx....which didn t like the aussie sun "at all".....

    obviously the mi16 is a sedan where as the bx is more like a hatch...so there might be practical advatages here over the mi16....does the bx have rear seats that fold down? am not sure...??

    Both cars look great...i think the mi16 is still a very modern and good looking vehicle (especially if in good nick)....the bx...on the other hand has a more individual look that has also aged well.....so if u like being a bit different the bx might be the car of choice....

    the bx also has the lovely ride and the handling seems (i ve only had limited experience here) on par with the mi.....seats in the bx are pretty good 2....instrumentation is not bad ether....mi dash and interior is much more conventional....

    the bx is supposed to be as quick if not quicker so that might be a consideration...and since its lighter it might also offer slightly better fuel economy...

    service wise the mi might be a better choice since it "appears" more conevetional and there are more pug parts suppliers (and mechanics) but IMO i think this should not affect your choice much since u r obviously an AF member so no lack of advice here both mechanically or parts supplies wise...the bx wrecks seem to fetch lower prices 2 so buying a good bx and a "second"car could be a more economical choice in the long run....if u have the space and are mech-minded....


    At the end of the day u r going to be the one choosing and will know your priorities better then others...but i would not be scared away from the bx...i think its a graet car.....

    so my pick would actually be the bx....just because its different (yet the same in many ways to the mi)... has a more of a sleeper look so if u want to drive it like a granny nobody will mind......


    cheers
    dino

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    What was wrong with the 306?

    Did you drive a Style?

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
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    I drove a 306 XT 8v manual (94 model)... Basically, it just didn't stir me. It seemed very competent, well built, and they look snappy, but not a whole lotta poke, and something about the car was just slightly boring. And styles still fetch around the 12-14k for a good one don't they?

    Nick

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    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    About that, although you might find a really cheap one if you look hard.

    Don't base your opinion of 306's on the 8valve XT. There is a huge difference between an old XT and the Style on road.

    If you wanted a car a bit like a 205 GTi, but with more interior space and something more modern, I would definately stretch to a Style.

    An under-rated car in my opinion.

    A good Mi16 would be worth a look too.

  6. #6
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nchandler
    I drove a 306 XT 8v manual (94 model)... Basically, it just didn't stir me. It seemed very competent, well built, and they look snappy, but not a whole lotta poke, and something about the car was just slightly boring. And styles still fetch around the 12-14k for a good one don't they?

    Nick
    I guess you either like flat torque curves or you don't. The 8 valve engine is one of the best for pulling right through the rev range but doesn't suddenly come on song like the 16v engines.

    I reckon a 306 would be great in Tasmania, with all those non-straight roads! They're a lot more common and a lot newer than most BX and Mi16 examples too.

    Cheers

    JohnW

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
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    I must admit, I do enjoy the feeling of sudden power kick in that the 16Vs deliver.

    306 Styles seem to range anywhere from 12-15k, which is more than I really want to stretch. Its a fair hike up from $8-9k for the Mi or BX. I'm not all that mechanically capable, I can change filters, oil, etc. and am pretty good with electrical work.
    Nick

  8. #8
    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    Mi16 vs BX16 handling? Might be worth a thread on its own!

    I used to own an Mi16, and I have driven a BX19TRi. I'm not sure if 16valve and non-16valve BXs have different suspension settings, but in my mind the Mi16 has much better handling. I wasn't at all impressed with the BX, although I just drove it in the Melbourne suburbs. The main trouble was the body roll, it just wasn't flat and composed like an Mi16. When I took sharp corners it rolled quite a bit, where an Mi16 would just dart around. I imagine a BX would be really nice on a fast, sweeping road however.

    I remember seeing the cornering pictures of the two cars in a Wheels article. Mi16 looked nicely controlled, but the BX had the nose down and the inside rear wheel off the ground (or almost, not sure).

    In my experience, the Mi16 has much nicer handling. I'm sure some will disagree, go right ahead Alan!

    John
    John W

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  9. #9
    nJm
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    I drove a 306 8v the other day and really liked the flat torque curve. I'm used to cars with all their power above 3000rpm, and nothing really low down (my 505 and the V6 Magna) so it was a nice change. I agree the 306 isn't really exciting, but would a 405 be either? I find peaky engines rather boring and tiring to drive on a daily basis in heavy traffic as you have to keep them up in their power band. I drove a Honda CRX 1.6 VTEC for a little while and it was boring. Extremely slow until it reached about 5000rpm. It had peak torque at 7000rpm and peak power at 7900rpm!
    Nick
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    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! DTwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peujohn
    Mi16 vs BX16 handling? Might be worth a thread on its own!

    I used to own an Mi16, and I have driven a BX19TRi. I'm not sure if 16valve and non-16valve BXs have different suspension settings, but in my mind the Mi16 has much better handling. I wasn't at all impressed with the BX, although I just drove it in the Melbourne suburbs. The main trouble was the body roll, it just wasn't flat and composed like an Mi16. When I took sharp corners it rolled quite a bit, where an Mi16 would just dart around. I imagine a BX would be really nice on a fast, sweeping road however.

    I remember seeing the cornering pictures of the two cars in a Wheels article. Mi16 looked nicely controlled, but the BX had the nose down and the inside rear wheel off the ground (or almost, not sure).

    In my experience, the Mi16 has much nicer handling. I'm sure some will disagree, go right ahead Alan!

    John
    The BX 16Vs suspension was considerably stiffer than standard BXs.......

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Pug_405_Mi16's Avatar
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    Nick,

    I have no opinion on the matter, but there is a fairly nice '89 405 Mi16 for sale in Hobart.

    It is Silver, Lux pack, sub 200,000kms and I have been told it has Koni's in it...

    Car lives near here I have seen it around a few times and it looks quite nice ! I think he wants around $7,500 for it !

    Ben
    1989 Peugeot 405 Mi16
    1990 Peugeot 505 GTD Turbo Wagon
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  12. #12
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Well, I'll probably take your breath away with what I'll tell you.
    If you don't do your own service beyond oil & water, I wouldn't advise looking at either an Mi16 or a BX16V.
    They are high performance and argueably high maintenance to go with it if you have to pay someone else to do it.
    If you are into DIY or prepared to learn, different story but when I hear these stories (mostly offlist) about these scarey prices some of these repairers are charging and even more scarey, getting, then I think it is a very brave buyer who sticks his/her neck into a noose like this unless they have a repairer they can trust won't take them to the cleaners.
    In our house, we have my 16V, my eldest sons series one 16V, Adrians TZi and I previously had a TRs so we have a bit of variety. I have a mate with a 405 and another who used to have an Mi16 so I can again compare.
    Sure I agree the BX can be sloppy around corners and a bit marshmellowy on the ride given the right set of circumstances. I recently posted about my 16V being like that. It happened after, as an experiment, I fitted a set of spheres from a wreck we have here that someone had previously commented was unstable; I have never had a BX feel like an EH Holden before, but that was the spheres fault and somebody who knew bugger all about Citroen suspensions fitting wrong spheres. I would have loved to have driven a 405 with stuffed shockies to compare the difference.
    As a direct comparison & from someone who had more to lose than gain by "gilding the lilly" Peter Brock's comments at Bathurst when he drove an Mi16 and was following Peter McLeod in a BX16V "what's he done to that thing? It corners flatter than a can of sardines!!" So any BX rolling into a corner at a weird angle is faulty, end of story.
    As regards performance, I find the standard 8 valve motor to be extremely nippy and with the potential for more. Compare the figures of the BX Sport or GTi to the 16V version and you'll find very little difference in times, however, the mileages done in the 8 valve models and the reliability is almost legendary with 300 - 400,000 klms not being unusual overseas. One guy who bought one in Sydney & took it to a repairer who does a lot of BXs suggested that around 400 - 450,000 was a realistic mileage before major money needed spending. I would say speaking from a practical viewpoint, a good TZi or Tri with low mileage would be quite easy to buy in the $5 - $6000 mark in fact I think you'll find some around right now for that money. A comparable Pug 405 will set you back around $8 - $9000 and the parts particularly second hand for the Cit will be way below Pug prices. The only risk factor is again getting ripped off on the hydraulics as although they are possibly the simplest & most versatile system ever invented, the old wives tales of unreliability & costs are a big money spinner for many of those who make a quid from working on them so again, your lack of DIY can be a problem unless you have a reputable & honest repairer.
    The insurance on the 8 valve in either breed should be much less on them to the 16V version too.
    Failing that of course, you could always opt for the 505 and may even grab a low price turbo diesel but that's another story.

    Alan S

  13. #13
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    so i take you are only interested in fairly late model sort of stuff ?

    if not then as alan said a 505 could be had and they will carry people, they have 4 doors, they cruise ok and are nippy when need to be
    there is also a 604 for sale in tassie as we speak so there is another car that fills the bill as well
    the story of 8 valve motors not bieng nippy is a tale
    my mother had a 405 SRi 5 spd and that went really well
    cruised nicely and when you asked it go it answered the call
    the other story of 16 valve motors bieng unresponsive at low revs is another tale
    sure they aren't super spritely but no pug basically is off the line but they aren't a slug either
    the Mi-16 i had was never a slug off the mark and yes it was quicker off the mark than my mothers SRi was although it did very well and wasn't far behind
    the only thing is you don't get that kick in the back with the 8 valve and tends to make people think when they have driven both that the 8 valve is so slow in comparison
    for simplistic motoring though go 8V and watch for pinging with bad fuel
    with the 16V cars it's not just the engines that are more expensive when work needs to be carried out it's everything else with them as well
    shocks are more money for starters as they are different
    you could get a 16V fairly cheap but you could well be buying into troubles
    3 x '78 604 SL

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  14. #14
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Guys,

    I don't much like BX, but I would say Got the BX !!! If the 405 had proper simple hydraulic suspension and a hatchback it would get my vote. In reality, I'd probably buy on the condition of the car vs price. If I could get a much better 405 for the same price as a BX, that's what I'd get. This isn't the way it works however, the BX always seem to be much cheaper (and probably a supperior car in a lot of ways). I have a BX19tri, the lowest powered 1.9litre you can buy. It's very nippy, and leaves most cars for dead away from the lights, however it will NOT win many drag races if your going to go out and race the rice boys (unless of course there's a few turns or bumps in the road). On a personal note, I know citroen hydraulics backwards, they are extremely simple, so the spring/shocker system on the Mi16 would put me off in a big way (it's to complex). The biggest drawback on the BX is the quality of the plastic interia, but in Tassie this shouldn't be a problem. Only a car that's spent it's life in the sun will be bad (much like mine ), though I'm guessing the plastic in the 504 will be no better.

    To my eyes, the 405 looks rather bland, but hey the BX doesn't look nice either (imo), how about a nice CX or DS


    If your not willing to learn a little DIY, I'd really suggest a Magna or Camry (really I'm serious, any mechanic could work on it without the "Gees, this is gonna cost yah a fortune mate ..." routine.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
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    I've got no problems learning DIY. I mean, I managed to completely remove and replace the heater core in my Volvo, which was the best part of a day's work, and I had no idea what I was doing besides my basic knowledge. Its not the most difficult procedure, but it wasn't easy and I was pretty happy with myself after it!

    The other thing is, I take my car back to Tassie about 3-4 times a year for at least a week each time. And the old man's business employs a full time mechanic who has all the special accreditations from Volvo and Nissan (we use him for the underground vehicles that go to Pasminco). He's very capable, and has done a fair bit of Pug work in his time, as when he was head mechanic at the Nissan dealer, they had Peugeot as well. So his resources are usually there.

    The other side of it is, I'm yet to own anything that really resembles trouble free motoring, so I'm fairly confident that an Mi16 will be similar or better to own. All good cars need a fair bit of work!

    It'll be my first non turbo, and the 91 405S and 95 SRi I drove just didn't have as much kick as the Mi16. Plus, the seats in the Mi16 were worlds ahead of the others. It really has to be the 16V engine in either BX or 405. I really enjoy the stiffer suspension in the Mi16s as well. Plus, the 16V engine leaves so much more potential if I decide to tip some money into it (which I most probably will!).

    505s and 604s don't really do it it for me. If it was going to be an older car, I'd probably go a 504. But I really want something from the early 90s.

    Did the BX16Vs come in black in australia?

    Thanks,
    Nick

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! DTwo's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I getting a strange sense of deja vu here.......

    nchandler, haven't you been posting questions about MI16s/205s/etc for almost two years now?

    The first time i think you went off and bought an auto 626 turbo (and promptly blew it's gearbox ) and the second time you bought the obrut 047 ovlov.....

    Think you'll actually go through with the french car thang, this time?

  17. #17
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
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    I was originally supposed to buy a car at the start of this year, but decided not to, seeing as I was moving to Melbourne, and knew that the Ovlov was in healthy condition, and I knew anything that could go wrong. I didn't want to be stuck in Melbourne with an unfamiliar car, that I knew little about technically, so I decided to hang on. I had a deposit down on a 205 in August, but after discovering that it had a very, very nasty oil leak that we couldn't work out where it was coming from, backed out of it. Someone back in Tassie has offered to buy my car (for a tidy figure), and I have a fair bit sitting in the bank - plus a fair bit of work coming up when I get back to Tas, so I'll be cashed up. My uni course is unbelievably intense, and with non stop assigments and crucial exams, I just haven't had the time to look into it.

    Now is the right time to buy a car, at the start of my 4 month holidays, so I can familiarise myself with the car, iron out any basic problems, and ensure that my foray into frogdom isn't one laced with doom and gloom.

    Nick

  18. #18
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    Hi,
    interesting reading. I owned a 505Sti for many years, am now a fairly new owner of a BX16V.
    I was rather concerned, before buying, about the hydraulics. Aussiefrogs various posts from "knowledgeble" people convinced me to give the BX a go when a really good deal presented itself end of last year.
    First some bad points - now lessons learned - not being used to the car settling to a low level, caused the front bumberbar (fibreglass) to severely crack on the kerb, when parking one day at 90dgr to the footpath. Now park a bit away from the footpath. VERY annoying plastic moulding under the windscreen. This is at this stage the only broken bit of plastic, but looks virtually impossible to repair/replace, so will have to stay there.
    Now the good points. Every trip to and from work (~30km both ways) is FUN.
    From starting - waiting for the suspension to rise, to driving fast, secure and totally predictable, 100% more so than with the fubulous 505. Also enjoy the almost daily reaction from the local yokels; the most exotic car you see in this neighbourhood are mitshibishis...... A couple of time some youngsters almost ran off the road whilst ogling that strange french car streaking past.
    Seats are of a type you always wished for as an aftermarket item but (I at least) couldn't afford. Steering: direct and easy, roadholding: nothing can be better.
    Lots of bits that can't rust (the whole hatch and the bonnet.)
    When I bought the car it was the best deal I could get at the time, with a choice between a Renault 25, Peugeot 405 and the BX16V.
    Consider very carefully Allan S's comments, found his ideas/suggestions very useful.
    Reading all the above also consider that I'm past 60 and thus not really a boy racer.
    Good luck with your next vehicle and don't forget to join your local cit-club if you decide on a bx.
    Wouter

  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! Ross's Avatar
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    Having owned both a BX 16v and a Mi16 for the last 3 years now I feel I should respond.

    The BX is a 1989 UK import mechanically excellent, chipped and sports exhaust on 14" wheels (std)

    The Mi16 is a 1991 also UK import mechanically excellent, std engine on 15" wheels (std)

    The BX being lighter and chipped definitely has the performance advantage over the Mi16. The hatch is very convenient and the seats are the most comfortable of any car I have owned.

    The Mi16 is quieter (thanks to a std exhaust) more comfortable overall and definitely handles better than the BX. It is more composed, less roll, just feels more sorted than the BX.

    So it really depends on what you are after. The interesting thing in our family is that we have the choice of which car to take when we go out. The BX is spending alot of time in the garage lately

    Ross

  20. #20
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    ...to answer the question; the BX 16V came in Australia in two shades of silver, red and white to my knowledge.
    I have been told that there was a black personal import around Noosa a few years back but I have never seen it & have only ever spoken to one person who claims to have & he was a used car salesman, although his description of the unterior including the colour & material pattern was spot on, so I think you could confidently say there would be no black ones available in Oz.

    Alan S

  21. #21
    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    The BX 16Vs suspension was considerably stiffer than standard BXs.......
    So now I know!

    However, I didn't make it clear that the BX in the cornering picture in Wheels, was a 16v.

    John
    John W

    1979 Peugeot 504 GTI 2.2 litre 5 speed - 72 kW at the wheels

    1974 Peugeot 504 TI
    - now on the road

    2009 Peugeot 407 HDI wagon - family car

    Previous: 2005 407 HDI manual sedan, 1980 504 GL, 1990 405 Mi16, 1977 504 GL Special, 1984 505 SRD Turbo



  22. #22
    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    I also assume that it was brand new!
    John W

    1979 Peugeot 504 GTI 2.2 litre 5 speed - 72 kW at the wheels

    1974 Peugeot 504 TI
    - now on the road

    2009 Peugeot 407 HDI wagon - family car

    Previous: 2005 407 HDI manual sedan, 1980 504 GL, 1990 405 Mi16, 1977 504 GL Special, 1984 505 SRD Turbo



  23. #23
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peujohn
    So now I know!

    However, I didn't make it clear that the BX in the cornering picture in Wheels, was a 16v.

    John
    You've obviously never driven in a CX or a 2CV. Also, I could drive both of those cars & corner in such a way so as to get the desired result; I wouldn't put too much weight on what Wheels or any motoring Journo would say, after all, when that was done, which was the biggest selling brand & who was spending the most advertising money?
    I've driven both & whilst there really isn't anything in it as a handling comparison in general driving, I personally found the Pug suspension a bit "Jap" feeling for my money. It gave the impression that it was fairly primitive and could let go big time if it were pushed to the limit whereas a properly set up BX has an extremely secure & positive feel about it and the Cit suspension is the only one I've ever heard of where a blown out tyre is a pain in the butt because you have to change it & not because it's a life threatening situation.
    A Citroen hydraulic suspension being self levelling as well as having a brake/suspension load bias is possibly the most forgiving of all suspensions ever made.
    Here's an overseas comparison where the advertising buck is more evenly spread.
    http://www.citroenz.com/BX/twin.html

    Alan S

    [Edit/] Link to road test
    Last edited by Alan S; 24th November 2003 at 09:48 PM.

  24. #24
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    You've obviously never driven in a CX or a 2CV. Also, I could drive both of those cars & corner in such a way so as to get the desired result; I wouldn't put too much weight on what Wheels or any motoring Journo would say, after all, when that was done, which was the biggest selling brand & who was spending the most advertising money?
    I've driven both & whilst there really isn't anything in it as a handling comparison in general driving, I personally found the Pug suspension a bit "Jap" feeling for my money. It gave the impression that it was fairly primitive and could let go big time if it were pushed to the limit whereas a properly set up BX has an extremely secure & positive feel about it and the Cit suspension is the only one I've ever heard of where a blown out tyre is a pain in the butt because you have to change it & not because it's a life threatening situation.
    A Citroen hydraulic suspension being self levelling as well as having a brake/suspension load bias is possibly the most forgiving of all suspensions ever made.
    Here's an overseas comparison where the advertising buck is more evenly spread.
    http://www.citroenz.com/BX/twin.html

    Alan S

    [Edit/] Link to road test
    Thanks for the link to that article Alan, it offers a great comparison.
    Quick question how many RPM @ 110 km/h for the two? Obviously they are going to be identical, but I hadn't even thought about it. I'm used to mid 2k RPM for highway driving, but I'm expecting both cars to be a little higher.

    Nick

  25. #25
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Pity you hadn't asked that earlier on as I had to do a 100 klm trip earlier today but from memory I think it's about 3500.
    I know if I have an annoyance under my feet, I usually drop back to 4th at 100 kph to just blow him/her away. That puts me into the magic 4,500 groove.

    Alan S

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