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Citroen CX

Citroen CX Published: 19th Mar 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Citroen CX
Citroen CX
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Why should I buy one?

Replacement for the legendary DS is nothing like as revolutionary or ebullient, but the car is still like nothing on Earth! More in tune with modern roads than its elder icon plus significantly cheaper to buy into the bargain, it’s one of the very last of the old guard Citroëns.

What can I get?

Two generations; the prettier metal-bumpered Series 1s and colour-coded Series 2s that feature with an even madder looking dashboard. Most engines were derived from the DS, with 2.0, 2.4 and later 2.5 variants. Diesels also available, as was a much later 2.2-litre PSA engine taken from the Peugeot 505. CXs were available in two lengths – standard and Prestige; the latter spun from the warehouse on wheels Safari estate as a luxury limousine for heads of state – the more basic Safari and familialé station wagons make fabulous workhorses as well as MPV-like family ferriers. Many CXs featured DIRAVI steering, which self-centres, but many early versions had no assistance at all, so it’s heavy. It’s worth noting that GTis, unless turbo’d, are simply a 2.5-litre saloon but to sexier TRI spec and as a result not a car with genuine sporting pretensions.

What are they like to drive?

Like the DS, the CX is an acquired taste and a quick spin around the block sells it short, invariably leaving you unimpressed. Like all old Citroëns a magic carpet ride as you’d expect but the DIVARI steering is almost too-sensitive, ditto the brakes which are far sharper than you’d first anticipate. Handling is pretty good bearing in mind CX’s age and size – no, the big thing which lets the CX range down is the range of petrol engines which came out of the DS, themselves pre-war Traction Avant designs, with the exception of the later CX22 range. You may like this link however. While being a bit thirstier, the CX makes the most sense as a (semi) automatic design as the gearchange can be woolly. All CXs eat up the miles and cruise quite beautifully.

What are they like to live with?

Forget main dealers – you’re in the hands of specialists such as Herts-based The Chevornic Centre. Fortunately, these are in fair numbers, many who understand these DS replacements well enough although that doesn’t mean spare parts are necessarily easy to come by. It’s worth joining either the Citroën Car Club or Citroën Owners Club and building your own spares stash – project cars can be purchased for under £500 and worth it for the components alone.

The biggest problem when buying a CX is rust and the car is far more complex than the old DS to fix. Protection and build quality was improved for 1982 but, even so, the bug will rip through these cars; the most critical areas being the sills, floor pan, bulkheads and subframes. Due to their historical lowly values watch for past bodges. The suspension is chiefly DS; a reliable system if maintained right and spheres replaced if faulty.

Compared to the DS, CXs are dirt cheap with the best only priced at around £8000 and fair alternatives for half this. Apart from the Prestige versions, which can be as much as a third dearer, year, spec, engine or body style doesn’t make too much difference with the residuals – it’s the CX’s general condition which is what really counts.

We reckon

If you’ve hankered for a DS but put off by their age and prices, give the CX a whirl. It’s the same car but better in so many areas yet still a quirky Citroën underneath that spaceship-style body

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