Ah, the Citroen ZX. A halfway house between truly great French innovation and purely mundane, Gallic dross of the early 2000s. An interesting car, one that I’ve had my eye on for a while, and one that constantly surprises me by how it balances lightweight French handling and comfort with an increasing amount of desirability.
Howmanyleft suggest that the disappearance of the Citroen ZX is gathering pace. I bought a 1.9 non-turbo diesel, admittedly one of the most proliferous, but still a car that registers as an occasion if one drives past. Obviously, numbers are likely to continue to decline. Unless it is a Volcane or a 16v, the ZX hasn’t reached anything like modern classic status yet and still hovers in bangerdom. I have a feeling that will, and deserves to, change.
Not that I’m ashamed to buy a slightly tatty 1997 diesel. Not in the slightest. It has done 97,000 miles, the interior is spotless and it only needs some new plastic on the wheels and a service to be completely happy pootling around for a lot longer yet. Classic XUD9, with a titly/slidy sunroof, working electric windows and comfy velour to add bang to the buck.
It does ride beautifully well. Not exactly floaty, but somewhere far further down the scale of magic carpet than a lot of modern cars. The squishy seats, novel radio/cassette straight out of 1992 and remarkably well placed cup-holder helps.
The ZX was in the category of ‘beginning to be something I’d like,’ and it was like that for a while, but I genuinely think that’s changing as they’re getting rarer and I’m glad I bought one now. Yes, it’ll need a little ‘refresh’ and the bodywork is hardly pristine, but it’s nice to have found a sub-100k version with some go in it.
I love it in terms of the styling too. Even the 1.9D looks almost 16v-esque, with lovely fogs and a single wiper adding to the sleek lines and attractive stance.
Next step – find some new seals for the sunroof, open it up, enjoy the sunshine and hopefully simple and relatively economical motoring for the summer.