Citroen has always held a pretty special place in my heart. Twinned with the fact that my first car memories took place in a 1988 Citroen BX 19 RD (light blue estate – we used to see them everywhere!), I always wanted to continue my investigation into the brand and own a couple of classic Citroens. Here are some thoughts on which ones to choose that are still well within the reach affordability wise of most people.
Some of the older Citroen’s, especially the ones in which I remember from the 1980s, are triumphs of modern classic styling. My personal favourite has to be the Citroen BX – designed by the famous Marcello Gandini from Bertone. Responsible for the beautiful Lamborghini Miura and later the Countach – the design credibility is second to none and its popularity (and load carrying capability of the estate!) is a mark of how much people enjoyed its unique character.
The Citroen CX was the last Citroen developed and built before the merger with Peugeot in 1976. Its stunning aerodynamic styling, powerful engines and smooth ride became defining features of the car. It managed to be a ‘real’ Citroen – continuing a tradition of inventiveness and comofrt set by the founders of the company.
If you’re in the market for a CX – and they’re becoming increasingly rare now – check out this amazing break version on eBay
By any definition, the Citroen XM was a very well built and proficient executive car. Entering a crowded market offering a unique and characterful take, the XM was a stylistic and refined development of the BX – entering the market in 1990. Established by Autocar magazine in 1989 as the ‘best riding car in the world’, Citroen had perfected its suspension system and had reached a pinnacle with this car.
In the British market good examples of XM’s are becoming rare. The car is turning into a proper enthusiasts purchase, but many later examples are perfectly well equipped, enjoyable, powerful, comfortable and easy to drive everyday cars.
The ZX doesn’t easily fit into a ‘Citroens you want to own’ category. Stylistically it’s an awkward car, and many believe it’s just far too boring to be attractive if you’re looking for a typical Citroen purchase. Having said that, it’s notable because it was Citroen’s first proper foray into the small family car market, and it remains an interesting and attractive purchase. It’s a lightweight, well equipped and fun car to drive – the engines are relatively powerful and it’s a pleasurable car to mess around in. Turbo diesels are good, and if you can get hold of one that hasn’t been ripped to shreds, the Volcane and 16v models are wonderful.
PetrolBlog has an interesting take on his Citroen ZX 16v – definitely worth a read!
Citroen AX GT
This diminutive Citroen has come up time and time again in recent months – with enthusiasts and buyers clamouring to find one that’s still usable. In fairness – it’s probably to stick in the garage – these little go-karts are in short supply and are likely to see a massive surge in value in coming years.
Even if you can’t get hold of a GTI, the Citroen AX is an incredibly fun car to drive around in anyway. A cheap, cheerful and can turn on a dime. Fixing it is about as cheap as it gets – and you’d probably be able to do most of it yourself anyway. Definitely worth looking into for a fun and extremely affordable future Citroen classic.