Citroën CX

Short description

The CX you can find basically in three variants:

  1. Berline. This is the normal passenger car. 4 doors, and baggage compartment totally separated from the passenger cabin.
  2. Prestige (petrol) and Limousine (diesel) are longer (as long as the Break) with better room for the backseat passengers feet. Also with a higher roof (like the Break) and more luxurious inside.
  3. Break. Station wagon and 8-seater (Familiale).

The engine and the suspension are mounted on a subframe. The engine (only with four cylinders) is mounted transversely and placed in front of the front axle. 2.0 — 2.5 litres; both petrol and diesel. 2.5 (petrol and diesel) also with turbo. Front wheel drive and also with hand brakes on the front wheels. Hydraulics on the following parts:

  • Suspension. Automatic height correction both front and rear, and air suspension (nitrogen).
  • Brakes. Very powerful brakes, and brake pedal with almost no travel.
  • Steering. Diravi; real servo steering with no mechanical contact, 2.5 turns from lock to lock and automatic return to the middle position.

Only one windscreen wiper covering the whole front screen, with washing built into the wiper (on early models the washing was mounted on the bonnet). Fenders covering the back wheels (must be removed at wheel changes). Spare wheel in the engine compartment. Ignition switch to the left of the steering wheel, and all the most important controls placed in reach without removing the hands from the wheel. Bathroom-weight-scale instruments (ordinary instruments on the GTI Turbo and on all CX2). Handels for heat and ventilation between the front seats (longer forwards on CX2). Handel between the front seats for adjusting the driving hight (normal and terrain, plus all the way up and all the way down) (electrical switch on CX2).

Citroën CX

So, why is the Citroën CX better than ordinary cars?

Citroën CX series 1

Ordinary cars

Let us start with the door handles

They are very good-looking, and they sit firmly in place. You press a button with your thumb to open.

On most cars the door handle gives away when you grasp it, and if the door is a little bit frozen, you get the feeling of destroying the entire locking mechanism. (And it feels like only moments before you tear off your fingernails;)

Seats and seating position                        

You lower yourself into the car, in a very comfortable seat. And you sit comfortably leaned back, like in a sofa.

You set yourself into or up into a hard kitchen stool. And the seating position is also like on a kitchen stool.

Heat and ventilation                        

Three levers between the front seats. They can be used without looking, since they are all unique.

A mess of levers that often are difficult to reach, and you have to look to be able to adjust them. The air stream often comes out far too high up, so you get the air right into your eyes.


UFO-feeling, bathroom weight display instruments, all control knobs can be reached without taking the hands off the steering wheel. All the warning lamps are placed in one tidy row. Switch for direction lights, without automatic return.

Boring, circular instruments. Switches and handles are thrown around here and there. A stick for direction lights, with automatic return. Resulting in the direction lights never switching off at the correct time.

Ignition lock                                                

At the left hand side of the steering wheel.                                                

At the right hand side of the steering wheel. This can lead to conflict between your knee and the keys. And if you end up in a collision, it will be more difficult for the rescue crew to reach the keys to switch off the ignition.

Steering wheel and steering                                                

Only one steering wheel spoke, and therefore unobtrusive view to the instruments. Progressive, super fast and very direct steering (only 2½ turns lock to lock). Completely hydraulic (no mechanical connection), and absolutely no feeling with the front road wheels through the steering wheel. When you let go of the steering wheel it goes to the middle position even at standstill.

Two- or three-spoked, so you hardly get room for your hands;) Only servo assisted, indirect and slow steering. The steering wheel do not return to the middle position.

Front window washing                                                

The washing function is integrated in the wiper. And the air intake is placed in the bonnet, so there will not be any smell in the car.                                                

The cleaning liquid comes from two small bumps on the hood. The air inlet is placed at the bottom of the windscreen, resulting in a terrible alcohol odour in the cabin. If you are stopped by the police, you might even risk blowing red! And the police officer will put his/her nose into the car, uttering:
—Oh me oh me, herein smelleth booze!!


The brake pedal is placed lower down than the throttle pedal, and has therefore easy access. The pedal has almost no travel, and can be operated with high precision. The car's front end do not lower itself, even when the brakes are applied very hard. The brakes are extremely powerful, so it is absolutely possible for the car behind you to crash into you. The rear brakes are load dependent.
The hand brakes operates on the front wheels, and are very efficient. As a matter of fact, this is one of the few cars where the hand brakes really functions as emergency brakes.

The brake pedal is often placed higher up than the acclerator pedal, meaning you have to lift up your foot to be able to use it. You therefore risk getting your shoe under the pedal if you do not lift it high enough. The pedal has terrible long travel, and feels like a sponge. The braking efficiency is moderate, and especially heavier cars tend to put their nose right down under hard braking. The cars also uses brake fluid that is very toxic, and which soaks up moisture from the air, this can lead to disaster.

Suspension and handling                        

Air suspension (nitrogen) with automatic height correction (hydraulic). Excellent handling, advanced front suspension. You hardly notice the speed bumps.

Spiral springs. Bumpy suspension. Big difference in handling from empty to full load, where the beam from the front lights goes up into the tree tops. On some models the front lights can be adjusted from the driving seat, but how accurate will that be? And if one has adjusted the lights with the car empty, and then put in so much cargo that the rear end almost touches the ground, at daytime, who would then remember to adjust the lights down again?


The CX has a sub frame, which is very efficient to reduce sounds and vibrations from suspension and engine. This way the car also gets very stiff.

No sub frame, making sounds, especially from the suspension, very audible in the passenger compartment. The quality of the handling can also be reduced, because the car is less stiff.


The spear road wheel is placed in the engine compartment, with the jack inside it. Changing the road wheels is very easy. You put the car in its high position, place the jack under the front jack mount, jack it up a little, and then both road wheels at one side is off the ground.
When driving on rough terrain you can raise the car up to the terrain position. And if you get stuck while driving at winter time, you can first lower the car to it's lowest position, then to the top position, and spin the front road wheels to get loose.

The spear road wheel is normally placed under the mat in the luggage compartment, or underneath. Troublesome/messy.

Are ordinary cars better than the Citroën CX in any way?

Well, it depends on the eyes looking. New cars might have better passive safety in the form of airbags and so on, but the active safety is far more important, and here the CX is unbeatable. However, as with all old cars, KEEP THE CAR FREE OF RUST! A very rusty car will collapse in a collision.
New cars might also have better sound proofing in the form of double door sealings and so on, but there is no problem to sound-proof the CX until it gets almost completely silent.

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