Now a familiar sight in Europe, the Citroen BX model goes on sale in the UK this month in five versions, three with the 1,360 cc engine and two with a new, alloy 1,580 cc unit developing 92.5 bhp. Prices range from £4,790 to £6,100.
Regarded by Citroen as possibly the most important new car they have ever launched, the BX is aimed at a new market for the French manufacturer with hopes of selling up to 16,000 in the UK next year. Two-thirds of these will be the 1.6-litre models in two states of trim.
As you’d expect, Citroen’s advanced and refined hydropneumatic suspension system is used providing the BX with an extremely comfortable ride, while the handling is well up to standard in the class. Both engines are mounted transversely and drive the front wheels, the 1.4-litre being laid almost flat in the engine compartment while the 1.6 is canted back at about 50-degrees. They have disc brakes fitted all round with light pedal pressures, and many of Citroen’s eccentric features such as drum speedometers, non-cancelling indicators, and all the controls operated by rocker switches around the instrument nacelle.
Service intervals are at 12,000 miles, so that in 60,000 miles (five years of ownership for a typical customer) the 1.6-litre BX will need no more than a total of 101/4 hours in the workshop for routine work, less than for a Sierra or a Maestro.
On the road they’re comfortable and quiet, the 1.6 being reasonably fast too, accelerating through its 5-speed gearbox to 60 mph in around 13.5 seconds and attaining 101 mph with good fuel economy. Interior accommodation and comfort is a particularly strong feature of the Citroen BX, with generous luggage space too.