Citroen is a brand close to my heart. I have owned a few and plan to own more still but it hasn’t always been plain sailing.
Often difficult to repair and with crippling resale value, Citroen ownership is for the brave. Repeated Citroen ownership is for the very brave… or very stupid. So, why do I keep coming back for more? Well, without fail, on the whole, my experiences with the brand have always been rewarding. They’re great cars and quirky as hell in a sea of same-same blandness.
The recent launch of a new flagship model, the C5 X, Citroen is set to continue with it’s recent strong sales, albeit off miniscule 2021 sales figures.
The C5 X promises to “follow in the footsteps of such legendary cars as the DS, XM and CX”. That is a huge claim! I can’t wait to get our hands on a C5 X so that we can see if the hype matches the reality.
The C5 X is promising to return to a key Citroen virtue – ride comfort. Through the use of the company’s “Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension” and lounge chair seats, the new C5 is promised to be the most comfortable set of wheels in town. This might not sound like a huge selling point but this is exactly what keeps a small but loyal band of rural buyers coming back to Citroen time and time again. And in this world of ever increasing speed surveillance, I can see the point. I recently sold a Volvo S60 Polestar for this exact reason – it was awesome when driven with vigor but the utterly bone crushing ride finally got the better of me! Maybe I’m just getting old.
My only disappointment with my first impressions of the C5 X is in the faux SUV styling. It’s not just Citroen that is on this bandwagon. This styling demands big wheels to fill the guards. The resulting 19” rims and 55 series profile tyres are at odds with a touring comfort ethos and means that everything else has to work harder at overcoming the rough ride provided by such low profile tyres. It’s unnecessary and silly.
Of course, my real love is for vintage Citroens. Shannons Spring online auction has me in a cold sweat with listings of a bevy of beautiful Citroens up for grabs. Choose from a gorgeous 1937 Type 11B – one of just 51 built. This is an exceedingly rare car.
Tastier still is the 1972 Maserati powered SM coupe on offer! Originally delivered to Toronto, Canada, this example looks solid but they can be breathtakingly expensive to restore.
For something that at least helps towards paying for its upkeep, take a look at the 1961 H2 van that’s been converted to a coffee food truck!
The pick of the entire auction, however, is the one-family owned, Australian delivered 1974 DS Pallas. This is a fuel injected, automatic transmission version that, while not pristine, seems to have travelled a gentle and genuine 90k km. It’s worth selling a kidney for! Maybe even two!