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AUTOCAR w/e 16 August 1980
With thanks To Richard Needham

What to look for


Body and Trim

YOU WILL FIND a fair spread of second-hand CXs in the British market, ranging from high-mileage examples of 1975 vintage, to some of the first resold Reflex/Athena models. It follows that there will be an equally wide spread of condition. Early cars will be rusting in several places if they have not been looked after. Special points to study are the tops (1) and bottoms (2) of the doors, where paint can be removed by the widespread door-fitting and sagging (3) problems of early cars; the front edge of the rear wings (4); and especially the detachable rear spats (5) which take a pounding from thrown-up gravel. Front wheel mudflaps, where fitted, cut down the gravel "spray" and save the aft of the car from its worst effects. The smooth front end (6) of the CX seems to offer a larger area than most for stone-chip damage. The front wheel arches and wings on the other hand are notably rust free. A particular rust spot to look for in Estate CXs occurs at the lower edge of the tailgate. In general, rust problems and interior paint finish have been less frequent since 1979 when a new paint shop was commissioned at Aulnay. Current cars have anti-gravel primer beneath, and a clear-lacquer finishing coat. Up to 1978, CX paint finish tended to be worse than average for the 2-litre-class, so don't regard poor-looking paint with undue suspicion.
It is well worth looking out for body damage on used CXs. The curved front wings (7) are good at collecting glancing blows, and the long wheelbase has caught out many a driver entering a narrow gateway, so check the rear doors and wings (8) with extra care. Bumper contact is less of a problem, though if they have been thumped the rear bumpers (9) can be tricky to realign perfectly. Internally, the worst problem is one of splitting door trims (10) — so have a push-check in case it's not obvious.
On a more serious note, the longerons of the CX semi-chassis (11) tend to buckle in any major front-end thump, and such crinkles are well worth looking for. The car will almost certainly not run straight if such damage exists.



Mechanical

The innocent always fear the seeming complication of the CX high-pressure hydraulic system, though in fact it is not that involved. A single reservoir, high-pressure pump and accumulator serve the needs of power steering, suspension and brakes.
A worthwhile bonus is that unlike conventional springs and dampers, those in the CX never wear or sag. When hydraulic system trouble does occur, it is usually the result of fluid contamination. Check, therefore, that the LHM fluid in the main reservoir (12) is a clean green. Any sign of dirt must be treated with suspicion. Watch also for fluid weeping from system joints. Another known CX trouble is radiator leakage, so regard low coolant level (13) as a possible warning.
All the CX engines and transmissions are noted for their durability with the possible exception of the clutch (14) in hard-driven examples — watch for any suggestion of slippage or late take-up. The gearchange was never one of the best, and apparently slow synchromesh is not a sign of trouble. The drive shafts and constant velocity joints so often a source of trouble in front-driven cars, are exceptionally tough in the CX and have a long service life. The brakes are light in operation and have a very short pedal travel. Some Citroen drivers seem to spend their lives treating them harshly and it is worth checking the condition of the four brake discs (15). Remember that in Citroen tradition, the parking brake acts on the front wheels.
Hard-driven CXs place a heavy load on the front suspension, and a critical point is the lower ball-joint (16) which must be checked for wear. The lower front suspension arms (17) may also be bent by "kerbing". The result is uneven tyre wear — a good check point. Bent arms also make the front end of the car appear to jump slightly sideways when it is driven over a hump. More serious derangement of the steering geometry is obvious from any need to apply effort to the steering (with its powered self-centring) to hold the car straight.
The special versions of the CX pose few extra problems. The diesel engines are reckoned to be even stronger and longer-lived than the petrol units. The Bosch fuel-injection system used in the higher-performance versions has a good reputation, except for some troubles caused by road dirt fouling the terminals of the large relay under the left headlamp (18). The C-Matic semi-automatic transmission is much simpler than a full automatic and has a good, service reputation. On the electrical equipment side, there are few consistent faults. Headlamp reflectors in older cars are often dulled (19) by the long-term effects of condensation inside the lens. Another visibility problem may be caused by yellowing of the lower corners of the windscreen (20) resulting from separation of the laminations - all CXs have laminated screens. So far, there have been no recall campaigns on the CX.
In theory. the lower-powered CXs run 185-14 in. tyres at the front and 175-14 in. at the back, an awkward mix. However, the CX GTi and Prestige as well as the estates have 185s all-round, so there can be little objection to standardizing on the larger size.
Bear in mind that Citroen stalwartly refuse to approve the use of anything but Michelin tyres.
As in all front-driven cars, the front tyres wear much quicker than the rears — at least twice as fast — but the average wear rate is good, with an easy 25,000 miles obtainable from a set if the fronts and rears are switched half-way.
It (almost) goes without saying that the CX is an unusual car to drive. to the point where someone trying one for the first time might assume there is something wrong with the steering and brakes. Some drivers grow to love the CX and feel awkward in anything else: others never come to terms with it. Make sure you can feel the former attitude coming on before you commit yourself.

APPROXIMATE SELLING PRICES

Price range
CX 2000 Confort
Reflex
Athena CX 2200 Super
CX 2200 Pallas
CX 2400 Super
CX 2400 Pallas
CX 2400 GTi
CX 2400 Prestige
CX 2200 Diesel
CX 2500 Diesel
£1400-£1500
1975










£1900-£2100
1976


1976







£2300-£2500
1977



1976






£2500-£2700





1977





£2800-£3000
1978





1977


1977

£3200-£3400





1978





£3500-£3700
1979





1978


1978

£3700-£3900










1978
£4000-£4200





1979


1977


£4200-£4400







1978



£4500-£4700






1979




£4700-£4900








1978

1979
£5000-£5400

1980





1979



£5300-£5700


1980








£6200-£6400







1980
1979


Note: Safari Estate cars may be worth between £400 extra (1976 models) and £700 extra (1979 models) compared with equivalent saloons.  Add an extra £400 on top of this for Familiales.  C-matics add between £100 (1977) and £300 (1980) to values.

SPECIFICATION AND PERFORMANCE

CX 2000 Manual 4-speed
CX2200 Pallas Manual 4-speed
CX Athena Manual 5-speed
CX2400 Manual 4-speed
CX2400GTi Manual 5-speed
CX2400i Pallas Auto
CX2200 Diesel Manual 4-speed
CX2500 Diesel Manual 5-speed
Tested in Autocar of:
10 May 1975
20 March 1976
8 Sept. 1979
16 July 1977
15 Oct. 1977
5 Aug. 1978
22 Jan. 1977
7 July 1979
Specifications:
Engine size (c.c.)
1,985
2,175
1,995
2,347
2,347
2,347
2,175
2,500
Engine Power (DIN bhp)
102
110
106
115
128
128
66
75
Car length
All saloons 15ft 2.3in
Car width
All saloons 5ft 8.1in
Car height
All saloons 4ft 5.5in
Boot capacity (cu. ft.)
16.2
Turning circle (kerbs)
35ft 6in
Unladen weight (lb)
2,823
2,918
2,713
2,990
3,000
3,073
3,140
2,960
Max payload (lb)
1,116
1,050
1,058
1,080
1,025
1,047
1,034
1,036
Performance:
Mean maximum speed (mph)
110
112
109
113
118
111
89
97
Acceleration (sec)








0-30mph
3.9
3.6
3.7
3.6
3.5
4.1
5.9
4.5
0-40mph
6.3
5.8
5.9
5.8
5.1
5.9
9.3
7.3
0-50mph
8.7
8.1
8.7
8.1
7.4
8.8
14.6
12.0
0-60mph
12.2
11.6
12.5
11.8
10.1
12.2
20.8
17.0
0-70mph
16.8
15.6
17.0
15.7
13.7
15.9
30.8
23.7
0-80mph
22.1
19.8
22.6
21.0
18.2
21.7
50.8
35.3
0-90mph
31.1
28.4
31.2
28.9
24.3
29.2
-
53.3
0-100mph
46.7
4.08
43.7
40.1
34.4
39.6
-
-
Standing 1/4 mile (sec)
18.8
18.2
18.2
18.1
17.4
18.7
21.9
20.7
Consumption
Overall mpg
23.2
23.5
26.2
23.5
21.6
20.9
31.8
31.5
Typical mpg








- easy driving
30
31
34
31
28
27
41
41
- average
26
26
29
26
24
23
35
35
- hard driving
21
21
24
21
20
19
29
29
Mpg at steady 70 mph
28.4
30.0
27.9
26.0
-
-
36.6
37.2
Fuel grade
4-star
4-star 5-star 4-star 4-star 4-star Derv
Derv
Oil consumption (mpp) Nil
Nil 3,000
Nil 3,000
1,000
Nil Nil

CHASSIS IDENTIFICATION

2-litre and 2.2-litre models

Series

Chassis No.

July 1975: CX2000 and CX2200 saloons first sold in UK (Announced in France in August 1974).  Both with transverse engines, front drive, hydro-pneumatic suspension, self-levelling, etc.


CX2000
MA/MB
04MB001
CX2200 Super
MA/MC
02MC3001
January 1976: CX2200 Pallas introduced; no Pallas version of CX2000
-
-
April 1976: CX2000 Safari Super  estate announced, with long wheelbase five door body shell but no CX2200


Opening chassis number CX2000 Safari
MA/MD
00MD0081
Summer 1976: CX2200 Super and Pallas saloons both dropped at:


CX2200 Super
MA/MC
05MC2546
CX2200 Pallas
MA/MC
07MC4829
August 1976: CX2000 named Confort, with power steering standard, from:


CX2000 Confort
MA/MB
10MB0001
CX2200 Diesel version of saloon and Safari announced, from:


CX2200 Super Diesel
MA/MG
01MG0001
CX2200 Super Safari Diesel
MA/MH
00MH5001
April 1977: CX2000 Safari discontinued


CX2000 Safari MA/MD
0MD4009
September 1978: CX2200 Diesel models dropped (replaced by CX2500 Diesels) at:


CX2200 Diesel Saloon
MA/MG
05MG0659
CX2200 Diesel Safari
MA/MH
01MH3491
1979 models of CX200 continue with new chassis series

16MB2501
August 1979: CX2000 models withdrawn at
MA/MB 18MB0466
Replaced by new CX Reflex and Athena model with same structure, but with transverse-mounted Peugeot Douvrin 1,995 c.c. overhead camshaft engine.
Reflex with four-speed gearbox, Athena with five-speed gearbox.


Opening chassis number:  Reflex / Athena
MP
00MP1713

2.4-litre models



August 1976: First imports of CX2400 series saloons and estates, replacing the CX2200 cars. Opening chassis numbers:


CX2400 Super and Pallas
MA/MJ
00MJ0001
CX2400 Super Safari
MA/MF
00MF0001
October 1977: Changes for 1978 model year including 5-speed box on saloons, plus electrical and equipment improvements.  From:


CX2400 Super and Pallas MA/MJ
03MJ7501
CX2400 Super Safari MA/MF 00MF4001
Prestige with carburettor engine dropped, and replaced by 128 bhp injection engine. From:


CX2400 Prestige
MA/ML
00ML0001
Introduction of new derivative of normal-wheelbase saloon, with fuel injection engine, from:


CX2400GTi
MA/ME
01ME2001
January 1978: Introduction of injection version of CX2400 Pallas, called CX2400i Pallas, from:


CX2400i Pallas MA/ME
00ME2001

2.5-litre Diesel model



April 1978: New range of diesel-engined models, effectively replacing original 2.2-litre diesels. From:


CX2500D Saloon
MA/MM
00MM0001
CX2500D Safari MA/MN
00MN0001

ENGINE AVAILABILITY

Model
1,985c.c. OHV petrol 102 bhp
1,995c.c. OHV petrol 106 bhp 2,175c.c. OHV petrol 110 bhp 2,347c.c. OHV petrol 115 bhp 2,347c.c. OHV petrol 128 bhp 2,175c.c. OHV diesel  66 bhp 2,500c.c. OHV diesel  75 bhp
saloons
112 in. Wb
1975-1979
1979-1980
1975-1976
1977-1980
1978-1980
1976-1978
1978-1980
Prestige saloon
121.9in. Wb



1977
1978-1980


Safari estates
121.9in. Wb
1976-1977


1976-1980

1976-1978
1978-1980
Note: Normal wheelbase models are available in three trim-equipment packs.  The most basic of these is the Confort, followed in acending (sic) order of equipment by the Super and the Pallas.  The Prestige specification is only available on the long wheelbase floorpan.

SPARES PRICES


Reflex/Athena
CX2000/2200
CX2400
CX2500 Diesel
Engine assembly-bare (exchange)
£586.40
£648.13
£691.74
£1,038.70
Gearbox assembly (exchange)
£456.61R
£404.74
£404.74 £404.51

£694.00A



Clutch pressure plate (new)
£29.81
£32.29
£32.29 £32.29
Clutch driven plate (new)
£24.53
£25.93
£25.93 £39.17
Automatic gearbox with convertor (exchange)
NA
£773.77
£773.77 NA
Brake pads—front (set, new)
£25.10
£25.10 £25.10 £25.10
Brake pads—rear (set, new)
£18.97
£18.97 £18.97 £18.97
Suspension spring dampers — front (pair)
£75.81
£87.58
£87.58 £87.58
Suspension spring-dampers - rear (pair)
£88.80
£87.58 £88.80 £88.80
Radiator assembly (new)
£69.82
£63.27
£63.27 £113.32
Alternator (exchange)
£62.47
£70.59
£70.59 £82.60
Starter Motor (exchange)
£72.76
£72.76 £72.76 £72.76
Front wing panel
£51.11
£51.11 £51.11 £51.11
Bumper, front (new)
£84.57
£84.57 £84.57 £81.12
Bumper, rear (new)
£89.01
£89.01 £89.01 £89.69
Windscreen, laminated
£44.60R
£94.60
£129.64
£94.60

£129.64A



Exhaust system complete
£82.77
£83.63 £83.63
£100.74
All the above prices include VAT at 15 per cent.  Where pnces for Reflex and Athena models differ, the letter R or A appears after the prices to identify the model. NA indicates the item is not applicable to that model.

I have reproduced the layout of the original as closely as possible.  This includes the inconsistent formatting and spelling mistakes (including the lack of the dieresis on the 'E' in 'CitroŽn') plus difficult to read tables.
© 1980 Autocar/2015 CitroŽnŽt