1996 Citroen AX Spree 1 litre


A car that is not up its own bottom, great car, cheap to run, would buy another without a doubt...


Not in any order.

Front off side wheel bearing wore out.

Broke down once, no sparks to spark plugs, traced to a double relay which was cut out of the circuit and rewired / by passed via Haynes wiring diagram.

Trouble with front lights - wiring fault due to old wires, used washing machine wiring loom for a source of new cables to sort it out.

Recently started to run badly up hills - traced that weird one to a combination of iffy petrol (I usually only ever put BP petrol in the car) and the petrol cap having 21 years worth of dirt underneath the cap - think it was creating a vacuum in the fuel tank i.e. not allowing it air to breath?

Had to have a new rear shock for the last MOT.

I've changed the front discs and pads twice. The local garage did the rear brake shoes.

Alternator failed - worn out brushes. Bought a new pair for 6 quid and soldered them in. Been fine for 10,000 miles. Next time it'll be a reconditioned alternator for a 70 quid gamble.

General Comments:

I love it, as it is easy to drive, no air bags which is a plus (it is from my point of view), strong chassis, quite peppy, sun roof, radio which has never worked - duff speakers and I miss Radio 4 when driving so must get that repaired sometime. Lovely and basic.

It is lightly built but of good steel, but does dent. Engine is well made, but drinks about half a litre of oil every 800 miles, but oil is cheap enough off E-bay at 12 quid for 5 litres.

I use it for work, I'm a washing machine repair bod, but I don't go far, a radius of 12 miles to my home. On the other hand I have gone on holiday with the old girl, Reading to round Bridport, 4 times camping, but slowly as I rarely go faster than 55mph anyway.

With the rear seat removed there is a fair amount of room in the back for all my stuff for work.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2017

1996 Citroen AX Debut 1.0i


Basic, fun and economical


2 rear shock absorbers.

It did come with some dents, primered wing and scuffed bumpers.

General Comments:

Fun to drive, with a very direct feeling to it. Quick for a 1 litre, and can cruise at 70 mph no problems, but plenty of noise. I have had to put in additional sound proofing.

Bought as a cheap car (£250 privately) as a project. Reliable because it is basic, and it also has enough space inside too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th August, 2015

1996 Citroen AX 1.5 diesel


Cheap reliable motoring



General Comments:

I have had 11 AXs in the past 18 years. Two 1.1 petrols, seven 1.0 petrols, and two diesels. The diesels are head and shoulders better than the petrol versions, especially on the motorway cruising at speed; far quieter and up to 20 MPG better. It's possible to get 75 MPG from the diesel, but 67 to 69 is more realistic.

The petrol car can be thrown around more, as the weight of the diesel engine does load up the steering when pushed. The 1.0 is the pick of the petrol engines if economy is important, although the 1.1 is pretty quick by anyone's standard, but is very noisy and the MPG can drop to low 30s, especially in the winter months. The 1.0 pretty much gives around 50 MPG in general use, just squeezing around 60 on a very gentle motorway run; 3 to 4 MPG less in the winter though.

They all rust just behind the headlights on the top plates under the bonnet. Apart from that, the little AX is no worse than any other car. I have never had a break down ever. The only problem I had was an alternator went on one of my 1.0 petrols, but it had covered over 100000 miles, so it's fair enough.

I do all the servicing myself; even the cam belt change on the diesel only takes about an hour, and it's always worth checking the water pump when changing the belt, as the belt drives the pump, and for about £20 and 2 bolts, it's a no brainer.

The drive shafts have a reputation for being a bit fragile, but are easy to change; just keep an eye on the outer CV boots, as they split and can ruin the joint very quickly. The boots can be a pain to change, and for £25 for the whole drive shaft on eBay, you might as well do the whole thing.

If you are over 6 foot and challenged in the weight department, like my 23 stone mass, forget the 5 door, as you could sell tickets to watch me trying to get in and out of one, but the 3 door cars have very large doors, and are fine apart from that.

Don't be put off with buying one of these cars; just remember there is not much to go wrong, but there is no power steering, and it can be hard to park unless you are very strong.

My latest one is a 1996 diesel with 61000 miles. I don't think it's been looked after too well, as it still had the original air filter in it. I have serviced it, changed the cam belt, and have covered 9300 miles in three months going backwards and forward to London where I work. The car has averaged 69.8 MPG and been faultless; enough said.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th December, 2014