1986 Citroen Visa GTi 1.6 petrol


Cheap and good performance


Radiator fan switch connector corroded.

Petrol filler cap leaked when going around corners.

Exhaust pipe rotted - difficult to find a replacement.

Side Indicator connectors corroded - soldered the wires to the bulbs eventually.

General Comments:

Probably the best I ever owned for blasting country lanes.

Very flimsy construction and the front windows used to pull away from the car at about 70mph - very noisy.

Pretty poor fuel economy which wasn't helped by a leaking fuel filler.

Very small inside and the boot was lost to the spare wheel.

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

Review Date: 20th September, 2002

1986 Citroen Visa GTi 1.6 (115BHP version)


Fast, fragile, and fundamentally flawed


Gear linkage popped out of place with monotonous regularity.

Thermostat for fan failed, causing the car to overheat.

All sorts of electrical problems.

Air flow meter needed re-setting.

Stalling at low speeds.

General Comments:

The GTi is basically a body-kitted Visa with the same engine as the Peugeot 205 GTi crammed into it. It therefore suffered from the Visa's diabolical build quality (I think they made them from old Gitanes packets) and the 205's questionable reliability. Having previously owned a BMW 518i, it was a bit of a culture shock.

On the odd occasion it ran, the performance was excellent, with a very free-revving engine. The car was lighter than the 205, so was fractionally quicker off the mark. Winding up XR3i drivers has never been more fun.

Handling was good too, with a wide front track, and reasonably chunky 185 tyres.

The interior was crap. Unsupportive seats, cheap plastics, and instruments that had minds and moods of their own. The Visa is also a very narrow car, so it helps to be on good terms with your passenger. Long journeys weren't much fun.

The boot space was pathetic. With the 1.6 engine, the spare tyre had to be relocated from its usual home above the engine (apparently it directed the air flow on early air-cooled Visas) to the boot, which it filled.

It was fun while it lasted, and I got more trading it in than I paid for it. You wouldn't catch me buying another one though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2001

16th Nov 2005, 02:49

I think you are expecting a bit much of the build quality as a Visa cost a third of the BMW when sold new.

20th Oct 2006, 10:07

Whether or not you realise it when you buy it, this is still a poorly designed, shoddily built car. Ignoring a car's (many) faults won't help potential buyers.