1994 Citroen AX Echo 1.1i from UK and Ireland


A nippy small ideal first car


Oil leak, speed cable not working, dash bulb gone. Passenger seat keeps coming loose

General Comments:

The car is nippy and fun I really enjoy it, it is my first car and an ideal one to,. only thing is its whit so it hard to maintain. Petrol is cheap for it.g.

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

Review Date: 17th March, 2006

1994 Citroen AX Debut 1.4 diesel from UK and Ireland


Excellent - very reliable, which is why I kept it for 10 years!

General Comments:

I bought an AX 1.4 diesel (Debut model) new in June 1994 - first new car I had ever owned. I was looking for a small economical car which would transport me from Kent to Berkshire every day on a long motorway commute.

Over the ten years I have owned the car, I've had very few big problems (usual consumables are easy to get hold of and relatively cheap). The main unusual problem I had was the boot lid hinges snapping (three sets of replacement hinges requiring welding in position on a thin part of the bodyshell!)

More recently, the alternator failed (but it was 8 years old and there was about 140,000 miles on the clock!)

In short, the car has been excellent and has never let me down in a decade of being thrashed along the outside lane of the motorway. This may have been partly down to sticking religiously to the 6,000 mile service intervals (which these days is quite a short interval). I also found that the car was very comfortable - unexpected, but then I never travelled in the back seats which are probably not all that!

Recently, I have replaced it, but with a Renault. It probably would have been another Citroen, but I was stunned by the appalling service I received from my local dealer. I was refused a test drive despite having made an appointment because they had "sold the demonstrator" and was then told "I'm afraid we can't let you test drive a car on the forecourt". No reason was given for this, and despite assurances, they never contacted me to inform me when the new demonstrator was available.

Still, I have fond memories of the AX, and was genuinely sad to part with it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2004

1994 Citroen AX Salsa 950cc injection from UK and Ireland


Economical runabout, but not for long commutes


Battery failed, new replacement was just £25 but! previous car owner had lost the manuals and code for radio, so we never had the radio working (Citroen cars appear to need special tools to take the radio out, so we never managed to get it recoded).

Heater ventilation fan only ran on full speed. Also, the mounting of the switch in the dash was broke, so got a replacement from the scrapyard (though most AX's there also had broken switches!). This didn't fix the speed problem, so probably the resistor pack on the motor itself failed.

Needed new brake discs at 64,000 miles due to driver (not me!) failing to mention a loud grinding noise after wearing pretty much all the pads right through...

Only patch of rust on the car (a '94) was a 50p sized hole in the inner wing, but not load bearing (MOT not a problem).

Bad in a crash, car was written off when a low speed bump into a wall caused £700 damage (not me, again!) - these cars can be picked up for less than that now.

General Comments:

This wasn't my car, but I spent a lot of time in it.

This car was either very well maintained by previous owners (as mentioned above, no history or manuals came with it) or Citroen make very hardy cars. The motor, gearbox, clutch, suspension, brakes were all immaculate. Probably the first engine I've seen which didn't have a spot of oil anywhere externally at all!

The gearbox was good, but the gear stick was something else - it had a lot of free play. I've seen worse and it was perfectly usable, but it was something that would have been sorted had the car itself lasted more than 6 months.

Performance wise, considering it's a 950cc motor the car is very happy to fly around town. Well, with no passengers. Most of the performance comes from it being very light, not from horsepower. Having a 4 speed gearbox does limit the car on motorways. You can hold 70mph easily, but the poor engine is revving away to do it. Add passengers and it gets very sluggish on hills. High winds can be very disconcerting when you first drive the car at speed: its light weight results in you being blown about all over the place.

I wouldn't like to use this car to commute long distances to work every day, but for the local town, the school run, first car, etc. it's ideal.

Never a problem with economy, as you'd expect. High mpg is pretty easy no matter how you drive.

Handling is really good, quite a surprise after driving Rovers and Volkswagons: steering is very precise with not too much roll. Quite difficult to lose traction even on 155 tyres unless you really badly misjudge something.

The interior seats four adults in relative comfort, as long as the front seats aren't too far back (shortest person drives, basically!). Rear seats aren't too comfortable really (no adjustment, but what can you expect) but the fronts are fine. One adult and two kids in the back is probably the limit.

Honourable mention goes to the large door pockets: this is one of the few cars with real space to stow useful items for driving, like drinks bottles!

The driving position feels quite high inside the car. The pedals are really quite small and oddly shaped:

- the clutch pedal moves down at an odd angle such that I often found it easier to control if I pressed on the extruded bit of metal on the pedal arm, rather than the rubber pad itself. (Difficult to describe and sounds odd, but test drive an AX and you'll see what I mean!)

- Quite often I'd go for the brake and hit the accelerator at the same time.

- The accelerator is right up against the wheel arch: I drove the car for probably a couple of weeks until I realised I'd never pressed the pedal more than half way down! I'd try to floor it, and my foot would hit the arch - the car was a bit quicker after I learned to push the accelerator down at an angle.

Boot space isn't too bad.. good available height and fold down/removable rear seat provides enough room to move a typical first year uni student's belongings around the country..

I'm not too happy about the spare wheel being under the car, rather than in the boot, but can see an advantage: you don't need to unload a full car to get the spare when you have a flat.

We're currently looking for a replacement, the most likely seen so far is a Peugeot 106 - almost exactly the same car! Shares most of the same bits from chassis up. So I suppose yes, we would buy one again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd April, 2004