1988 Citroen BX 16v 1.9 from Sweden
The best compromise there is for this type of money
The BX 16v is a whole different creature than an ordinary BX. (I've had a BX RS before, and also driven a BX TD). With the 16v, you get a lot of gadgets and equipment with your car, that doens't come with an ordinary BX. Power steering, electrical windows at all doors, and lots of other stuff. There are many things to play around with in a 16v. You also get ABS with all the 16v's.
As a GTi-version of an ordinary BX, the 16v does a fine job overall. The handling is good, not great, there are other similar cars out there that do the handling-bits better, but it surely do handles above average. The same thing goes for the steering, which delivers quite a lot of information to the driver, considering it's a Citroen, but it's a tad bit too light, and it could be more direct. The engine is the best thing about this car. It's got quite a lot of torque even at low revs, and because the car is quite light, you get a very laid back driving style when you drive a BX 16v, you seldom have to push the engine or change gears. Still, the engine really comes alive at around 4500 RPM, as you really feel the revs rushing up all the way to just below 7000 RPM. The engine is still not quite as hysterical as the Renault 19 16v's engine as an example, neither does it sound quite as good, but as an daily driver the BX 16v's engine does the better job of them.
The comfort of the car is also good, sure, you don't get the same feeling you do in a larger Citroen, but the suspension is still more comfortable than all the competition at the time. (Talking about cheap & small cars here), and the seats are just great. On the downside, the back seat are not that suitable for tall persons, in fact, even in the driver seat, it isn't that far up to the roof of the car, but this is a far larger problem in the back seat.
The trunk space is great, it's huge, larger than you think, and you can also put down the back seat, to make the space even larger.
Overall my BX 16v turned out to be a great experience. Having owned several hot hatches, (Renault 19 16v, BX 16v, 205 CTi), I must say I liked the BX 16v the best. It's the best compromise of both comfort, speed, and handling, and that's what I look for when using a car as a daily driver.
Finally, I must also point out that what I first wrote in this review is true, nothing, and I mean nothing, went wrong with the car through all the miles I drove it. All the electrical gadgets worked just fine all the time, like in a Japanse car, and the suspension never caused any trouble. Sure, there were a few things that was faulty when I first bought the car, but those things were only of minor detail, and were nothing that bugged me. However, I do know that the BX can be quite a car to repair sometimes, but I also do know that in general, BX cars are far better than what their rumour says when it comes to quality. The only real downside is that the interior squeaks quite a lot, but this is far from the only 80's car that have this kind of behaviour.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th December, 2006