Something Rotten in Denmark: 1988 Citroen CX Diesel

The seller placed this ad in January and the car is still for sale despite the promise of a complete lack of rust.

1988 Citroen CX 2.5 TD
1988 Citroen CX 2.5 TD

According to the spiel, the car came from Switzerland three years ago. The car has had a new timing belt fitted, its wheels renovated and the ashtray emptied. It even has a full Danish motor certificate which is a guarantee the underbody is sound. Alas, one of the engine’s valves has blown and the owner has not had the strength of character to get around to wanting to fix it.

1988 Citroen CX 2.5 TD interior. Yuk.
1988 Citroen CX 2.5 TD interior. Yuk.

There are a couple of things striking about the car. It’s probably the only CX for sale in Denmark at the moment and very definitely the only diesel. While not the fastest car in the world, the diesel engine is reasonably fuel efficient and goes some way to eliminating the range anxiety one might have with such a car. On the downside, and this is personal to me, I dislike the black herringbone cloth and general blackness of the interior. On the plus side, it’s quite a late model so it’s that bit less likely to decompose than a ’70s edition. And on the downside, the late model cars are a lot less visually appealing than the chrome-bumpered cars and the interior is vastly less nicely styled than the original car.

What does this cost? €1500, without a running engine and a dent on the door. I’d pay €700 if I could ever get to Gentofte. As usual, all the interesting cars are in the Copenhagen area.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

10 thoughts on “Something Rotten in Denmark: 1988 Citroen CX Diesel”

  1. I have to admit that I quite liked this so called “VIP” velour in my CX Turbo. I could have done without all the black bits, though, especially the roof liner. But the seats were excellent in this trim level, and much more suited to a CX than leather upholstery. And it was something different than the standard light grey velour that was often found in contemporary cars.
    Regarding the interior design of 1st vs. 2nd series cars, It’s not a clear case. While the round dials with pseudo-digital lettering are out of the question, I really like how the central console and the dashboard are integrated. If they’d only made it out of more durable materials.

  2. I can’t warm to this fabric. Citroen were not alone in using this as you can see in contemporay furnishing journals. These rich fabrics could work in the context of a room. The Italians and Germans had some plausible themes using such materials. A car is too small a space for big patterns. I’d prefer tan or bordeaux leather. Or plain velour in green or orange or blue.

    1. Bold-coloured velour: yes please! Although it’s rather something for an early CX, complete with matching bright green, gold or brown(ish) exterior. But leather – no. You’re excused for liking it, as you’re from one of those funny islands, but in a real french car, slaughterhouse leftovers are for the lowly chauffeur who has to sit outside in the rain. It goes without saying that the comfort-seeking Monsieur is entitled to soft cloth.

  3. Note my first preference was cloth. Leather is indeed a waste product dressed up as luxury.
    The Queen of England sits on woven wool cloth when in her limousine.

  4. Chatting with a friend in my local boozatorium last night, the topic of Citroen cropped up by virtue of the fact that he had arrived in a rented DS3. He has sampled a wide variety of rentals over the past year, and having just bought my own tiny French buzz box, I was interested to hear what he thought of the smallest DS.

    “It’s all right,” he said, which as good a praise as you will likely get from a Brit (it’s all in the vocal inflection).

    Then he said, “Not very French though,” which I thought was an interesting comment. What did he mean?

    “I remember French cars as being a bit different. Citroens were something special, especially the ones with the bouncy suspension. What was the long one with the kinked in rear wheel? (I think he meant the CX.) Really low. Very French. The DS3 has Flash graphics.” (He meant “Flash” as in the web animation software, referring to the interior graphic design.)

    Considering that he is not particularly interested in cars, I thought my friend hit the nail on the head squarely, and twice over. The old Citroens WERE special by dint of their national character. The DS3 on the other hand is just a small car with a colourful interior. The two things are not the same.

    1. When your friend remembered French cars as being different I would have envisioned the original DS, oh well guess its a age thing I must be of an older generation.

  5. Chris. That’s very relevant. What we say about Citroen here can be dismissed as the pedantry of people who’ve spent too much time looking at cars. But when people who are relatively disinterested in such matters notice, then Citroen should be worried. What they don’t seem to realise with the DS3 is that it has generated a lot of sales, but not loyalty. The same people who bought it as a bargain alternative to a MINI will be just as likely to choose a KIA next time round if Peter Schreyer’s team puts forward a suitable offering.

    On upholstery, I quite liked the leather upholstery in my Dad’s old CX Prestige – an awful lot of cows stylishly displayed – but I too am no general fan of leather. The velour certainly looked well, but it wore so badly. The BX we had at work had, I recall, that herringbone cloth which might not have been that stylish, but was at least relatively bum proof.

  6. Glad to see that even out there in the North Sea are some velour lovers 😉 I think now it’s time to confess that even I could be tempted by the black-and-white leather that was available in the CX around 1978. But generally I despise it. Contrary to Sean’s memories, I remember the VIP velour in my CX as quite durable. I sold that car with 300’000 km on the clock, and the seats still looked quite OK, better than many other parts of the car, anyway.

    Chris, very interesting what you say about the DS3. As Sean says, it can be a car that wins over customers from other brands. But I have also seen the case of one of my coworkers who bought one of them and has already turned away from Citroën again (for good). It was not a convincing alternative from Kia, but the timing chain issue the DS3 is notorious for, and which on his car couldn’t be resolved even in multiple attempts.

    1. I admit I’ve never experienced the CX’s velour. Perhaps it was of a higher standard that that used in Peugeots and Renaults at the time (which I did have negative experience of). Actually the original velour in my SM was good (probably the same stuff as the CX) but it was laid onto foam which rotted in time causing it to wrinkle then come unstitched.

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