BX driving comparisons

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Dollywobbler
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BX driving comparisons

Post by Dollywobbler »

This year, I've managed to drive some BXs other than the 1.9 diesel (I've owned three) and 16v (I've owned one, driven two). Until I got my Mk1, I'd never driven one.

In the past month, I've managed to have a quick blezz in a 14 St Tropez and a TZD. Here's my findings.

Firstly, the 14 is a superb engine for the BX. Punchy thanks to the light weight and surprisingly rorty. It seriously put me in mind of the 16v albeit without the crazy hooligan 4000rpm effect. Perhaps it compares better with the 2CV. Keep the revs up and you can surprise a lot of people.

The TZD I found a bit of a disappointment. The 14 delivers instant power - it's actually a bit tricky to drive at first if you've just leapt out of a diesel. It's like a frisky mare. The lightest touch with your foot and she's off!

The TZD displays the characteristics that in the end made me fall out of love with my Peugeot 306 DTurbo (albeit after 40,000 miles!). Turbo lag and a narrow power band. It didn't help that today's drive started on a steep hill, and I changed from second to early so by the time I hit third, the boost was gone. That's the problem though - to keep a TD going quickly, you need to keep the revs up like with a 14. Problem is, by 4000rpm, the party's over, so you have to keep swapping gears to chase the power.

It's not the fairest test, as I've obviously done a lot more miles behind the 1.9 NA diesel, but with that, there's a good spread of torque (as well as what power there is) across the rev range. Sticking between 1500rpm and 3000rpm is easy (fifth most of the time, occasionally dropping to fourth for tighter bends) and so much more relaxing. Yes, there are times (usually uphill!) where more power would be nice, but if there was a turbo, you'd probably find yourself having to drop a cog anyway to find the power. Unless you've got a 1.9 TD Xantia engine installed perhaps... :wink:

Aside from power, jumping from Mk1 to Mk2 is quite interesting too. The Mk1 easily has the quirk factor, the Mk2 feels more cohesive. The biggest differences though (and I'm not sure that Mk1/2 is the switch-over) is that the brakes in the Mk1 are super sharp. All BXs stop well, but it's not until you jump from Mk1 to Mk2 that you discover just how much harder you need to press the pedal in a later car! I found this with both the 14 (which was bedding in new pads to be fair) and the TZD. To be honest, the Mk1 brakes are probably a bit fierce, but the first stop in a Mk2 is a rather scary experience!

Mothman

Post by Mothman »

I see where you are coming from bud however my Mk2 diesel has fantastic brakes, slow as a slug mind you till wound up and ime gunning her down the M25 and then she is fine at 80 mph.

In fact not a lot of difference to my MK1 diesel. She also does well, especially up my local hills so cant complaint there. The TGS is much faster as a petrol jobbie and noticeably lighter to drive. I mean this in that its noticeable she dosnt have a heavy diesel lump under the bonnet and just dosnt feel the same to drive. Dont know if any other forum members feel the same but 'petrols' just aint the same to drive as diesels. faster , yes of course but they dont feel so 'sturdy'.

Andy

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Post by Dollywobbler »

Don't get me wrong - Mk2 brakes are superb. A BX remains the only car I've ever managed a four-wheel lock-up in! However, both I've driven recently have lacked the same bite with low pedal pressure that my Mk1 displays. My Mk1 is much more akin to a DS or CX.

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Post by docchevron »

IIRC the Mk1 didn't have the stupid spring in the brake pedal though?
I removed the spring and welded the pedal piston on my diesel many years ago and it transformed the rbakes to proper Citroen brakes rather than dumbed down Citroen brakes..

I like my TD, although at the moment it's driving me to the point of torching it..
but on the whole, it's a lovely car to drive and I prefer it over the NA simply because it boosts well from 1500RPM so hill climbing and general trundlng about doesn't require lots of stick stirring. That said, I've driven plenty of very gutless TD's that are woeful until the turbo comes in..

Equally, I utterly adore the way the 16 valve drives. It's an animal, and I love it. I dont drive it everyday, infact the last couple of years it's seen little use, but it can and does go out in any weather, but even though it's a BX like the TD, I find it hard to compare the 2. Aside form looking the same sat in the drivers seat they both have such totally different driving characteristics (sp) it's easy to forget they are both effectivly the same car..

I've always liked the 1360TU though. Lovely drive and surprisingly nippy!
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Post by kiwi »

As a recent BX Diesel convert the only thing I am still getting used to is the lack of power on a hill which I do daily. Not so much he lack of power the drop off of speed as I start from 110kph at the bottom to find myself at 60kph near the top and in 3rd gear. With the 19 TZS thats 110 at the bottom and 100kph with a change down to 4th maybe.

It just feels unnatural to be in a Car so familier to be overtaken like I am in a big truck or Bus on that same hill.

Although got to admit the 19TZS/TRS are awesome on that hill when some sucker "thinks" they can overtake the BX and find themselves with a power drop off themselves :lol: being able to pop that lower gear gives a nice kick in the pants to get past them.
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Post by Dollywobbler »

The NA diesels do take some getting used to, especially on hills. I'm fortunate in that I've owned 2CVs since I was 18, so I'm very used to conserving momentum and jamming my foot right down well before a hill actually starts! You do need to anticipate the road conditions much more if you want to maintain decent speed.

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Post by mat_fenwick »

docchevron wrote:I removed the spring and welded the pedal piston on my diesel many years ago and it transformed the rbakes to proper Citroën brakes rather than dumbed down Citroën brakes..
Something I've been meaning to do for the last 7 or so years!

I remember in the Andyspares forum days I brought up the fact that my BX seemed to have more 'conventional' feeling brakes that I was expecting, and the general consensous was that it was only the Xantia that had the spring and the BX brakes were direct acting. I think it was only a certain Geoffrey Gould that agreed that some BXs did indeed have the spring, but I've never been able to find out whether there was a definate cut off point when they were fitted and if so when it was.

I was astonished jumping into a Mk1 after being used to a later model for years, and couldn't stop grinning whenever I caressed the pedal!

At higher speeds a turbodiesel works well, as the gearing means that the narrow powerband corresponds to a reasonable road speed range. Especially good if you approach a hill above the torque peak, and as you slow down you come into the torque and are able to keep up the speed. The lack of grunt is a mild irritation off boost, but one I can live with for the benefits.
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Post by Stinkwheel »

Interesting topic Ian,

Over the years ive owned three 16v's, one 17RD, one 17TGD on long term loan from a firend and I learnt to drive in my mums 1986 16TRS. I've also driven a couple of friends BX's over the years.

I agree the little 1360 TU is very willing and some day soon i 'might' try and put an AX GT cam and inlet on for a little more zing, if one happens along.

They all seem different. I loved the 17RD for its economy, I liked the 16v's for the sportyness. Luckily citroen seem to have made a BX for all types of driver :)
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Post by KevR »

Most of my BX experience is with TDs, except the first estate I had which was a 16TRS until I converted it to a TD. Of the five TDs I've had, the first was reasonably quick, the next one was slug-slow (the turbo was broken - drove it from Wales to Leicestershire, which was rather dull...), the next was fast but smokey. Of the two current ones, the white estate is fast but smokes like mad, and the grey one is totally gutless off boost and doesn't smoke much at all.
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Post by Tim Leech »

I've driven pretty much every type of bx made I think :lol:, p. y
are all differentp, the 1.4 tu being the most surprising but the lack of power steering spoilt it for. I find the 1.9 carb fed petrol to be a nice balance of performance and economy. The mk1 Diesel is rather too slow but ok when up to speed. The 2 diesels are g old, although I've ever owned a td for that long to get used ti it.

The 1.6 gets a unfair name for being pointless, they are quick when driven properly and frugal if driven carefully, plus the benefit of power steering too on most.
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Post by Dollywobbler »

I thought the lack of power steering would make a BX awful, but with the TU, that really isn't the case. Yes, you lose some directness but you get more feel. Only downside is getting used to the unusual weighting on corners. It feels like the pump's given up mid-bend at first!

I'd like to try a 1.9 petrol, in non-GTi flavour. Rich's TZS auto sounds a dreamy combination of slush box and torquey motor. I've still never driven a BX auto. Would like to try a diesel slushbox too.

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Post by Tim Leech »

Dollywobbler wrote:I thought the lack of power steering would make a BX awful, but with the TU, that really isn't the case. Yes, you lose some directness but you get more feel. Only downside is getting used to the unusual weighting on corners. It feels like the pump's given up mid-bend at first!

I'd like to try a 1.9 petrol, in non-GTi flavour. Rich's TZS auto sounds a dreamy combination of slush box and torquey motor. I've still never driven a BX auto. Would like to try a diesel slushbox too.
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Post by docchevron »

I've driven a few GTi auto's which I thought were spot on, lovely combination.
I've drivena few NA diesel auto's and thought they were rather dull, with kickdown being nothing more than something to make the engine rev higher with no actual gain in speed.

The TD auto is a beast IMHO, ok, I'm biased, but it's the nicest BX I've ever driven in terms of ALWAYS having maximum boost and power available at any road speed without the effort of having to stir a stick.
I may well convert mine oneday, I even thought about autoboxing the valver for a while, but I like stirring the stick in that one!
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Post by Defender110 »

What modifications were needed to the auto box before fitting to the TD? Is the auto box fitted to the N/A diesel the same box as fitted to the petrols? I would like to put an auto box in my TZD
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Post by Tim Leech »

Defender110 wrote:What modifications were needed to the auto box before fitting to the TD? Is the auto box fitted to the N/A diesel the same box as fitted to the petrols? I would like to put an auto box in my TZD
The standard BX autobox will go bang with all the torque of the TD engine, Doc spent a HUGE amount of money (thousands not hundreds) having one made I think, if you search the website theres a write up about it.

I agree it would be a nice combination though, I like automatics, my 19TZI auto (which is a GTi with different trim) is a lovely drive but a bit juicy and could do with a taller top gear.
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