Citroën ZX

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The Citroën ZX is a small family car produced by the French manufacturer Citroën between 1991 and 1998.

During the 1990s, the ZX was Citroën's competitor in the class traditionally dominated in Europe by the Ford Escort and Vauxhall/Opel Astra, a market segment Citroën had moved away from when the GSA was replaced with the BX ten years earlier. The BX had tried to address the small family car market and the large family car market by being 'between sizes' but well packaged. In 1993 the Citroën ZX chassis was also used for the Peugeot 306 which, with its attractive Peugeot 205 derived styling, was a more successful car than its twin. The Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner were also built on the same platform. European production and sales of the ZX ceased in 1998 with the arrival of the replacement Citroën Xsara.

A saloon derivative called the Citroën Elysée continued to be produced for the Chinese market by the Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën Automobile, a joint venture with the PSA Group.

Contents

Overview

The ZX's interior space and value received praise from critics and consumers. Of particular note was the rear seat arrangement; it was mounted on a sliding platform that allowed the seat to be moved rearwards to increase rear legroom, or forwards to increase cargo space. Unfortunately, only the seat backs folded down on models so fitted. Lower specification models with fully folding and removable seats had more ultimate capacity. The ZX specification was good for its class, with most models getting power steering, electric windows, electric sunroof, a driver's side (and sometimes passenger's side) airbag and anti-lock braking system as either optional or standard equipment.

However, the ZX was criticised for the lack of quality feel, particularly in the interior plastics and body panels—the thin side panels were prone to pick up supermarket car park trolly dents—and also the easily worn fabrics in low spec models, in comparison with rivals such as the Vauxhall/Opel Astra and Volkswagen Golf Mk3. It was competitively priced though, unlike the Golf which was priced at a premium. Although the diesel engines were very durable (with many examples clocking up 400,000 kilometers with only routine servicing) the gasoline engines did receive some criticism for their unreliability. The ZX's styling, though it had similarities to the Bertone designed XM (especially in estate form), was also disliked by many Citroën enthusiasts, who saw it as far too conservative and bland from a company previously known for its bold and advanced design (DS, CX, BX, XM).

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