Spain Import: 1989 Citroën BX16

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While I generally understand the desire to import oddball vehicles that were never sold here, this 1989 Citroen BX16 RS here on eBay with no reserve is a head-scratcher to me. Of course, with the 25-year importation rule in effect, any number of vehicles are likely to show up outside of the usual Nissan Skylines and Porsche 959s. This particular Citroen is available in Pennsylvania and formerly belonged to a school teacher in Spain. 

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The 93 b.h.p. 1.6L engine was an extremely popular choice, as it offered decent performance and better reliability that Citroen engines that preceded it. This is due in large part to the motors being sourced from Peugeot, which took ownership after Michelin relinquished its interests in the car company. Of course, the hot ticket was the 125 b.h.p. GTI, which would have been my choice if I was going through the trouble of importation.

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Other enhancements to this generation included a more sensible cockpit layout and harder-wearing materials. Although Citroens have always been engineering marvels, some consumers saw them as fragile and finnicky, despite their innovative packaging. With Peugeot’s involvement, cars like the BX became more sensible without losing a key Citroen hallmark: the hydro-pneumatic suspension, which actually made this model one of the most appealing tow vehicles on the market.

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While Peugeot did inject some key efficiencies in the form of parts sharing and reduced complexity, the BX was clearly all Citroen. Unfortunately, quality control still wasn’t a strong suit compared to its rivals and other makes and models were seen as more reliable. For the Citroen faithful, models like this BX were considered charming reminders of the company’s tendency to walk to the beat of a different drummer, and I’m sure this example will find a willing enthusiast who previously only fantasized about owning such an unusual vehicle.

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Comments

  1. redwagon

    Gone. Someone wanted it really badly

  2. wynkin

    All plastic body parts and can be taken apart with a wrench.

  3. Fred W.

    Why is it “one of the most appealing tow vehicles on the planet”? Excuse my Citroen ignorance.

    • Dairymen

      In Europe it would be. Big pickups and suv’s are not common and expensive.

    • RayT Member

      The suspension’s self-leveling feature might have made it good for towing. I’m not sure, as I never used my DS for towing.

      I once drove a BX in France, and thought it was a sweet little car. Not sure I would have bothered to import one, though.

  4. Jesper

    I had a BX diesel. It roundet 700,000km without any major repair.
    I saw it driving 2 years after i sold it.
    It was also red, but not so fine as this one.

  5. Ropey

    I have to disagree that the GTi was the one to have … the 19GT was the ticket. They ruined the GTi by making it too harsh and taking away the lushness of the suspension. Plus, not having am ‘i’ on the end meant that I, as a young whipper snapper in the UK in the early nineties, could actually afford to insure it. Very fond first car memories of my BX 19GT.

  6. PAR

    Drove a BX19GT back in 1988. Was the shizzle then and went reasonably well for the day. The suspension was excellent and the vehicle never gave me any problems during my tenure. But red Citroens are just wrong!!

  7. urquiola

    This BX had the lowest drag coefficient of it series, that begun with GS. Sometimes windshield had fissures, but replacements are easy to find. Hydraulic suspension requires care, specially, using the right fluid, mixing fluids can destroy the whole suspension. The BX lost a bit of the character of its antecessors, but was a more ‘natural’ car. Regards, + Salut

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