The Citroen CX Is an Amazingly Quirky and Weird French Luxury Car

The Citroen CX Is an Amazingly Quirky and Weird French Luxury Car

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00:00
this is a 1986 citron cx-25 and it is well weird that's by design of course because french cars from this era were very weird i have received hundreds of requests over the years for me to review a french car on my channel so today i'm going to do just that [Music] before i get started big news this cx is currently being auctioned
00:32
live right now on cars and bids which is my enthusiast car auction website if you like weird cars or you like french cars or you just want to try something new you're in luck because this cx is located here in maryland fully legally imported to the united states already here and titled here and now you can buy it on cars and bids so once you've finished watching this video click the link in the description below and you can go to the live auction for this citroen where you can bid on it
01:04
and buy it only on cars and bids so let's talk citroen cx this was citroen's flagship luxury car from the mid-1970s all the way throughout the 1980s and in fact it was sold through 1991. a lot of people consider this the last true real citroen model before the brand was bought out by pujo because it is the last distinctively weird citron model in many respects which i'll show you these cars were offered in many
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countries throughout the world although only a small number of these were brought to the u.s back when they were new not very many came over although since this car is now 25 years old it is fully legal to import now under the hood you have a 2.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder it makes about 170 horsepower which frankly was a pretty big number for a european car of this time period and there's a lot more of course and today i'll show you all of it first i'm going to take you on a tour of the cx and show you all of its interesting
02:06
quirks and features these strange quirks of a crazy french car from over 30 years ago then i will get it out on the road and drive it which i am very excited for and then i'll give it a dug score all right i'm going to start the quirks and features of the cx by getting in the door handle is here and to open it you just push this button at the end of the door handle and then the door opens not particularly weird or unusual although it is oriented the wrong way for right-handed people which is most people
02:41
so easier to grab with your left hand but this is probably the least quirky thing about the whole car indeed the quirks start to become tremendously obvious the moment you climb inside and start noticing all of the weird stuff in here probably the most immediately obvious weird item is the steering wheel which has a single spoke a single post steering wheel coming out of the middle and it's centered on the bottom there you can see the citroen logo is in the middle of the whole thing very very weird compared to basically
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every other car's steering wheel now there are a couple of benefits to the single post steering wheel for one thing great visibility to the gauges you don't have to like look through your steering wheel and it's kind of a narrow opening to try to read your speed or your engine speed or your oil temperature pressure whatever that's easier to do with the single post wheel it's also pretty easy to move this thing you just grab the post and kind of move it around you don't have to worry about contending with the other spokes but the weirdest part about the steering wheel is not the single spoke which sounds strange but it isn't instead it's how it operates you drive this car you
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turn the wheel and then it is designed to center itself immediately once you let go meaning no matter how far you've turned it the second you pull your hand off it goes right back to going straight now this is strange when you're driving because you're typically used to just kind of pointing the wheel in a direction and then naturally it sort of straightens itself out as the car moves not here in this car you have to keep your hands and the wheel turned where you want it to go or else it immediately straightens out which is one of the strangest craziest quirks if you're not used to it i think you
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would get used to it over time but when you initially drive the car it's very weird how it straightens out basically every time you let off the wheel very odd but anyway other interesting quirks in this vicinity now the problem with doing a single post steering wheel like this is there's no real steering column in the center where you can mount your stocks for your turn signals your headlights your windshield wipers so all of that stuff is on the dashboard around the gauge cluster your turn signals are here on this little switch you press to the left to put on the left turn signal
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and you press to the right to put on the right turn signal and they don't cancel because in a normal car the steering wheel going back center clicks the steering column mounted turn signal stock and that cancels the signals this car doesn't have that so you have to remember to turn off the turn signal every time you put it on the headlights are also in this little panel off to the left of the steering wheel this switch on the bottom turns on and off the headlights you can see zero or the parking light or the headlights and when you turn on the headlights with the car off it makes
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a crazy warning chime take a listen now next up let's say you want to flash your brights your high beams at someone on a normal car you just pull the end of the turn signal stock and your high beams flash but this car doesn't have a turn signal stock so to do that you press this little button at the end of this panel to the left of the gauge cluster and that flashes your brights or you can press the button a little more and that permanently turns on your brights and of course you press it again to turn them off so not your typical high beam
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operation same deal of course with the windshield wipers over on the right side of the gauge cluster area you have this little piece and this is how you turn on your windshield wipers or windshield wiper in this case because this car only has one you can see there are a couple of different positions and you have your windshield washer on here as well with this switch mounted on the top also in the windshield wiper area you have the horn there's no horn in the center of the steering wheel it's not designed like that so to turn on the horn you press the end of the little windshield wiper area this little
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button and that sounds the horn and of course the horn in this car sounds bizarre take a listen [Music] ah what a horn now there are so many more quirks and features to cover and so far we've only focused in this area next i want to move on to the driver door panel where you have some interesting controls the power mirrors are normal actually you just move this switch and then you can move the mirrors like in most cars the power window switches are also pretty normal although the rear ones are suspiciously
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missing here we'll come back to that in a few minutes but there is a very strange control on the driver's door panel and that would be the latch to get out it is not a typical door latch instead it's like a gun trigger you put your hand here around the door pull and then you use your index finger to open the door with this like gun trigger looking latch and that's how you get out of the car all four doors have this like trigger designed latch to get out it is very strange never seen that on any other car
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certainly a weird operation also a little bit weird is the door lock which is this to lock or unlock the door you twist this circle looks like a climate control for fan speed or temperature but in this car it's the door lock and again you have that on all four doors as well the circular twisty door lock and next up speaking of the doors let's go back into the gauge cluster you can see this little diagram to the left shows the car from the top down it also shows when the doors are open and specifically which door is open which is a nice helpful feature a lot of cars did not have this feature
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especially back in the mid 1980s but this one did and it's pretty useful also in here you can see the font they chose for all the gauges very 1970s 1980s looking font you also have a turbo boost gauge right here in the center of the tac they're very proud about having a turbo back then it wasn't that common and this car has one so it has the gauge to accompany it now next up let's move on to the center control stack where you have like a little door over the center piece and then to the left and right they're exposed when this car was sold new there were actually little doors over each of these
08:27
little pieces but these doors are known to break off and only the center one is working you can see if you push it it pops open revealing a rather large coin storage area you can keep a lot of different coins in your citroen cx now to the right you have a little control panel which looks like a telephone dial pad like touch tone telephone dial pad but if you press these various different buttons it would bring up different pieces of information and these little screens right above this area unfortunately these screens are a known failure point with these older cx's
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so they don't work here but you can see exactly what you'd be pressing one says km one says leaders i guess would tell your fuel economy or how many liters you've used or you have left that sort of thing it's basically like an early trip computer and early infotainment system using a telephone style touch pad because that's what people would have been familiar with back when this car was new now next up we moved down from the little phone touch pad and you can see the climate controls here along with a couple of the climate vents the climate control operation this car is actually quite simple over on the right you have this little wheel that you can use to adjust the temperature
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over on the left another wheel you can use to adjust the fan speed and then in the center this little wheel can adjust where the air comes out it's all pretty simple actually and you also have your front defroster button here everything arranged very simply and in an easy to reach place except the rear defroster button is on the ceiling for some reason nowhere near any of this other stuff completely out of place but that's where your rear defroster button is everything else in the climate controls is pretty simple and i especially like the air conditioning control
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you have one little snowflake you can push that to turn it on or if it's an especially hot day you can press the two little snowflakes button and then you will get more air conditioning more snowflakes more cold more air conditioning and by the way back up to the ceiling in the center here next to the rear defroster this little button with the light on it turns on the reading light for the front passengers the light is located here in this little black cover it's not currently working i suspect the bulb is burned out but that's how you turn on the reading light in the citroen cx in case you were
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curious now next up also in the center back to the center console a rather interesting feature is the radio which is mounted here in the center console between the seats and facing the driver seat meaning it's very accessible to the driver and the passenger although if the passenger wants to make any adjustments they will be doing it upside down because the radio is pointed towards the driver when the adjustment here is done from the opposite direction that is a rather strange quirk also a strange quirk in the center console the
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gear selector is here and you can see the gear pattern is not printed anywhere so you don't really know where the gears are is reversed to the left or the right you're not really sure they could have put it here to make it helpful but they didn't now also between the seats you can see cupholders here these are aftermarket these are not original cup holders but they are designed for this particular car when you pull out the cup holders you can see they're intended to stick into this little slot in the center console that has no clear purpose and they also cover up these four blank switches which also have no clear purpose
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why didn't citroen just put cup holders in originally no one knows but it has this aftermarket fitted cup holder now and it doesn't seem to take anything away from the vehicle since there was nothing there before now next up we move over to the passenger side of the cx and the strangest thing over here is undoubtedly the glove box which opens up like a normal glove box but why is it only half a glove box they have this little padded surface above the glove box where you could put stuff but the downside of that is that the glove box itself is only like half the size it could have been
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as a result i think most people would rather have a larger glove box since this padded area stuff will just fly around while you're driving but they gave you the padded area instead deal with it other interesting quirks on the passenger side one is the window switch you can see the power window switch is right here and to the right of that switch you have a blank now interestingly of course this switch controls the window which is on the right side of the car but it's in the left side of this little window area obviously for right-hand drive cars both of these switches would have been used for left and right windows but instead you have a left window
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switch to control the right window which is kind of strange now over here like i said you also have this trigger door lock once again on the passenger side you stick your hand in here and then pull the trigger like you're shooting a gun just to get yourself out of your citron but of all the interesting quirks and features in this car probably the quirkiest quirk is the suspension this car has hydro-pneumatic suspension which provided various benefits or drawbacks depending on who you asked but the quirkiest thing about it was that it would raise up the
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car you have this little control in the center control stack and you moved it over to the left and you can see there's like a stair step pattern moving it to the left would raise the car all the way up if you moved it to the right it would lower the car all the way down and right now i'm going to show you what it looks like when the car goes from its lowest position to its highest position you can see it raise up take a look now like i mentioned the suspension had
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benefits and drawbacks the biggest benefit was probably ride comfort i'm not going to get into the mechanics of how hydropneumatic suspension works but it was carefully designed so that when you go over bumps you don't really feel all that much of the bump and you can see from just a second ago it has a lot of suspension travel so the wheels have a long way to go before they start really affecting the body and the ride in the car after world war ii in france it said that the roads were pretty bad and so citroen decided to start developing and perfecting the suspension technology
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in order to make the cars feel more comfortable and more compliant over the bad roads but there are other benefits to the hydro-pneumatic suspension one is ground clearance as you can see this car can go from being very low ease of entry and exit good low aerodynamics for speed 2 being all the way high as you saw before has like suv style ground clearance so if you're going over a field you can be able to do that not too many cars did that at the time even though adjustable suspension has become more common the other big benefit
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to the suspension is it's self-leveling and that means if you stick heavy things in the car several people stuff in the back the car will stay completely flat it won't like sag to the back or the side or whatever because it always stays level thanks to this hydro-pneumatic suspension but there were drawbacks as well for one thing it's very complicated to work on the suspension and if it breaks it can be expensive to fix or difficult to find someone who even knows what they're doing also it was this suspension that got this car banned from sale in the united states at the time
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u.s regulators wanted all cars to have like a relatively even bumper height an adjustable suspension meant that your bumper height wouldn't be even in an accident which they felt was dangerous now later that regulation went away and citroen was allowed to sell these cars in the united states which they did in small quantities but originally that was a problem for offering the car here which is kind of funny to think about now since so many cars have adjustable suspension these days back in the 80s this was pretty much the only one and next up we move on to the back seat of the cx where there are quite a few more quirks and features
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before i get inside i want to talk about one interesting design aspect of this car because there's no rear wheel arch and because the rear wheel is placed really far back in the car the rear door doesn't have to like curve around the wheel arch and it can be absolutely huge and completely full size and so you can see this door is not only big but it's basically flat in the back so that it makes entry and exit easier you don't have to contend with the wheel arch when you're getting in like basically every other car an interesting trick of the citroen but
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anyway next up we move on to the back of the cx and you quickly discover one of this car's other major benefits with how it was designed and how far the wheels are in the back and that would be there's a ton of room back here like i said this was citron's flagship luxury car at the time and it was actually used as a presidential state car in france jacques sharok had this when he was president and other countries used it too to transport their head of state it was a very comfortable very roomy car so it made sense for that purpose so comfortable and roomy in fact
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that it has little foot rests in these pockets behind the front seats you can pull out the foot rest and then place your feet on it if you want your feet to be in a slightly different position than they would have been without your foot rest that is luxury and there are many more rear seat luxury quirks than just that for one thing a cigarette lighter and an ashtray in both rear doors over the left side and over on the right side so the rear passengers didn't have to possibly inconvenience themselves by sharing the same cigarette lighter they could both light up their
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cigarettes separately it was europe in the 1980s after all and a lot of people were smoking another interesting quirk back here the power window switches i mentioned earlier i would come back to those rear power windows it's not too weird on the door panel you can see there's an individual switch and it rolls down the rear window seems pretty standard but you also have rear power window switches located here at the very back of the front center console and you press those and it also rolls down the rear window now those switches are there so that the front passengers had access to roll down
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the rear windows but the rear passengers also have that access with those switches so if you're a rear passenger you can just choose where and how you want to roll down your back window with the switch on your door panel or with the switch in the center they really didn't have to put those front rear window switches so far back since rear passengers had their own switch but they did it anyway because they're weird and quirky that is further proven by some other interesting quirks back here for instance the sun visor coming down from the ceiling for the side
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window you fold down this sun visor and it shields you a little bit from the sun obviously these days luxury cars have sun shades that were automatically into place but this was an early attempt at a sunshade a sun visor for the rear passengers and the side windows and speaking of sun shades how about behind the seats where you have this this little sunshade you can lift up and pull into place and then clip it to this part right above the rear window and then you have a rear sunshade in this car as well again not as good as
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modern cars with their power operated rear sunshade but it had something and these were individual rear sunshades meaning that both rear passengers could choose whether or not they wanted their sunshade in place you had two separate ones for the two separate seats back here a very interesting and luxurious quirk and next up we move under the hood where you have of course the engine in this car it was a turbo four-cylinder with about 170 horsepower not a huge number especially for the flagship luxury sedan but a lot of non-performance cars in europe back in the 70s and 80s
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didn't really have all that much power it was considered totally sufficient for the day now you can see the engine is mounted pretty far up in the engine bay which isn't really what you want all that weight hanging out over the front wheels but it was important that they put the engine up there because they had to make room for the spare tire always a fantastic placement of the spare tire sharing the engine bay with the hot engine where you will burn yourself if you try to get the spare tire out and touch the wrong thing accidentally never really love to see a spare tire there but that was where they had room to put it in the cx
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so you have the engine and the spare tire in the engine bay one thing i love under here you can see it says turbo and metal right on the engine they were very proud of the fact that this was a turbocharged car like i said a lot of cars in this era were not turbocharged except for some serious performance cars but this thing was and they wanted to make sure that you knew it in fact the badging in general is kind of funny in this car you also have turbo on the front fender to make it very clear that it's a turbo but it's also a luxury car and so it says
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prestige and beautiful cursive on one of the rear pillars so turbo but also prestige and then in the back it just says everything you have this giant black badge that specifically tells you everything you need to know about the car then another black badge that tells you it's a citroen and then finally another black badge that tells you it has abs it really wanted you to know every possible thing about the car with the badging on the rear so kind of some strange badging decisions here but that's what they did but probably my favorite piece of badging is on the top of the hood you have this hood bulge as
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you can see and then a t right at the front of it sort of stylized looks almost like a ford thunderbird tee but that too was intended to remind you that this was a turbo and not just a regular citron cx a turbo with all of 170 horsepower pretty strong and next up since i'm outside the cx let's talk about probably its most distinctive feature of all except for maybe the suspension and that would be its design it has a very distinctive design and probably the most distinctive elements are here in the back
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where you have this teardrop shape coming down to the rear of the car and you have no rear wheel arch it's covered up which certainly gives this car a very specific appearance you know what you're looking at when you see that teardrop shape and the covered up rear arch it's definitely a citron in fact they used this design philosophy for many years on many different vehicles the teardrop shape was totally crazy at the time although now it's become pretty common on electric cars because of the drag coefficient and the benefits for aerodynamics the covered rear wheel arch never really
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caught on that also benefits dragon aerodynamics but most people think it looks weird and so most automakers don't do it but the current generation honda clarity has basically the same shape as this car the teardrop shape and the covered rear wheel arch in order to improve aerodynamics and enhance its range for efficiency so maybe citron was a bit ahead of the times with this design although frankly i never found it to be especially good looking some people think these were beautiful cars with this design philosophy and i think they're a little strange and
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very distinctively citroen let's put it that way and finally we come around to the back of the cx-25 and we talk about the hatchback although this car is so weird and quirky that by now you should have learned that you can't assume anything about it and indeed it doesn't have a hatchback it has a trunk even though it has a hatchback shape as you can see this is just a fairly standard opening trunk instead of an actual liftgate like you would expect from a car from this shape you just get a trunk cause citron is
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weird in every single respect that includes by the way the trunk itself which is fairly standard normal size nothing too weird except there's no lip on the back of the trunk or there is but a very small one and that means if you park going up a hill and you have stuff in the trunk it'll probably just roll right out that was just sort of a reality you had to live with and protect against don't part going up any steep hills with valuable stuff in the trunk now one other weird item back here something very distinctive to this car is the rear window which you can see is not flat at first glance it looks flat but
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it's actually like concave it bends in from the sides and then bends back out to the other side you can see it's sort of in the reflections it is a very strange piece now why did they decide to do this i don't know they didn't really do it on any other models except for a more recent citron called the c6 it's just not a very commonly seen thing and it's probably very difficult to replace this glass of breaks but it certainly looks cool if you notice it and so those are the quirks and features of the citroen
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cx-25 now it's time to get it out on the road and see how it drives all right driving the cx i have never driven a french car from this era before i've really no idea what to expect but here goes first thing you notice the steering is very strange in the sense that it writes itself immediately so you go back to the center no matter what you do and that's kind of a bizarre situation certainly the car is not fast and it doesn't feel fast and it's never pretended to be
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fast uh that's not really something that it's all about but it is acceptably quick i mean you can get up to normal speeds and drive normally and it's like no big deal really in terms of handling you know it's an interesting thing i mean the hydro pneumatic suspension is very beneficial for ride quality and i must say it is i mean i'm going over bumps and it's like you don't feel much you really don't but in terms of the actual handling capabilities of the car it feels kind of floaty there's some body roll and that sort of thing it doesn't feel tremendously
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precise and and that's that feeling is assisted by the steering which really doesn't feel very precise the car is not really a handler and that was this wasn't intended to be a sports car it was a luxury car and indeed the ride does feel rather luxurious and frankly this is just a cool car it's just straight up a cool car you drive this thing around you don't really expect to have that much like thrill when you're driving it uh but it's it's neat in the sense that you just know this is one of the quirkiest strangest things and everybody kind of stares at you
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because it's such a weird look nobody's really accustomed to seeing such a vehicle and it's an it's an odd thing to encounter yeah i mean it definitely doesn't feel fast 170 horsepower frankly even that feels a little generous although this car being its size that 170 probably is an accurate figure the thing that i think is just cool about this car is it's just interesting it's weird and it's quirky and it's fun and it's interesting and frankly i i just like it um everything about it is just a little
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bit weirder and more different from a normal car and that's the cool thing you're definitely not going to have the most fun driving experience you're not going to be throwing it around corners but you're also going to walk up to your car every time you park it and be like this is the coolest thing in the parking lot everybody'll ask about it it's just a very distinctive and very special vehicle frankly i think it's pretty fun to drive it's certainly a quirky experience between the steering wheel and the self-centering steering and the comfortable suspension and obviously just the look of the car is so strange if you're sitting in back you get those
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nice luxury seats and be a nice car for transporting people i think the real fun of the fun of it though is in the fact that nobody knows what it is nobody sees it nobody's driven it before and you have all these weird features and things that it has that are just so strange and that makes the experience like especially interesting and exciting and i i think it's cool as someone who likes quirky and weird cars i think that that makes it a pretty cool quirky and weird car and so that's the citroen cx
27:16
hi this car is weird it is so weird and bizarre and strange but as someone who loves weird cars it is weird in all the right ways i am thrilled that i had the chance to spend the day with this car and show you all of its weirdness and it's interesting quirks and features and if you want to experience all this stuff for yourself you can buy this car on cars and bids anyway now it's time to give the cx a doug score starting with the weekend
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categories and styling some people find these cars gorgeous frankly i've never really felt that way i think it's a bit unattractive actually and it gets a four out of ten acceleration it's not especially potent and it gets a one out of ten handling is fine nothing special it gets a three out of ten fun factor is higher though you have a surprisingly enjoyable driving experience and the fun of knowing you're driving something so weird it gets a 4 out of 10 which is a big number for this type of car cool factor is even higher this would turn heads like crazy out of cars and coffee and it gets a 6 out of 10 for a weekend score of 18 out of 50. next up are the daily categories and features this car is
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relatively well equipped but not hugely so by modern standards and it gets a 4 out of 10. comfort is great surprisingly comfortable thanks to that great suspension and it gets a 7 out of 10. quality is ok the materials inside are pretty nice but reliability is a huge question mark especially for part support in north america and it gets a six out of ten practicality is normal for a car like this larger back seat than usual but fairly small cargo area and it gets a five out of ten finally value and these cars are reasonable values figure 20 to 30 grand which is not a lot to spend to get all the excitement at cars and coffee the real problem here would be
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reliability or at least for me you'd have some fear of breaking down and trouble finding a fix it gets a 6 out of 10 for a total daily score of 28 out of 50. added up and the doug score is 46 out of 100 which places it here against some other slightly relevant cars although nothing really comes close to rivaling this thing the cx is great weird quirky cool and special and it was so fun to check out this car [Music] you know what you're looking at when you see the teardrop shape and the no rear arch it's definitely a
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okay you

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