Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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DickieG
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by DickieG » 09 Jul 2015, 20:31

Northerner wrote:Am i alone in thinking the cactus is an ugly looking beast?
Whist it's a bit of a Marmite car that fact that it's so different from everything else and offers good value for money is a large part of it's appeal, after all who could say a 2CV or an H van are things of beauty yet they both have a strong following. The fact that a C15 was rather oddball made up a large part of its appeal for me to own a couple of them, enjoy the Cactus Chris.

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by daviemck2006 » 09 Jul 2015, 22:56

I think they are ugly outside, but that appeals to me as it's so different from everything else. A real quirky Citroen.

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by bxzx16v » 10 Jul 2015, 06:28

Quite a chance around in the fleet Chris, love the cactus myself ,good to hear positives on the 3 cylinder turbo engine.

Mark

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Skull » 22 Jul 2015, 14:42

Citroenmad I was reading your blog the other day and forgot to bookmark the VW Polo TDi part. Can you give us a page clue please :?:

Edit I think I've found a reference on page 40 :roll:

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad » 23 Jul 2015, 15:12

Northerner wrote:Am i alone in thinking the cactus is an aesthetically ugly looking beast? Sorry Chris ... just had to be said :) . Otherwise thanks ... a good read.
It is definitely a Marmite car, it gets many looks and comments but usually all good. Its different and not blad or boring, which most cars are now, so for that reason it appeals, whether people think it looks good or not. :roll:
DickieG wrote:
Northerner wrote:Am i alone in thinking the cactus is an ugly looking beast?
Whist it's a bit of a Marmite car that fact that it's so different from everything else and offers good value for money is a large part of it's appeal, after all who could say a 2CV or an H van are things of beauty yet they both have a strong following. The fact that a C15 was rather oddball made up a large part of its appeal for me to own a couple of them, enjoy the Cactus Chris.
Very true Richard! I do enjoy the Cactus, its a great car and a good Citroen too ... in my opinion Citroen are just about where they need to be right now, in terms of the cars on offer.
daviemck2006 wrote:I think they are ugly outside, but that appeals to me as it's so different from everything else. A real quirky Citroen.
Very different and if you see one you know instantly what it is, I like that and it certainly is quirky and innovative in terms of low weight and its many other features. I can see Citroen using this design again ...
bxzx16v wrote:Quite a chance around in the fleet Chris, love the cactus myself ,good to hear positives on the 3 cylinder turbo engine.

Mark
Skull wrote:Citroenmad I was reading your blog the other day and forgot to bookmark the VW Polo TDi part. Can you give us a page clue please :?:

Edit I think I've found a reference on page 40 :roll:
You must have had a right trawl through!

It is in fact here, or at least this is when I bought it:
http://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/v ... 50#p380883" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I've had a few cars with the same 1.4TDi 3 pot engine though, its pretty good!

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Skull » 24 Jul 2015, 00:10

Citroenmad Ahh so many pages so little time :lol:

Many Thanks will refresh tomorrow

Good blog =D> - just needs some chapters or an index :roll:

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad » 18 Dec 2015, 13:26

Nearly six months since I updated this!

My fleet has changed again, as you might have expected :roll:

I sold the Ami 8, which has found a good home with an A-series enthusiast, who already had a Dyane and a 2cv. So I'm sure that is in good hands. I had some fun with it and got it back on the road after its29 year rest in storage, so I did what I wanted with it.

I also sold our long standing and very reliable 2005 C5 Estate, it had proved very useful in my ownership and I covered quite a few miles with it but it was getting to the point where I wasn't using it, it would stand for weeks which seemed pointless for the car it is. So I sold that which went to someone from the London area, they might even have appeared on here?

I sold my Cactus Feel BlueHDi to my sister, who wanted a bigger car than her C1 for her new and longer commute. Its proving to be the ideal choice for her, extremely economical, comfortable and just the right size.

I wanted a second car which was fun, something which I would get out just to drive and would also prove to be good on longer distance trips too. The C5 wasn;t a car I got an urge to drive, more of a car for a specific purpose. So I got thinking what would fit the bill; needed to be something small as I find those most fun to drive (I love finding a good bit of twisty road, which is my definition of driving fun). I made a spur of the moment decision on the car I was going to try and find, didn't over-think what I was buying, but I did know which colour it had to be ... something bright and a little daft ... it had to be yellow.

I bought a 2009 MINI Cooper R56 in 'Mellow Yellow', they're a 1.6 petrol with six speed and 120bhp. Full service history (every year rather than on mileage or the two year intervals that MINI suggest), only 30,000 miles and in great condition. I've quite taken to it now, after havin it for five months now. Despite it being my second car I've covered over 5,000 miles with it already!

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A good proportion of that was my holiday this year, which was a trip to France in the MINI. We also ventured into Germany, Italy and Switzerland, mainly staying around Geneva but on the French side. Its a trip I'll be doing again but maybe spending more time doing it, as it was only for a week. The little MINI just made the trip even better, on the roads of the alps it proved huge fun to thrash up and down and chuck into the bends - we got to the end laughing, a lot! On the motorways it was surprisingly good, sat at a steady motorway speed (80 average) it was much more refined and comfortable than we had imagined and wasn't an effort at all, in fact I found I could stay more comfortable in it than my old C5s, the seats are so much better. It even managed to be sensbile on fuel too, despite being driven hard and sitting at high speeds (though the gearing is pretty good), it still returned 48MPG for the average, over 2,600 miles in the week.

At the Peugeot Museum, Sochaux, France:
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At the Citroen factory, Mulhouse, France:
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An Alp, Switzerland:
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Italy, Mont Blanc tunnel:
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That was a fantastic trip and something I'll be doing again next year. We visited many interesting places, saw lots of fantastic scenery and packed quite a lot into the week. Maybe I'll head over to the Nurburgring next time ...

So the MINI has made a big impact and its a car which I'll be holding on to. As you might expect, I've added to the car, my usual mats and mudflaps, a selection of wheels, Cruise control and so on. I've looked into the common problems, so I've replaced the timing chain tensioner for the uprated one, etc. I could have gone with a CooperS but they're more problematic, worse on fuel and not really what I wanted. I can drive this for all it has and still keep senible, kind of.

I still have the Activa, of course. Which is just about in winter hibernation now, this was its last outing a couple of weeks ago, it still puts a smile on my face every time I drive it:
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My daily driver at the moment is a C4 Cactus BlueHDi Flair in Sport Red, much like my original one only in the range topping spec, Flair. The Cactus is a car which I really recommend, I know many people get hung up on the looks and its other quirks but its really a very easy car to live with. Those AirBumps provide great protection to the doors in car parks and are easily and cheaply replaced should they get damaged - my sisters Cactus was scraped down a wall, only the AirBump was damaged and its a much cheaper thing to repair than having to fill and paint the metalwork. Its interior is very simple, with most of the controls built into the 7" colour touch screen in the centre. At first this appears a little complicated but once you're used to where things are, its very easy and provides a whole load of 'tech', which you can either use if you like that kind of thing or leave it alone. Its a refreshing change to the very button heavy dashboards that we were getting used to ... I remember my first drive in a C5III Exclusive, it was dark and the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree, I found the dials difficult to recognise at first and could'nt begin to work its many functions and optional extras while I was driving, the dashboard and steering wheel were a wash with small and fiddly buttons ... not so in the Cactus, yet it has even more specification, its just much more simple to navigate.

So, we now have two red Cactus at home, one Feel and one Flair:
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I tend to do quite a few miles in my Cactus, most of my commute is small, twisty and pretty enjoyable minor B-roads and the Cactus feels quite at home there. Yes, they're set up to be on the more comfortable side but that works on these roads, as they're pretty rough. I'm sure I could probably set some sort of speed record on my commute but the Cactus is surprisingly capable, yes, there is some body roll and its not a car that provides a huge amount of feedback (certainly not like the MINI!) but its not bad and is pretty direct with its steering.

I like the built in sat nav which is one of the best I have used, very clear, easy to program and has many features over and above the average portable unit. The Flair solves one problem that I had with my previous 'Feel' Cactus, which is it has automatic climate control - so the temperature can be set, Auto pressed and it goes off to do its own thing. The feel has manual air con which is usually fine but with its controls being in the touch screen, I found I was swapping between screens to adjust the temperature quite frequently.

My parents 2010 C3 Picasso VTR+ HDi was swapped in for a new one in August, this time a C3 Picasso Exclusive HDi in Shark Grey.

The rest of the fleet is as it was, the Traction and C15 getting very little use and now both are away for the winter.

Thats probably enough of an update for now, then ... :)

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CitroJim
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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by CitroJim » 18 Dec 2015, 13:57

Pleased to see you still have the Activa Chris :D

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by tim leech » 18 Dec 2015, 14:35

Hi Chris

Bit of a change with the Mini! They are a hoot to drive I grant you but compared to what I am use too I find the ride and driving position doesn't suit me, a master stroke by BMW and will probably outsell the original, I cant help wondering if Rover had kept it they may still be around today?

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Xantianut » 28 Dec 2015, 13:35

Love the Activa! Gorgeous motor.......

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad » 26 Mar 2016, 20:30

tim leech wrote:Hi Chris

Bit of a change with the Mini! They are a hoot to drive I grant you but compared to what I am use too I find the ride and driving position doesn't suit me, a master stroke by BMW and will probably outsell the original, I cant help wondering if Rover had kept it they may still be around today?
Its weird, I actually find the Minis seats one of the most comfortable I have lived with and the driving position, beling more laid out rather than sit up, is ideal with great seat and wheel adjustment. My long drive from home to Geneva was very comfortable, I only had a couple of stops on route as I was still comfortable. Its pretty refined too and the ride is actually better than a DS3, which surprised me. Its great fun to drive and as I say, surprisingly capable on long motorway runs, its got cruise control and air con too.

I think you're right though, had Rover have kept the Mini design (as they did design the original new shape Mini in the late 90s) they might well still be around, who knows!



Well my Activa has gone to a new home (where it has been mis-behaving!), a tough decision but one I don't regret. I'd had a lot of fun witht hat car over the near five years I owned it, and while I only covered 17,000 miles in that time, I was starting to use it less and less. So I thought it best to move it on for someone else to enjoy for a while instead.

I'm still enjoying my lovely VW Passat V6 TDi, its an awsome bit of kit and is a superb mile muncher. I've recently bought an Audi A2, which has always been a car that has intrigued me. Its all aluminium contrustion makes it very light and as a result, very frugal and fun to drive. They're really well built and it feels like a much larger premium car to be in and drive. Its the more unusual 1.6 FSi, the direct injection petrol, which gives great performance and good economy too.

I'm not sure why but since I;ve started working at a Citroen dealer, I've never bought a Citroen! I'm getting the urge to own one again though, so maybe my fleet of German cars will move over for something with Chevrons before too long ...

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by CitroJim » 26 Mar 2016, 21:39

An Audi :evil: Sorry but you're no longer welcome here Chris :twisted: The admins will be along to ban you shortly :wink: :) :lol:

Still, I suppose you'll appreciate the gravity of your error of judgement and your dalliances with the Germans soon and make it all good again with the purchase of another Citroen...

You will then of course be re-admitted to the forum...

Your Activa is currently residing with me. It's a good 'un Chris. It still runs very sweetly indeed and looking forward to taking it for a spin when the clutch is good... I see a lot of the spheres have Valprex valves on them... Do you still have the recharging rig?

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Citroenmad » 26 Mar 2016, 23:07

The A2 is one of them intriguing cars for me, the fact it is an Audi has no bearing on it, its just a nice and likeable thing. Besides, its not the type of Audi you see an inch behind you on the motorway :lol:

However, yes, I feel I will be back with something with Chevrons again soon, just when something takes my fancy ... 8-)

It does drive well and I had great fun taking it up to Scotland to meet Davie, I was very sad to see it go but it was time. Besides, the recent house purchase means I won't have as much space or means to look after so many cars. So I'll be wittling my current lot down, and hopefully ending up with something I really want ... I've yet to own a C6 ... :roll:

We do still have the recharging rig, Jim. I did those Activa spheres when I got the car and they've lasted very well indeed, as it still rides as well as it did then. I've always left it in low when parked so I guess that has helped things a little.

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Re: RE: Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by daviemck2006 » 27 Mar 2016, 00:32

Citroenmad wrote:I've recently bought an Audi A2, which has always been a car that has intrigued me.
Has it got indicators?[emoji33] [emoji48] [emoji12] [emoji23] [emoji23] [emoji23] [emoji23]

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Re: Citroenmads Citroen blog.

Post by Xantianut » 27 Mar 2016, 01:48

Ay up!

Have to say I've mellowed towards the Cactus. Initially I thought it an ugly little splud but, as I've seen more,of them, O am warming to them. Quirky, a proper Citroen.

Odd thing, looks. I'm not really a fan of the C5 in Mk1 or Mk2 versions, preferring the Mk1 because I always think the Mk2 a singularly ugly thing! However, my C5 has won me over. How could I not like the power? Plenty of room inside, a compact feel from the driver's seat. Just wish it were more sporty in the corners. However, can't have everything, can I?

On the other hand the CX, BX, Xantia and XM got me hooked straight away.