They say great cars – just like buses – come along in threes, and in a way, it looks like this might be happening at AROnline Towers. First, there was my Lancia Delta Integrale (which should be arriving home this week), then the arrival of my Rover 75 1.8 Connoisseur, which has proved an interesting mechanical challenge (but satisfying, as it’s been rescued from death’s door), and now – thanks to the impending emigration (temporary) of my old mucker Craig Cheetham, a Citroën XM 2.0SX Turbo Auto.
Clearly the Lancia is here to stay (it is my Rover SD1’s replacement, after all), and as one of the earlier Integrales out there, and in completely unmodified condition, it’s a bit of a find.
But the interesting questions surround the XM and the 75. Clearly both cars do a pretty similar job – they both ride well, they’re accommodating, and stand out from the crowd. So, logically, I should only keep one. After all, money’s tight, fuel is expensive, and running two lumpy execs like this is hardly going to be cheap. And yet, looking at them both, it’s hard to choose – I mean, how could I get rid of either?
The answer is, I can’t!
But I should.
But it’s difficult.
positives for the Rover include pretty good fuel consumption, an engine I can now completely trust, and the continued support of UK specialists who can offer parts and expertise at reasonable cost. It’s also pretty good to drive, cossetting, everything works on it, and – well subjective I know – it looks great.
As for the Citroën – it leaks, it chews through fuel, has a noisy exhaust manifold, some of the electrics have gone AWOL, and my ability to find good used ones in the breakers’ yards, where the supply is thinning more quickly than my hair, would prove increasingly troublesome.
XMs and I have form – I’ve run them long-term before, and found them to be amazing all-rounders. They have all the space you’d ever need, great comfort, and perfectly good performance. They also look like nothing else on the road, and given just how rare they’re getting now, turn heads. In short, I love ’em.
In truth, I should just find a way of running both, and be happy with my choices. And in truth, that’s what I’ll probably end up doing. But I’d be more than interested to hear what you guys think…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.