P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:04/10  1/12   SAPPHIRE 2.3GL DIESEL (1) O It has become almost a cliche that more and more people in Britain are driving diesel cars. They are, but sales when compared with those of new petrol cars remain very small. More than 20 per cent of sales in Italy and Germany are diesel, but the UK will not break even the five per cent mark until next year. The diesel engine in the Ford Sierra Sapphire makes it the slowest and heaviest of all the Sapphires. Ceefax has been trying the 2.3D GL to see if more of us have reason to go diesel.  More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:36/17  2/12   SAPPHIRE 2.3GL DIESEL (2) O Diesel fuel is much cheaper on the Continent, but the reason why there are fewer diesels here is more involved. While fleet operators - the main buyers of diesels - recognise that such cars use much less fuel, they face higher costs in buying diesels as well as continued resistance from drivers. This first problem was tackled by Ford earlier this year when it cut the price of its 1.6 diesel Escort. This boosted Escort sales, but not enough to upset the clear market leader, the remarkable Citroen BX.  More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:19/03  3/12   SAPPHIRE 2.3GL DIESEL (3) O A further advantage of diesel cars from the fleet point of view is the longer life of the vehicle. Another plus point for diesels as far as the fleet manager is concerned has recently become less clear: Residual values of used diesels have for some time been higher than that of petrol cars, but the increasing number of diesels coming onto the used market has cut those values considerably. It is easy to see more pressure in the future for cheaper new diesel cars.  More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:10/00  4/12   SAPPHIRE 2.3GL DIESEL (4) O The Sapphire, launched earlier this year with the revised Sierra range, has helped in no small way in keeping Ford at the top of the class. In diesel form, however, it is a much less attractive car. The 2.3 litre engine was used when the first Sierra appeared in 1982 and is the only one available in the Sierra and Sapphire. The slow-revving 2304cc unit develops just 67hp at 4,200rpm. The top speed is claimed to be 95mph with a 0-60mph interval of 17.8 seconds. Fuel economy, as expected, is more impressive.  More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:20/16  5/12   SAPPHIRE 2.3GL DIESEL (5) O The fuel consumption of the diesel is, as expected, pretty miserly; the often quoted but fairly meaningless figure for a constant 56mpg is 57.6mpg But before reasonable performance on the open road comes the risk of annoying the neighbours with that awful start-up clatter and a distinct sluggishness around town. The saving grace of this Sapphire, in GL form, is the metal and trim around an engine that could only be loved by the money-minded fleet manager - it is hard to see a private b{xfr attracted.  More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:30/00  6/12   SAPPHIRE 2.3GL DIESEL (6) O In GL trim the Sapphire has a glass tilt and slide sunroof, central locking with a torch key and split-fold rear seats among the standard fittingsN Electrically-operated and heated door mirrors are also included. Electric front windows and power steering are among the options, as are headlamp wash -wipe and anti-lock brakes. The 2.3D GL is the highest trim level of three diesel Sapphires and costs £9,498. A price rise of an average 2.9 per cent on Ford cars takes effect from January 4. Motoring updated on Fridays More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:30/00  7/12   AA REPORT: CITROEN AX (1) O The AX is Citroen's new small hatchback which apart from odd items of interior equipment borrowed from the Peugeot 205 is a clean sheet of paper design. The model is especially significant for its light weight and low drag, and with a brand new 1100cc, 55bhp engine, the TRE - with £145 optional five-speed gearbox - promises lively performance and good economyN This middle-range AX11 is likely to be the biggest seller, although the 10E basic model is sound value at £125 less.  More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:33/15  8/12   AA REPORT: CITROEN AX (2) O After a slow warm-up the smooth engine proves to be a real live wire; it sounds harsh when revved hard but the AX can outrun most of its rivals. On long runs 50mpg is easy to attain but consumption is less impressive on local stop-start trips. The AX feels like an improved Visa, thanks to its even ride and stable, unflappable cornering. It takes time to get used to the light "sudden" steering; conversely the brakes feel quite heavy.  More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:32/01  9/12   AA REPORT: CIT OENAX O The gearchange and clutch are admirable but the offset pedals are awkward and the wiper leaves unwiped triangles. Vision is fine otherwise and the high driving position is comfortable. Major controls are well placed, with only some minor switches awkward to reach. Some toeboard vibrations and flexiness (and trim rattles) can be felt on bad roads, but tyre and wind noise are low. Although a little difficult to get into and out of the back seat, the AX does well for interior room all round.  More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:34/01  10/12   AA REPORT: CITROEN AX (4) O The flat floor enables some heat to reach the back and twin facia vents give a good flow of cold air, but this air turns warm with the heater on. There are numerous spaces for oddments and thanks to a divided backrest, boot space is good. It is a pity that rain runs off the unguttered tailgate and into the boot, thoughN Topping-up items are well placed and servicing is extended to 15,000 miles. Rustproofing measures look impressive, though the six-year anti-corrosion warranty is pricey to keep in force.  More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:35/13  11/12   AA REPORT: CITROEN AX (5) O We like: sitting up front, removable rear backrest We don't like: getting in the back, "drippy" tailgate in the rain Verdict: Though it is not revolutionary the AX is a significant new car. It rides well, gives almost diesel economy and is easy (and unquircx( to drive. It is also quite roomy inside. Sceptics accuse the AX of being too "ordinary"; we think many people will find this quality to their liking. More
P263 CEEFAX 263 Wed 30 Dec 21:36/42  12/12   AA REPORT: CITROEN AX (6) O Citroen AX 11TRE Price: £5,665 0 5 10 Performance  Fuel economy  Handling/steering  Comfort/refinement  Interior space  Passenger aids  Driver aids  Injury safeguards  Fuel: gentle driving 55mpg, hard driving 39mpg, overall 47\mpg. Dimensions: width 5ft 1\in, length 11ft 5}in, typical rear kneeroom 36in. Further details from the AA More