What I love most about Citroen.
France: Making things catastrophically more awkward than they have to be for no apparent reason since about 1792......probably.
Do you ever just like something because you think its funny or quirky or unique.
In this case I am talking about Citroen. Bit of a history for you if you aren't very well-rounded on your understanding of the brand's existence, it all started in 1919 when a man with a very french name (André Citroën: say it with the accent) decided that Peugeot just wasn't good enough for him anymore. He set out to make the world's most preposterously engineered cars ever known to man....... and succeeded. With ease. Time travel back to 2021 and things clearly haven't changed. Citroen are the makers of (in my mind at least) the funkiest designs and quirkiest kinds of cars we see on the roads. However I'm not really going to focus in on that aspect today. I actually want to look at something I've learnt about the brand over the course of the last two years.
They are absolutely stupid.
Usually I don't like things that are stupid. It's what's always pitted me against the Labour Party, astrology and people who claim that the requirement to wear a mask is 'an infringement of their rights'. Like all of those, Citroen's way of life is quite strange. I'm not actually talking about their range of cars themselves. It seems as though their mechanical components scattered across their models are strategically built to make you want to pencil dive from the top of the Niagara Falls. This sort of stereotype that I find has been linked ever closer to the manufacturer internationally throughout the course of its business life is what ironically has brought me to understand the actual brilliance of it.
The only way I can explain is by comparison. My love for Citroen exists in the same way people love how Alfa Romeo's breakdown all of the time, and how it is simply a trait of the brand's overall character.
Or how people also love Jaguar despite them often beholding the power to make people think you are a bit pretentious.
This brand have gone out of their way (in a very french fashion) to do everything completely arseways. It has made family ownership of their cars an absolute blast. In my time as an assistant mechanic* to my father who isn't actually a mechanic at all but has to do the car jobs because who the hell else is going to, I have found working on our car to be one of the funniest things to experience ever.
*Assistant mechanic: Person who sits on the doorstep holding bolts and a torchlight while staring into the sky looking for airplanes.
Citroen like to enhance their ownership experiences by making their drivers miserable. And I've seen it many times.
Here are some of my favourite observations in relation to this:
I love how in order to fold the seats down in the back of our Grand Spacetourer you have pull a string handle which is only accessible by moving the entire row forward and first pulling a lever beneath the actual seats to send the base of the seat flying upwards so that in your scramble to reach underneath the row you will have your face obliterated.
And what about if your tire deflates and you need to change it. Oh well that sure is fun. Because you need to empty out your boot to find the alan key that lowers the tire removal tools which literally lie underneath the car.
Or maybe you just want to simply adjust your sitting stance. Well that means you have to memorize which function belongs to which part of the car. Because in the front you need to wriggle your hand about beneath your seat until you have found the handle for the job and banged your head against the dashboard fifteen times, this process is for sliding the chair back or forward. If you want to change the vertical part of the seat's standing angle, you have to brake your arm trying to get to the point where the lever is, pretty much behind the chair, the use of which causes your seat to immediately spring forwards and break your spine. And the lever down by the floor which you'd imagine does that job, actually starts to raise your entire seating position to the point where you are practically on the roof.
And that's only for the front.
Another gem of a mechanical part in my car is the arm rests, which (and remember I don't exactly have long arms) leave nearly all of your forearm dangling painfully in plain air because most of the arm rest is made unusable by reaching back behind the seat. Oh and you wouldn't use them anyway, because they don't have a horizontal resting position.
A good selling point for the Spacetourer is its multiple storage locations. One of which was the hidden compartments in the actual floor. Not only are they deep enough to store a pencil (and a thin one at that) but also require the mats and your rear passenger to be removed and the seating row pretty much fully back to access.
My personal favourite though....
is definetely the massage controls. Quite a nice feature you may think. Well no actually, Citroen's idea of a massage offers the equivalent feeling of being kicked in your lower back by group of teenagers who are off their heads on weed. Even so though, that's not really my point. The buttons show the most unexplainable symbols you could try and comprehend. You can turn the massage mode on or off, they didn't mess that up. But there's two other buttons, one for the power of the massage (either increases or decreases it, you never know which) and one for something that I still haven't actually cracked. Probably a button to request a happy ending. I searched the handbook but even that was an issue so I came to the conclusion that ignorance is bliss after all, and that I should try and live with not knowing.
And I think all of that stuff is just what makes these cars so interesting. It's all just odd, but its okay because it doesn't kill anyone. I find it all quite strange and funny.
And I like Citroen for that. Does anyone else find these kinds of ridiculous things in their cars? Do tell. In the meantime.......
Danka for reading.