Honda CRX Del Sol versus Citroën Xsara coupe. Which one will be the better pick for the Carbagerun, a week long winter rally for €500 cars through the Swiss Alps and the French/Spanish Pyrenees in February 2016? And why? (repost due to initial post in the middle of the night)

My co-driver suggested the Del Sol. He’s a Honda fanboy, but he also likes my Peugeots (205 GTi and 406 coupe). I do like the car and the irony of picking a Del Sol for winter, but I have my doubts.

About the rally: time/speed is not a factor. It’s about finding the right check points, taking the right pictures and answering certain questions about things you encounter correctly. You’re only allowed to enroll cars built in 1998 and before, and they shouldn’t be worth more than €500. This €500 limit is a bit flexible to keep it workable, but it should certainly be <€1k.

Advertisement

1992-1998 Honda CRX Del Sol

+ Looks
+ Ironic name
++ Honda reliability
+ Targa
- Availability
- Rust
- Price/quality. Shitty cars for high prices
- Tuner scene (from lowering, which isn’t helpful in snow, to downright molestation)
- No rally heritage
- Space. No backseat.
- Targa during winter

Advertisement

1997-2005 (so 1997-1998 to meet the rules) Citroën Xsara

+ Availability
+ Rally heritage. Lots of WRC victories.
+ Space. It’s a normal compact hatchback really.
+ Price/quality. Decent ones are still cheap.
+ No rust problems
+ Parts availability. I can even use my 205 GTi 1.9 Speedline wheels
+ Decent reliability
+ Could take a third person
+ A more rational choice
- Slightly dumpy image
- Frequently treated as a disposable car for years
- A more rational choice

Advertisement

Why not a <1992 CRX? Ones that are decent enough and road legal are way too expensive. And for the record: the Citroën Xsara does not have hydropneumatic suspension. Zero green spheres under the hood. It can be had as a 5-door hatch and as a wagon as well, but I prefer the ‘coupe’/3-door hatch.

From my list I think it’s clear where my bias is. Am I wrong? Are we both wrong and should we not consider either? Whichever car we choose, it will get snow tires (mandatory) and 4 snow chains in the trunk.

Advertisement