GM X-Cars

NDL

Messages
185
Location
Carolina Foothills
Originally Posted by addyguy
The X-body program wasn't a last-minute, thrown together project - these cars were in development since the early 1970's. Which makes it a bit more sad that there were still these issues. You still have to give credit for GM for being a trailblazer - in 1980, what other domestic maker had a mid-size, front-drive sedan? Hmm...wait....no-one. Chrysler had the K-car, which was a similar size, in 1981. Ford didn't have the Taurus until 1986! The late Gary Allan has many posts on here about his mom's 1980 Citation V-6....went 225k miles, 20k M1 5W-30 changes, no real issues except a transmission-chain issue. I think if you somehow talked to all the people who had these cars, you'd have more good experiences than bad.
That was my opinion as well. I never owned a Citation, but have had friends that have; toss in the Skylark and Omega. Meanwhile, the source article links the Buick Century to the x body; I had a friend with a 1986 Century that simply refused to die. We owned a 1994 model, and gave it to a family member with close to 200k on the clock, with minimal issues. The Century was a cheap, value laden, car, that was trouble free and long lasting. Yeah, it was an old man's car, and it didn't handle well, but given it's mission, it was a [censored] good car.
 
Messages
481
Location
CT
I havn't seen a citation in a long time but I still see X-skylarks every once and a while. They always seem to be that doodoo brown color and have a reverse rake.
 
Messages
17,298
Location
OH
I don't think that those who've never owned one should comment on how good or bad these cars were. Having owned one, I'll share our experience. We had an '80 4dr V-6 Citation four door. At the time, GM was by far the largest automaker in the world. They did know how to design, engineer, develop and build cars. The car had incredible interior space even by current standards and offered a smooth and quiet highway ride along with good trip fuel economy. The 2.8 offered strong acceleration, but it was let down at highway speeds by the incredibly tall overall gearing mated with a three speed automatic. Handling was pretty good even with the soft suspension and on open sweepers it'll fade most anything else in its rearview mirror. Heat and AC were very good in the GM tradition of the time. The brakes never seemed great, although they were sufficient to save us in a swoop and squat attempt on I-71 by some gomer in a Fierro. I should have followed him until he got off and had a serious bit of convo with him, but wifey told me not to and we did have somewhere to be. I later sold the car to a buddy who used it on his long commute for a few years. The main issue with the Citation was the incredible amount of cost cutting that went into its design and build. Overall, the car had a really cheap interior look that was also lacking in durability. Had GM budgeted another few hundred bucks into these cars, I'm convinced that they'd now be considered great cars of their era. They did spawn the evergreen J cars as well as the then most reliable cars for sale FWD A cars, so the X cars must have had something right.
 
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17,593
Location
...
You didn't have to own one to see that they were bad cars. Creaking, sagging, rusting hulks. Blue smoke everywhere. A lot of these car were seen running cattywumpus down the street. The eighties were a bad decade for American cars in general. What I said about the GM cars applies to the rest as well. Since then they have improved. They had to.
 
Messages
1,151
Location
USA
Originally Posted by fdcg27
The main issue with the Citation was the incredible amount of cost cutting that went into its design and build. Overall, the car had a really cheap interior look that was also lacking in durability. Had GM budgeted another few hundred bucks into these cars, I'm convinced that they'd now be considered great cars of their era. They did spawn the evergreen J cars as well as the then most reliable cars for sale FWD A cars, so the X cars must have had something right.
Well summed up right there. Cost cutting (and it's insidious twin, planned obsolescence) which I consider an uniquely American disease, has unfortunately spread like a highly contagious virus to the rest of the developed world and boy oh boy does it show now, in products from Japan and Europe too.
 
Messages
3,195
Location
Western S.C.
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
The X-car wasn't midsize, it was compact. It was dreadful, one of the worst cars ever dumped on an unsuspecting public.
It had better passenger space, and a heck of a lot better luggage space than the later Corsica, which Avis stuck us with when we specified a "mid-size." My brother's Jetta had more usable space than that thing. It wasn't great, but a long way from the worst ever.
 
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Messages
6,974
Location
Suburban Washington DC
Had this 81 Omega V6 back in 2004 that I got for $100. Over 100,000 miles and ran fine. Comfortable and great visibility with all that glass. A/C even blew cold. Sold it on Ebay for $1500 and delivered it nearly 1,000 miles to the buyer. [Linked Image]
 
Messages
7,781
Location
Oklahoma
Not sure if the this was an X body or A body, but I had a 90 Cutlass Ciera XC that, to this day, was the best car I've ever owned. Had the 3.3 V6, AT, sedan. Drove that car all over the US and only had very few problems in it. Sold it at 206K miles and just saw it a couple of years ago still running.
 
Messages
9,794
Location
Ontario, Canada
I liked my 2 door 81 Omega with the V6 and 3spd AT. I had problems with the carb, and then I had problems with a shady mechanic... He said it warped the intake manifold and maybe it did, but he never got it running well again. Best features were the comfy couch front bench and the under dash air vents that moved tons of air at hwy speed, never missed AC in that car.
 
Messages
1
Location
MN
We had a few of the X cars as a family, they weren't the greatest, but they weren't the worst either. I'd put them in the same class as the Chrysler K cars. We had two K cars amongst us and they both were not very reliable. Both were better than the AMC/Renault Alliance - simply the worst cars I've ever been involved with.
 
Messages
8,639
Location
Texas
Originally Posted by MCompact
My wife had a 1984 Skylark T Type when we got married. It was actually a very nice car.
I loved them! My friend had an '85 T-type. That little 1.8Turbo was a peppy running motor! It was black and looked like a mini Grand National.
 
Messages
481
Location
CT
None of the low end front drive compact cars where really that good until EFI came out. They all mainly got their unreliable reputation from the early 80's when overly complex carburetors and emission systems where in use. Friend of mine has a 81 toyota. Great 22R. Has a Weber carb on it. The factory junk is long gone. The dependable slantsix motor was even made an unreliable mess by putting the "Lean Burn" computer controlled carb and ignition on it in the 1980s.
 
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Messages
10,122
Location
Nut farm
Originally Posted by zzyzzx
I grew up in a household where 4 teenagers shared a Chevette and a V6 Citation. I recall everyone liking the Citation a lot.
I'd much rather have the Chevette.
 
Messages
15,128
Location
Canada
Originally Posted by GMBoy
Originally Posted by MCompact
My wife had a 1984 Skylark T Type when we got married. It was actually a very nice car.
I loved them! My friend had an '85 T-type. That little 1.8Turbo was a peppy running motor! It was black and looked like a mini Grand National.
You are getting the SKYHAWK and SKYLARK mixed up. SKYLARK T-type had a 2.8 V-6, the SKYHAWK T-type had the 1.8L Turbo. The Skylark was the larger X-body; the Skyhawk was the smaller J-body.
 
Messages
4,116
Location
Central Virginia
My brother had an '80 Citation and he didn't like it because it was difficult to work on. The distributor cap on the 2.5 automatic was impossible to get to. The plastic door panels had become pitted and powdery as they deteriorated. I had a 1984 Buick Skyhawk 2.0 (OHV Cavalier engine) and a 4 speed manual transmission and it was virtually trouble free. Rust got it as it was a WV car, but it lasted 150,000+ miles and the drivetrain was still good.
 
Messages
591
Location
Atlanta, GA
Don't recall any of my immediate family having an X car that I am aware of, my mom had an L body Corsica (1992 3.1 V6/Auto). She went from an old Caprice Classic to the Corsica so was able to skip over the horrific X body although I remember how prolific they were up north back in the 90's. Funny enough the Corsica purchase my parents were debating between the "demo" Corsica or a brand new Pontiac LeMans - didn't mean a hill of beans to me back in the day but looking back glad they went for the "demo" Corsica. Corsica was nothing special to write home about, maroon interior and exterior but was eventually nicknamed the cockroach car because it just never gave up. Had over quarter million miles on it when my parents sold it to someone else in their small town. Was still roaming around for at least another 3 years after they sold it so had to have made it to at least 300k - they said they just stopped seeing it around the 3 year later mark so either the people who bought it moved or it finally had something go bad that sent it to the scrapper.
 
Messages
8,639
Location
Texas
Originally Posted by addyguy
Originally Posted by GMBoy
Originally Posted by MCompact
My wife had a 1984 Skylark T Type when we got married. It was actually a very nice car.
I loved them! My friend had an '85 T-type. That little 1.8Turbo was a peppy running motor! It was black and looked like a mini Grand National.
You are getting the SKYHAWK and SKYLARK mixed up. SKYLARK T-type had a 2.8 V-6, the SKYHAWK T-type had the 1.8L Turbo. The Skylark was the larger X-body; the Skyhawk was the smaller J-body.
I realized that too late. You can't delete posts on here anymore. But the Skylark was a nice more luxurious version and looked the best.
 
Messages
2,876
Location
DELAWARE
One of my running around buddies in High School in the mid 1980's had an Omega. That thing was put through some teenager driving abuse but took it like a champ. I thought it was good basic transportation. None of them were Chick wagons, but they got you where you needed to be.
 
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