Are Citroën drivers best and BMW owners really the worst?

Do you drive a Citroën ZX? Data shows you are the best driver out there. However, it’s bad news for those who drive a BMW 730d…

Parents are justifiably concerned about the vehicle their son or daughter’s would-be partner manhandles on a daily basis. However, should the potential relative rock up in a Citroën ZX – not only do they clearly have great taste – but nightmarish visions of hoodlum attitudes towards the highway code can be vanquished.

The reason? Those who pilot the aspirational French supermini are the safest drivers on Britain’s roads – at least according to MoneySuperMarket.

More French greats!

Research from the price comparison website has highlighted that owners of Citroën’s 1990s hatchback are least likely to have committed a motoring offence over the past five years. Only 1% of remaining ZX owners have undertaken any form of traffic violation.

There could be several reasons for such findings, either Citroën drivers are enlightened, trustworthy, and sensible – or the car itself demands total driver respect. However, knowing of several Citroën enthusiasts who frequently drive beyond their talents, we can bet it's the latter.

Why Citroën ZX drivers are best

Although dirt cheap to purchase and insure, the ZX boasts a superb blend of assured handling and firm road stance. Designed specifically to take on the Ford Escort, Vauxhall Astra and all-conquering VW Golf, the humble hatchback filled the range gap between the AX and BX.

Except, unlike all of the above, the ZX drove well, offered great value and provided enough room to ensure you could acquire something most Ford owners don’t have – a sense of style.

However, while the engine and transmission were PSA-generic and underpinnings strong enough to warrant the basis for Peugeot’s 306 – the biggest aspect to see ZX drivers deemed 'most sensible' is this; safety.

Basically, the ZX doesn’t really have any. Like all superminis from the era of mesh tops and flannel shirts, suffer a head-on collision and you are the crumple zone. The ZX was better than most, but any form of motorway accident or road traffic collision and the frame offered levels of protection most often associated with a carrier bag.

As such, registering that the car is far from impenetrable creates a different form of automotive mantra. You drive with more caution and therefore fall within the bands of awareness and well-defined reasoning. Something most BMW drivers apparently don’t understand…

Why BMW drivers are the worst

At the opposite end of the spectrum, should your teenage daughter’s new partner boast ownership of a BMW 730d, it’s best you eject him from the house pronto. Preferably through the window.

An eye-opening 21% of so-called ‘7ers’ were caught speeding or behaving with all the finesse of an outraged orangutan. The same figure was applied to those who owned a Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin DB9, Maserati Ghibli and Audi A7.

The theory behind this is sound. Cocooned in a cabin laced with deadening to prevent road, engine and wind noise, you rarely feel any form of pace on the modern highway.

Gliding along at 70mph feels somewhat slow, so you succumb to an urge to speed up. This lengthens both stopping distance and reaction time – resulting in a greater number of accidents. With more power under the bonnet, it’s all too easy to drive like a maniac.

Of course, as with any published research, there are arguments to be had. Besides, we are all acutely aware that the safest driver is the Alfa Romeo owner. As they usually have to take public transport.

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