The Chevrolet Citation was a compact car sold by American automaker General Motors (GM) for model years 1980-1985. The Citation (originally to be named the "Condor") and its siblings, the Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Omega, and Pontiac Phoenix were GM's first front wheel drive compact cars. All three were also among the first hatchbacks seen in the American automotive industry. Additionally, the Citation was Chevrolet's first front wheel drive car.

The Citation and its brethren were the forerunners of GM's endeavour to manufacture smaller, more economical cars. The Citation came with two engine options; the 2.5 L inline 4-cylinder and the 2.8 L V6.

The Citation, despite being named Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year in 1980, was largely lampooned due to poor build quality and mechanical reliability, a problem GM attempted to camouflage by badging the 1984-85 models the "Citation II". The name-change was supposedly to indicate the manufacturer's attention to the previous model years' issues. Regardless, with a price tag of under $6,000 USD, the car was a swift seller.

On a personal note, I have fond memories of the Citation. My father owned a 1980 Citation, bought from a family friend for $850 in 1993. The car was fairly mechanically sound and handled excellent on ice and snow. I had the privilege of learning to drive in it, an experience made all the more adventuresome by the 4-speed manual transmission. I still remember driving it to school for the first time, its primer and rust-mottled body drawing stares. The old girl didn't exactly afford me any popularity points, but she served my family well for 11 years.


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