Currently reading: Greatest road tests ever: Citroen C5
The C5 followed the GS, BX and Xantia as Citroën’s hydraulically suspended mid-sized Mondeo chaser for the new millennium. It was typically quirky, too

Tested 28.3.01

Based on PSA’s new Platform 3 (which later underpinned the Peugeot 407), the C5’s clean and crisp detailing couldn’t hide its awkward take on the classic, three-box profile. The latest iteration of Citroën’s hydraulic suspension boasted increased computing power, acting by way of six fluid-filled spheres.

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Despite a lack of charm, the budget-friendly 16-valve petrol engine delivered reasonable performance via five well-chosen ratios in a slick manual gearbox. It cruised quietly and the brakes were sensitive but effective.

The hydraulic suspension adapted to speed, driving style and road surface, and could raise the ride height by up to 53mm.

It helped produce breathtaking ride comfort, although numb steering meant the dynamic experience was more enjoyable for passengers than the driver.

98 Greatest road tests citroen c5 2001 interior

The C5 had decent rear leg room and an enormous boot. Driver comfort was excellent and interior finishes were top drawer. Entry-level kit included rain-sensitive wipers, six airbags, auto locking and air-con.

FOR Equipment, big boot, good seats, gearchange AGAINST Numb steering and brakes, dubious styling

Price £14,580 Engine 4 cyls in line, 1749cc, petrol Power 117bhp at 5500rpm Torque 120lb ft at 4000rpm 0-60mph 11.4sec 0-100mph 38.0sec Standing quarter 18.3sec, 76mph Top speed 119mph Economy 28.1mpg

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT... A 2004 facelift introduced a 110bhp 1.6-litre diesel, more interior space and new gizmos such as optional lane departure warning. The Mk2 C5 replaced the hatch with a saloon in 2008, alongside the estate version. Mild facelifts in 2011 and 2012 failed to ignite sales and it was withdrawn from UK sale in 2016. The name returned to Europe in 2018 on the C5 Aircross SUV.

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The spacious, comfortable Citroen C5 makes an interesting and off-beat Mondeo rival

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Rick Maverick 26 November 2021

Worked in Marbella when the C5 was introduced. Intro location? Marbella. Shock and horror.The C5 II that replaced its ugly predecessor however is a great piece of design, blending a Teutonic stance with Latin detailing. Or vice versa.

Stockholm Calling 26 November 2021

Agree with the comments below. Greatest road tests ever?! Had one of these for a while, a 2.0 Exclusive auto. Not one of my better purchases. Gutless, not very reliable, strange styling and the hydractive suspension lacked that magic carpet feel. They seem to have nearly all been scrapped now. 

Aerial 26 November 2021

My MK2 Exclusive was a fantastic car, so comfortable and very reliable. Only things I didn't like were the absence of useable cup holders (it was inside the centre arm rest) and the sometimes pitching motion when coming to a stop, bobbing about like a dinghy.