Citroën had high hopes for its bold luxury saloon but sales fell flat. All the better for us - we reckons you should snap one up sharpish
17 September 2018

The Citroën C6 of 2006-2012 must be one of the few cars that was launched with its own specially commissioned garage. Described by the building’s designer as “an envelope to present the C6 in a truly unique and independent environment”, the garage, designed by architect Neutral, was made from light-transmitting concrete (it had optical fibres embedded in it) and cost £112,000, or about three times as much as the most expensive C6.

You won’t find any for sale in the small ads today. On the other hand, there are a few examples of the car it was intended to accommodate. A few, note, not loads, since the C6 never caught on among the Audi and BMW drivers at which it was aimed. Well, sort-of aimed. The thing was, the C6 was more showcase than fleet tool. Its hydropneumatic suspension was the latest Hydractive 3+ version with three automatic position modes (motorway, poor road surface and either comfort or dynamic). The system used orange LDS synthetic hydraulic fluid instead of the traditional green LHM mineral stuff.

At rest the big Citroën looked cool and sleek; at speed it rode the nation’s roads as if the Asphalt Industry Alliance had at last got its way and blown the nation’s road tax on bitumen.

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Standard equipment included nine airbags, an active rear spoiler, a pedestrian-friendly active bonnet, xenon lights, a head-up display and tyre pressure monitoring. Options included the Lounge Pack, offering powered and heated rear seats.

All this kit took the price of the most expensive C6 to around £40,000, which was a huge sum compounded by the horrendous depreciation that followed. It was a steep curve but one that in recent months has begun to bottom out as buyers looking for something different seek out tidy C6s.

Most surviving examples are of the 205bhp 2.7 HDi twin-turbo V6 automatic variety (it was a six-speed ’box), available from launch and offered in Standard, Lignage and upmarket Exclusive trims. Also on sale from launch was a cooking 171bhp 2.2 HDi four-pot, this time in manual as well as automatic forms, although it didn’t sell well.

Representing the petrol corner was a 212bhp 3.0 V6 auto, a refined old lump but slower than the torquey 2.7 diesel. It’s a rare sight today.

It was all change in 2009 when the 2.7 gave way to the more tax-friendly 237bhp 3.0 HDi twin-turbo V6 auto. This model is also rare and low-mileage examples are sought after, so a 2010-reg with 12,000 miles sold recently for a high £24,000. Just as the 2.7 bowed out so too did Standard and Lignage trims, leaving Exclusive to fight on alone.

The view in the trade seems to be that for all its complexity, the C6 is a reliable Gallic barge. And there’s an army of dedicated specialists and owners’ clubs to support you should trouble erupt. Buy one before prices for the best rise beyond reach.

Did you know? 

French presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy used the Citroën C6 as their official transport. Vive la France!

An expert’s view

“I’ve been selling and servicing Citroëns for 30 years. Most days I’m driving a C6, either one we’ve just serviced, or running one we’ve bought. Aside from differences in their suspension where the bushes might have worn, they’re pretty consistent: they float over broken roads but still feel agile and positive. The C6 is a complex car and while you may find the odd bargain, it’s worth spending more for a well-cared-for example. The 3.0 petrol is the quietest but rare. The 3.0 diesel is rare too, but I’d choose one over the earlier 2.7 diesel, which is more expensive to tax.” Danny Pearcey, Wolsey House Motors

Buyer beware…

ENGINE - Check the condition of the plastic thermostat housing, which can crack, causing a coolant leak. First you’ll know is when the engine temperature light comes on, by which time it’s too late. Check the steel coolant pipe in the nearside front wheelarch — it can rust and lose coolant. The timing belt interval is every 150k miles or 10 years.

GEARBOX - A sign of a careful owner is one who ignores Citroën’s ‘sealed-for-life’ claim and has new oil every 20,000 miles.

SUSPENSION AND BRAKES - Check front wishbones for wear and struts for leaks. Irregular tyre wear is likely due to worn wishbone and lower arm bushes — new parts plus a four-wheel alignment should fix it. Check for corroded suspension pipes and pipe ends. Check tyre pressure monitoring system. Rear-end clunks suggest worn suspension droplinks. Check rear brake calipers aren’t seized.

BODY - Check for galvanic corrosion where the aluminium bonnet and doors meet steel at the leading edge of the bonnet and the tops of the doors. The powered rear spoiler should rise in two stages, first at 40mph and then at 80mph.

INTERIOR - Check all electric functions and controls work. If all the dash lights are out, check the ‘dark’ button hasn’t been pushed — it extinguishes all bar the speedo. Check rear powered seats and steering wheel adjusters. Also worth knowing Just a slight drop in nitrogen pressure in the C6’s seven spheres can seriously affect the car’s attitude, so have the system pressure checked by a specialist such as Pleiades Garage, Sawtry. It can regas the spheres by drilling, recharging and sealing them. Expect to pay around £320.

How much to spend

£2250-£3195 - Early, high-mileage (120-190,000) 2.7 HDis in questionable condition.

£3200-£4495 - Nicer 2.7s Lignage and Exclusive-spec, around 100k miles but most with FSH.

£4500-£5495 - Lots of sub-100k miles 2.7s, mainly 2007-reg cars, in good condition.

£5500-£6995 - Decent 2008-reg 2.7s with few owners, full histories and reasonable mileages.

£7000-£8000 - 2009-reg 2.7s including a 59-reg 2.7 Exclusive with Lounge Pack, 93k miles and full Citroën history for £6995.

£10,000-PLUS - Rare, 2009-reg 3.0 HDis with reasonable mileages. 

One we found

CITROEN C6 2.7 HDI LIGNAGE, 2008/08, 98,000 MILES, £3300

A full service history (but check it’s more than just oil changes) plus a six-month warranty (check exclusions) are a good starting point. It’s got the black full-leather interior, too.

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Comments
3

17 September 2018

The last of the good big Citroens.

The DS5 was just uncomfortable, and the C5aircross is a boring SUV.

1 August 2019

good info

1 August 2019

the customer feedbacks are important now a days. This article helps alot to many people. In the same way, there is a company called talktoihop.com where it takes feedbacks from the customers.

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