Impressive new engine but the rest is feeling desperately dated.

What is it?

The C5’s flagging case gets sharpened with the arrival of a new twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel version.

The 2.2 litre HDI motor uses sequential blowers to deliver 173bhp and an impressive 273lb ft of torque, available from just 1500rpm.

What’s it like?

To be fair the engine is pretty impressive. The smaller turbo spins up first to give strong low-down response, the area of the rev range where modern high-power diesels tend to flounder, and the urge stays strong as the second blower comes on boost.

So equipped, the C5 goes well and seems capable of matching its claimed mpg figure. But it’s pretty much impossible to find much merit in the rest of the desperately dated C5 experience, though – especially the interior that could be radio carbon-dated to interesting effect.

Should I buy one?

The remarkable enthusiasm of Citroen dealers to knock vast chunks off the asking means that you should never say no, but despite the impressive engine it’s hard to recommend the C5 as anything more than a bargain basement purchase.

Mike Duff

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