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The best executed big Citroen saloon yet, but be wary of residuals

Our Verdict

Citroën C5

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

Steve Cropley Autocar
3 April 2008

What is it?

The flagship version of Citroen’s handsome Mondeo-class model, and one which sets new standards of style and interior quality for a C5.

Indeed, some would say it looks as good as the much-admired (and much pricier) C6. The range-topping motor is only available with full-on ‘Exclusive’ trim, meaning all the gubbins: parking sensors, electric seats, laminated side glass, mood lighting and much more.

What’s it like?

Typical big Citroen, but better executed than ever. Low seating, soft Hydractive 3 oil-gas suspension and fantastic body control when cruising fast on lumpy motorways. No other car is as good at diffusing big bumps, though you have to be prepared to concede some surface rumble, a traditional foible of this system through the years.

Steering is quite firm and seems to suffer a little “stiction” compared with the Peugeot-related system that accompanied new steel-suspended C5 versions lower down the range, but advantage is brilliant hands-off stability, even at 100 mph.

The engine is refined and gives pretty decent economy, with consumption around 35 mpg being perfectly possible day-to-day, despite the standard-fit six-speed auto.

The only downside is the car’s weight – a stonking 1766kg – which serves to blunt acceleration, despite the engine’s best efforts. Fortunately the transmission’s tall ratios and the motor’s plentiful mid-range puff make it a supremely relaxed high-speed cruiser.

Should I buy one?

A cautious ‘yes’ to this one – with several provisos. Plusher versions of big Citroens have always suffered from resale issues, and although residual experts CAP reckon this one will do far better come resale time, the case isn’t proven yet.

But if you’re looking for the long term – or if the firm is paying – the V6 C5 is a great way to schlep around. Otherwise, wait and see how the residuals settle down. It will be a fantastic three-year-old buy, though.

Join the debate


4 April 2008

Your first drive of the interesting Citroen C5 2.7 HDi V6 (3 April 08) indicates a 0-62 mph time of 9.6sec. Your comparitive test of the Jaguar XF 2.7D (13 February 08) reflects a 0-62 mph time of 7.7 sec. This is a big difference of almost 2 seconds!

As far as I know, the engines and automatic transmissions of the two cars are the same (producing about 204bhp, and the Jaguar is very slightly heavier 1771kg vs 1766kg for the C5. The overall gearing of each car cannot differ by much.

What could the reason for this big difference in acceleration times be?

Ivor Korck

22 August 2008

I've been pondering the same question and have asked Goodwin - but no reply to date.

It's interesting also to compare the C6 with the C5. The C6 is heavier but does 0-62 in 8.9s! Maybe Citroen are deliberately downplaying the C5 so as to boost the C6

Howard Ward

22 August 2008

[quote Howard Ward]I've been pondering the same question and have asked Goodwin - but no reply to date.[/quote] I personally can not think of why he wouldn't reply to such a massively insightful and important question of the time such as that.

22 August 2008

I imagine t

24 August 2008

What I meant to say,before the archaically clunky programming of this forum took over,was that this thing is going to weigh over 1800 kgs in estate form,which is the one thats going to sell.

1800 kgs,think about it,over 300 kgs more than the saloon in 1.6 litre guise,thats 660 lbs or an unbelievable six hundredweight.

Something is not only wrong here , criminal deception is abroad.

Firstly,this is not a particularly roomy vehicle,although it must be said that what it sees as its peers are very bulky indeed.

Internally,which is the only dimension that matters,this is a medium/ large car.

With modern production know-how it would be a bit porky,in estate form,with any likely engine,at 1500kgs.

So where is all this extra 300 bags of sugar distributed?

It may be very rigid,but so was an Austin 1800,at a fraction of the weight.

I am prepared to bet anyone a grand that I could reduce the weight of this vehicle to 1500 kgs without detriment to anything that matters within a year,and all Citroen have to do is pay my reasonable consultancy fees and do exactly what I tell them to.

Since they quite clearly have nobody who can even approach this I shall expect a very speedy response from them.

I just hope its speedier than their response when my last Citroen hit warranty problems.


25 August 2008

There is a subtle question behind the question i.e.are manufacturers massaging performance figures? There are other Jag/Citroen perfomance parameters which are anomalous and which appear to defy the laws of physics. Compare the C5/XF CO2 and consumption figures. The weights are almost identical and the drag coefficients can't be all that different, given that the maximum speeds are similar, yet the Jag outperforms the C5 by between 10% and 15%. Somebody please explain.

Howard Ward

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