AT THE LAUNCH of the new Citroën C6 executive saloon there wasn’t one mention of its potential Nürburgring lap time. It won’t be available in anything resembling a ‘Sport’ model and the word ‘relaxing’ is liberally sprinkled throughout the marketing bumf.
This, you’d conclude, is a car created solely for comfortable and effortless cruising. A refreshing contrast to the ‘sportiness’ promoted by most big saloons which, let’s face it, few of them actually deliver.
Comfort and refinement is what big Citroëns have been serving up since before the war and that is exactly what’s promised with the latest one.
On the road it feels like the double chevron has hit most of its targets, too.
The front-wheel-drive C6 sits on the latest incarnation of Citroën’s unique hydropneumatic suspension system. In past incarnations this has only varied spring rates according to speeds and road surfaces; in the latest version, developed for the C6, it repeats the trick with the dampers too.
The result is a quiet ride that isolates you from the worst excesses of the outside world as well as any of its peers and in most situations a damn sight better. Your eyes see the road scars ahead but the chassis does such a good mopping-up job that they’re sandpapered away by the time you’ve crossed them. It’s not perfect – low-speed lumps are not as effectively dealt with – but this is a relaxing multi-lane tool.
In previous big Citroëns such languidness has meant body roll and sacrificing driver involvement and the C6 isn’t guilt-free in this department either.
The steering is precise but disconcertingly light and weights up artificially at speeds. Yet lean through bends isn’t excessive – certainly not enough to engender nauseous passengers.
Anyone along for the ride gets a good deal in other ways, too. The C6 is nearly five metres long and virtually three of those are accounted for by the wheelbase. As such rear riders can sprawl out and benefit from the same wide supportive seats as those up front.