Citroen C5 review
The Citroen C5 is a hugely comfortable saloon that excels at motorway cruising, while top-spec cars rival compact executives for luxury
The Citroen C5 is a four-door family saloon that majors on comfort. Entry-level VTR cars are fairly basic and designed for business users, but VTR+ and Exclusive models are well equipped. Whichever version you go for, you’ll get an extremely comfortable five-seater that’s good at eating up the motorway miles. However, more recent arrivals such as the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and VW Passat are more accomplished in nearly every other area. The flagship 3.0 V6 HDi Exclusive is a nod to luxury Citroens of the past and dips into the realm of compact executive saloons, but it’s expensive.
Our choice: C5 2.0 HDi Exclusive
The Citroen C5 is a four-door saloon, but it still manages to stand out. It takes some of its inspiration from the larger C6 executive, with a rounded nose with bold chevron grille, plus a concave rear window. Inside, the cabin is fairly well built, while Exclusive models are positively luxurious, with wood trim, leather seats and a host of gadgets on offer.
There’s no doubt that if you want the most comfortable family car on sale in the UK, the Citroen C5 is it. The suspension soaks up bumps easily, while top-spec models get air-suspension and laminated glass, which makes things even more comfortable. However, as soon as you turn into a corner, the C5’s shortcomings are instantly clear. That soft ride is at the expense of cornering ability, as the big Citroen rolls and pitches in bends. The best engine in the range is the 2.0-litre HDi, as it never feels strained and offers similar performance to the big 3.0-litre V6 diesel but with lower running costs.
The Citroen C5 hasn’t been without its teething troubles, and there have been a number of recalls issued against it for electrical and mechanical problems. However, the C5 has been on sale for a while now, so any more problems should be few and far between. The C5 has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, and has electronic stability control as standard.
As it’s a four-door saloon the Citroen C5 already lacks the versatility of the hatchback Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6. But there’s lots of room in the cabin, while a 60:40 split fold rear seat boosts versatility, although the boot is on the small side at 439 litres – a Mondeo has a 528-litre boot.
Prices start at just under £20,000 for VTR trim, but you don’t get much equipment at this level. You have to go to VTR+ Nav for all the usual goodies: alloys, sat-nav, dual-zone air-con and Bluetooth. Exclusive models are luxuriously equipped. Kit such as 17-inch alloys, an MP3 connection and rear parking sensors are included. However, top-spec models are nudging £30,000, which is Audi and BMW territory.