Citroen C5 Tourer

4 Dec, 2012 10:30am James Disdale

We drive the revised Citroen C5 Tourer, which gets a minor facelift and a new engine

Verdict

3
This facelift is so minor that it was never going to elevate the C5 to the top of the class. Still, in Tourer guise the car is handsome, well equipped and comfortable, while the hyropneumatic suspension offers something different. If you can bear the running costs, depreciation and dated interior, this Citroen is an interesting alternative choice.

Citroen sold fewer than 1,500 C5s in the UK last year, which perhaps explains why the company has decided to subject the big family car to a minor nip and tuck.

From the outside the changes are limited, amounting to little more than a revised front grille, which now incorporates the new double chevron badge, and redesigned headlights with a strip of LED running lamps. It’s subtle, but then the handsome C5 Tourer wasn’t really in desperate need of any major tweaks.

The interior is carried over virtually unchanged, which means decent-quality materials and the trademark fixed-hub steering wheel. A new addition is the eMyWay sat-nav, which is standard on our range-topping Exclusive model. Its mapping is improved, but it feels outdated.

The C5 is also cramped, with rear passengers getting less room than those in a Ford Mondeo or Skoda Superb, although the boot is large and well shaped.

Engine options are now diesel only, and our car was powered by the flagship 2.2-litre HDi with 197bhp and 450Nm of torque. It’s smooth and punchy, although the standard six-speed auto box can be jerky and unresponsive.

Entry-level C5s get ordinary coil-spring suspension, but the range-topping Exclusive is fitted with the brand’s hydropneumatic set-up. As you’d expect, the self-levelling system provides the trademark ‘magic carpet’ ride, with only sharp ridges upsetting the car’s composure. The cabin is also well insulated from wind and road noise, which helps to ensure the Citroen is a hugely relaxing and refined long-distance companion.

Light and lifeless steering makes the C5 less accomplished in corners, but there’s plenty of grip and the suspension does a good job of resisting body roll.

On paper, the £29,595 price looks a little expensive, yet it matches the smaller, less powerful BMW 320d. And while it can’t rival the 3 Series for dynamics, quality or desirability, it’s far better equipped. Exclusive spec brings the upgraded sat-nav, electric seat adjustment and a powered tailgate. But CO2 emissions of 155g/km, below par 46.3mpg economy and low residuals count against it.

Disqus - noscript

Its sad how prejudiced reviewers using mumble jumble and small talk to get away with dismissing cars other than the usual German suspects as "not being class-leading".

Key specs

  • Price: £29,595
  • Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl turbodiesel
  • Power: 197bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph/Top speed: 8.6 secs/140mph
  • Economy/CO2: 46.3mpg/159g/km
  • Equipment: Sat-nav, parking sensors, powered tailgate, alloys
  • On sale: Now
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