Citroen C5 3.0 V6

Flagship diesel raises big French saloon’s game.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Traditionally, chronic depreciation has put many buyers off big Citroens. This flagship C5’s residuals are unlikely to be any better, but if you’re in the market for a unique luxury car, it’s a decent choice. The model is incredibly well equipped and sumptuous from behind the wheel, while the V6 offers plenty of power – all for much less money than an equivalent BMW or Audi.

It's the most powerful Citroen ever! The French company has got hold of a new 237bhp 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbodiesel and dropped it into the C5.

Already available in the Jaguar XF, this PSA-developed unit delivers 32bhp more power than the outgoing 2.7-litre V6 HDi, while torque is up by 10Nm, to 450Nm. The result is silky smooth pace and bags of mid-range punch, which gives incredible overtaking urge and off-the-line acceleration that shames many hot hatches.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Citroen C5

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It’s not all about performance, though, as the engine is cleaner and more efficient than the 2.7. Emissions are cut by 12 per cent to 195g/km, while economy is up 13 per cent to 38.2mpg.

The big Citroen is supremely comfortable, due to its plush cabin and hydropneumatic suspension. What’s more, the six-speed auto changes ratios seamlessly. All this makes for a more cosseting experience, as well as cruising ability on a par with that of a Mercedes E-Class.

However, in corners the C5 is no match for its Ford Mondeo class rival. The handling is hardly sharp and the steering vague. This soft set-up doesn’t make the most of twisty British B-roads.

The new V6 is offered only in top-of-the-range Exclusive spec. But although its £27,195 price sounds expensive, there’s a list of kit that puts more costly German competitors to shame. What’s more, the quality of the cabin materials is impressive.

Residuals are questionable, but Citroen’s showroom deals will help offset the depreciation – and with its refinement, comfort and huge spec, this car will leave few buyers wanting.

Rival: Volvo S80 D5 As with the C5, Volvo’s top-spec saloon is supple and a great cruiser. Its five-cylinder diesel unit is punchy, too, and returns 40mpg. The entry-level car costs £27,995, although it doesn’t come as well equipped.

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