In-depth reviews

Citroen C5 Tourer (2008-2016) review

The Citroen C5 Tourer is a spacious family estate that can carry five people and their luggage in comfort

Overall Auto Express Rating

2.0 out of 5

  • Exclusive spec’s hydropneumatic suspension, cabin comfort
  • No petrol option, jerky EGS auto, pricey V6 HDi
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The Citroen C5 Tourer is a big, luxury estate that can carry five passengers and their luggage in absolute comfort. The C5 is one of the most comfortable cars on sale, especially in Exclusive spec with its standard-fit hydropneumatic suspension, although the rest of the dynamic package can’t keep up with rivals such as the Honda Accord Tourer and Ford Mondeo Estate. There’s not quite as much room in the boot as there is in a Mondeo, but the wide opening tailgate and square boot floor make loading bulky items easy. Citroen only offers diesel engines with the C5, and our pick is the 2.0 HDi, as it never feels strained and returns respectable fuel economy.

Engines, performance and drive

The Citroen C5 Tourer is a hugely comfortable car to drive or be driven in. Entry-level VTR and VTR+ Nav models have conventional steel springs, and while they do a good job of soaking up bumps, Exclusive models add hydropneumatic suspension and laminated glass, which turns the C5 into a luxury limousine in terms of comfort. The C5 is a let-down in corners, though, as it pitches and rolls where a Ford Mondeo wouldn’t. The all-diesel engine range offers plenty of pulling power, and the flagship V6 diesel is extremely quick, but we’d go for the 2.0 HDi, as it doesn’t have to be worked as hard as the 1.6 HDi, suiting the C5’s comfortable nature.

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

The C5 Tourer is around £1,000 more than the equivalent saloon, which is the same kind of premium you’d pay for the estate version of any of its rivals. List prices are on a par with the Ford Mondeo, although the flagship V6 diesel is closer in price to the BMW 3 Series Touring or Audi A4 Avant. This engine isn’t very economical, either. Again, we’d choose the 2.0 HDi for its mix of easy pulling power and decent running costs.

Interior, design and technology

The Citroen C5 Tourer is identical to the saloon until you get to the back doors. While the four-door has a novel concave rear window, the Tourer’s roof extends to the tail of the car and drops vertically to produce a conventional estate car shape. The Tourer is 50mm longer than the saloon, and all of that extra length is added behind the rear wheels. It still looks smart, though, and couldn’t be mistaken for being anything other than a Citroen. Inside, there’s a high-quality cabin, especially on Exclusive models, with comfortable seats, but the dashboard is spoilt by the number of small fiddly buttons spread across it.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

The Citroen C5 Tourer has a 505-litre boot which expands to 1,462 litres with the split-folding rear seat flat. The wide opening tailgate and flat load lip make it easy to get bulky items in and out, while Exclusive models have a self-levelling set-up as part of their hydropneumatic suspension system. This can also drop the car on its suspension when parked to make access even easier still.

Reliability and Safety

There have been a few niggles with the Citroen C5 Tourer, and it has been the subject of a number of recalls to rectify mechanical and electrical gremlins. However, the C5 is a safe car – the saloon version scored a five-star Euro NCAP score, and the Tourer comes with the same safety kit, including electronic stability control.

Senior test editor

Dean has been part of the Auto Express team for more than 20 years, and has worked across nearly all departments, starting on magazine production, then moving to road tests and reviews. He's our resident van expert, but covers everything from scooters and motorbikes to supercars and consumer products.

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