Citroen C6 (2006-2012) review
There's much to like about the Citroen C6, but it's costly to buy and run, while ride and ergonomics are flawed.
Driving: As with so many air suspension systems, Citroen's Hydractive setup offers pillowy softness on smooth roads, but can jar uncomfortably on broken surfaces. That's a bad flaw in a car that trades on its ability to cosset. Driver involvement certainly isn't at the top of the C6's agenda, either. It handles tidily enough, but lacks involvement. Although the hi-tech suspension limits roll around corners, there's so much body motion that some passengers complained of feeling seasick. But it is impressively quiet - a 65dB reading at 70mph is one of the quietest we have ever recorded for any car. Double glazing helps, but the choice 2.7-litre V6 diesel engine should also take credit. It's one of the most refined diesels available and is wonderfully soothing, though the hesitant auto gearbox means it's less rewarding when you increase your pace. There's also too much delay when pulling away, too. The 3.0-litre V6 petrol is cheaper, but much less impressive in practice. Both models also suffer disappointing brakes.
Marketplace: This isn't the first C6 to appear. The original, Citroen's maiden luxury car, appeared in 1928 - back then, Citroen was cutting-edge and charismatic. But today, the firm is more pragmatic, better known for its dealer discounts and value for money. That makes the C6's price tag all the harder to swallow - but don't be too quick to judge. Instead, concentrate on the styling. The detailing, such as the rear lights and concave glass, all look fantastic and it works well from a distance too, harking back to the company's glory days. Three trims are available with two engine options - but whom does it compete with? Citroen see it as an avant-garde alternative to a Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5-Series or Audi A6. Certainly it's priced alongside them - but how many will be willing to stump up for a £30k Citroen? You can have a Jaguar S-Type for less - with the same 2.7-litre V6 diesel and all.
Owning: There's plenty to talk about inside - we love the door bins and the fact Citroen has tried to be different. As a result, the cabin is light and airy with an overwhelming sense of space. However, as well as being based on the Peugeot 407 platform, Citroen has unwisely decided to borrow the fiddly centre console. On a car costing in excess of £30,000, we would expect bespoke controls - and better materials too. The plastics simply aren't as tactile, nor are the seats as comfortable as they ought; they lack lateral support, are mounted too high and have over-firm cushions. Those travelling in the back are better catered for, particularly if you opt for the plush TGV seats, which slide electrically. Business chiefs in the back will be pleased by Citroen's service deal - £499 for three year's servicing (ever 20,000 miles) and, for diesel models, combined economy of over 32mpg. However, less impressive is a predicted retained value of under 33 per cent. For such an expensive car, that means huge losses after three years. The insurance ratings are also high, but it does boast a five-star Euro NCAP result - including a best-ever four-star result for pedestrian safety.