However, it the drive and handling that will win over customers.
The VTR+, test car is available with all but one of the engines, which are the 1.8i, 2.0i petrol units and the 1.6HDi, 2.0HDi and 2.2HDi diesel units. The missing power plant is the 2.7HDi, V6 unit, which is only available in Exclusive trim and tops the price range at £24,395.
The VTR+ is likely to be the most popular as it is where the things start getting interesting with the inclusion of more comfort features and electronic gizmos, such as automatic lights and wipers, folding door mirrors, electrochromatic rear-view mirror along with front fog lights, while rear parking sensors are an option or as part of the Detection 1 Pack. The Exclusive takes things a step further but still doesn’t have sat-nav as standard, which is odd considering the target audience.
The 2.0HDi test car had the optional Detection Pack 2, which added £200 to the £20,095 OTR price. Apart from front parking sensors, it comprises electrochrome door mirrors and a parking space ‘gap’ measurement system that tells the driver if the C5 will fit into a parallel parking space and assesses the difficulty. The Lane Departure warning System is also an option at £300.
The 2.0Hi is one of the engines that can be specified with an automatic transmission. In this case it is 6-speed, auto-adaptive ‘box with sequential shift that is also mated to the 2.7HDi engine. A 4-speed version can be ordered in conjunction with the 2.0i petrol unit.
According to the technical specification, it takes 12.8 seconds for the test car to complete the 0-62mph sprint although it seems a great deal faster, and the top speed is 125mph. The fuel consumption figures for this configuration are not the best in the range but are nonetheless, good at 28.5mpg (urban), 51.4mpg (extra-urban) and the combined works out as 39.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 189g/km. The 2.0HDi engine produces 138PS at 4,000rpm and 320Nm of pulling power down at 2,000rpm.
However, it the drive and handling that will win over customers. There are two suspension systems; either coil or the excellent Hydractive3+, which is a self-levelling suspension that continuously adjusts according to road and driving conditions as well as driving style. The result is an impressively smooth ride matched by equally remarkable agility and dynamics worthy of a much sportier car, especially when the ‘Sport’ button is pressed.
Standard safety systems include ABS with EBD, ESP and traction control, seven airbags, including one for the driver’s knees and three ISOFIX anchor points for the outer rear seats and with the exception of the SX, the front passenger seat.
There is far more to the new C5 than I have space for but it is well worth visiting a Citroen dealership to find out more. But beware, the seductively smooth, surprisingly dynamic C5 delivers such a delightful driving experience that you might not want to return it after a test drive.21 July 2008
Citroen C5 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Citroen C5 2.0HDi VTR+|
|Body Type||4-Door Saloon|
|Colour||Deep Red Pearlescent|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||125 mph|
|Transmission||6-Speed, Auto-Adaptive Gearbox With Sequential Shift|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||51.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-Year / 60,000 Mile Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 21/07/08)||£20,095 OTR|