- Efficient diesel engines
- Comfortable and refined
- Good looking
- Not the most spacious
- Not much fun to drive
- Confusing controls
Comfortable, refined family saloon
The Citroen C5 is the French manufacturer’s offering in the hotly contested family saloon market. Since its first introduction in 2001, the C5 has failed to ever become a class leader. This is partly down to the lack of badge prestige, and reliability issues that have haunted it throughout its production period. The latest second-generation C5, introduced in 2008, improved things massively, and the C5 is now a solid option. It offers one of the most refined, comfortable rides in its class, and with some impressively efficient engines, it’s excellent value for money. The C5 is not a car for the snobs, but for sensible buyers it’s a great alternative to the more popular VW Passat and Ford Mondeo.
Good quality materials and attractive design
The cabin of the C5 is one of its strongest points, as it really does feel like the inside of a prestige car. The design is attractive, and material quality is impressive. There’s also plenty of space in the boot, and equipment levels are generous.
The dashboard of the C5 is at first glance an attractive design. It still feels contemporary, despite not having an update since 2008, and soft-touch materials are used throughout the cabin. Controls are however quite difficult to use, as buttons are placed on the centre console in quite a puzzling arrangement. It takes some getting used to, and it’ll put a lot of buyers off. There’s also a lack of storage solutions, with no cupholders, small door bins, and a tiny glove box.
Storage space in general in the C5 is however pretty good, though it’s not as big as those on offer in the class leaders. The 439 litres of boot capacity is enough for a big family shop, quite a few suitcases, or even a full set of golf clubs. The shape is also good, and features a big opening, which makes getting bulky items in and out a doddle. Compare it with a Ford Mondeo, or a VW Passat however, which packs in 586 litres, and it’s clear that the C5 is not the most practical car in its class.
Equipment levels in the C5 are thankfully quite generous. There’s only two trims currently available in the C5, the VTR+, and the Exclusive. Both come stacked with equipment, with climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth, DAB, Bluetooth, and electric windows all featuring, no matter which one you go for. You’re certainly going to get good value for money with a C5.
The inside of the C5 really is a mixed bag. It impresses with the levels of equipment on offer, and the quality of the interior is also noteworthy. But the design of the dashboard takes some getting used to, and it’s far from the most practical car in its class.
Comfortable, refined, but not much fun
The Citroen C5 is a car that focuses its attention to comfort above all else. This makes the C5 a car that’s not particularly great to drive. Steering offers little feedback, and it just doesn’t feel confident when you throw it into a country road corner. Drive the C5 back to back with a Ford Mondeo, and the C5 seems light years away.
Ride refinement is however exemplary in the C5. No matter which suspension system the C5 comes with (a standard steel-coil, and the top of the range hydro-pneumatic suspension are on offer), the C5 always feels controlled, measured, and refined. There’s very little in the way of road and wind noise that seeps into the cabin as well, which makes the C5 an excellent motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the C5 come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a six-speed manual, that performs relatively well, though changes can at times feel a little loose. The optional automatic gearbox may interest some buyers, especially those who clock up a lot of motorway miles, but it’s not particularly impressive, so it’s probably worth sticking with the manual transmission.
Diesel only, but a good range of abilities
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your C5, you’ve only got the one fuel type: diesel. There’s a good range of power outputs throughout the range, with an option available for most people’s concerns.
If it’s power that you want from your C5, the standout engine in the range is the 3.0 HDi V6 diesel. The engine is borrowed from the far more expensive Jaguar XF, which produces 237bhp, and boasts a 0-62mph time of less than eight seconds. It’s not the fastest engine available in a car of its class, but it still feels quick out on the open road.
Eco-friendly buyers will most likely want to consider the 2.0 BlueHDi 16v VTR, which produces just 106g/km of CO2 emissions. It’s not quite below the tax-free sub-100g/km mark, but it’ll still only cost £30 each year in road tax, and it’s also one of the greenest engines available in the class. This option is also the best for money-savers, as this engine returns up to 68.8mpg, so you can save yourself plenty of money at the fuel pumps.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your C5, you’re going to get a clean, efficient, and quiet engine, that’s perfectly suited to regular motorway driving; even the lowest-powered C5 has enough power to cope with any situation you throw at it.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, good standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Citroen C5 easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. It’s worth considering however that in 2009, when the car was tested, safety tests weren’t quite as difficult as they are today. Nevertheless, with scores of 81% in adult safety, 77% in child safety, and 32% in pedestrian safety, the C5 is still a safe car. You’ll also get seven airbags, electronic stability control, and the innovative eTouch emergency assist, which notifies emergency services in the event of an accident.
Good value for money, if you avoid the hefty cost of new-car depreciation
The Citroen C5 represents excellent value for money. This obviously varies from model to model, but generally speaking CO2 levels are low throughout the range, which makes for cheap road tax, and fuel efficiency figures are pleasingly high. The more power you go for, the more you’ll pay out each month, but no C5 in the range should be expensive to live with.
Insurance costs in the C5 are roughly the same as you’d be paying for an equivalent car from a rival manufacturer. Insurance groups range from group 18 for the 1.6 HDi SX, to the top of the range 3.0 HDI V6 Exclusive 4d Auto, which is in group 35.
Depreciation is a big factor with the C5, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Citroen C5 is a solid family saloon that will appeal to buyers who value comfort and refinement above all else. It’s not the most spacious, nor is it the most fun to drive, but few cars in the class perform as well on motorway.
Buying a used Citroen C5 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Citroen C5 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used C5. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Citroen C5 online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Citroen? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Citroen C5, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used C5, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Citroen to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.