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After test driving the C5 at a local dealership, my wife and I were sat in the car and I decided (with my wifes blessing) that the C5 was going to get our hard earned cash over the Laguna. I had wanted to buy a diesel, but the salesman offered me a deal on a 1.8 SX petrol model that I couldn't refuse. In April of 2002 we placed our order and then waited for the dealers to ring, to come and collect it. The day arrived we picked it up and on our first real drive we marvelled at how much more comfortable it was over our old Primera. Over the following days other things then become apparent, for example how luxurious the interior is, with its wood effect dash and door cappings the grey velour trim was very smart, the luxury touches like leather bound steering wheel, puddle lights in the front doors, polished door sill cappings and tailored overmats all made us feel we had made the right choice. Familiarisation with the car brought lots more items to the attention, the air conditioning can be set automatically and you can also set it for different temperatures, for example if the driver wants it a bit cooler than the other passengers, you just set your side lower. Another bonus was the electric door mirrors which can both be set from the drivers seat (especially handy when the wife keeps changing their position every time she drives it), also the cars dashboard computer came in handy, the traffic master voice gizmo was handy in averting traffic on some occasions but very soon became a pain when telling you numerous times of a traffic jam you were already stuck in. The car also came with electric windows all round, central locking and an immobiliser (why no alarm is unusual), also the automatic headlights are a usefull idea (I keep forgetting to turn them on now in my Polo), the so called automatic wipers (you still have to switch them on) are useful on long journeys in showery weather. The car drives very well, it is not exceptionally fast off the mark, but will keep up with traffic in all conditions no matter how many are in the car. The boot is huge and swallows up our holiday luggage every time and the self levelling suspension has proved itself on the occasions that I have taken copious amounts of rubbish to the tip. As I have now had the car a couple of years I can tell you that I am averaging about 25 - 28 mpg around town and 35 - 40 mpg on long mainly motorway runs (I think with a lighter right foot this could be bettered).
Now for the downside (at this point I would like to stress that from an engine point of view this car has never stranded me or let me down), before the cars first birthday had arrived it had started to compile some niggly faults, which has now built into quite a list, of which one still continues to this day :- 1. Whining noises from engine bay 2. Rumbling noises from rear suspension 3. Drivers seat had to be replaced 4. Armrest fell off 5. 2 seat belts have had to be replaced 6. Brakes squealing 7. Gurgurling noise from A/C unit 8. Bits of trim snapped and fallen off 9. Water leaking into car past rear seals 10. Anti pollution fault
Although the car has been back to the dealers on numerous occasions, most of the above faults were dealt with as they occured, only 3 of the above list requiring multiple visits and in the case of the anti pollution fault this has been going on now for over 15 months with no real answer in sight ( this fault does not seem in any way to affect the performance of the car). Another bonus of this car is the 2 year / 20,000 mile servicing intervals, with very reasonable dealer servicing costs (approx £130). So there we have it, our few years in the life of the C5, some bad days but the majority enjoyable and trouble free. I have owned other makes of cars and they have all had their share of ups and downs, so I dont consider the C5 that bad.
After just over 2 years of life with the C5, do I still consider that "This is the one", well lets put it this way the wife wants to replace this car with another C5 and I'm not going to argue with her.
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