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This review is on a Citroen C5 HDi LX 110bhp diesel hatchback 2002 model (02). (The picture under this heading is incorrect and shows an estate car - apologies - picture not from me. The details relate to this hatchback)
We bought this car several months ago and I absolutely love it. I have been used to having a company car which is renewed every three years and thought having an older second hand car again would be a nasty shock to the system but have found the complete opposite is the case with this one! We were not planning to buy either a Citroen or a big car but we needed to get something fairly quickly and we went to a local independent garage from which we have bought many cars over the years for ourselves and which we have recommended to many friends an family. The original plan was to buy a car of a similar size and capacity to the company car - a Peugeot 307. We tested several different cars of a similar size and hated them all - they felt cramped and uncomfortable and then we spotted this one as it looked attractive and had a tow bracket which we needed. We went for a test drive and immediately fell in love with it. We then browsed reviews on the internet about it and found they were mainly very good and so we bought it. I knew nothing about the car but found out that it replaced the Xantia in 2001.
We have just returned from a 1000+ mile round trip and found it was so comfortable to travel in. I found the seats really comfortable and well cushioned in a velour trim. The driving position and visibility are really good for me. I am fairly tall and I like a lot of leg room. The interior is so much more luxurious than my 307. There are lots of little pockets and storage areas and the boot is enormous. One thing that I really like about it is the instrument panel. I don't like the white ones that cars have nowadays. This one has a dark panel with red pointers that are really easy to see for night driving. We have found that both heating and air conditioning work well. We thought it was a saloon rather than a hatchback at first because of its shape. We love its looks and has a big carrying capacity. It has enormous headlights which make night driving a pleasure. We needed to adjust the headlights for driving in France but you cannot do this by an internal switch as in the 307 so on advice from the garage we bought a set of headlight covers with adjusters stuck on them for about £30. They suggested leaving these on (not the black bits) all the time as they will protect against stone damage as the lights would be expensive to replace,
Our C5 has a diesel 110bhp 1997cc engine. It is not a fast car but it is very economical. It's natural cruising speed seems to be 70-80 mph whereas it was hard to restrain the 307 from 90 mph but for our needs that is absolutely fine. It doesn't seem to lose speed on hills even with a load on it. It is also very economical on fuel - I would think it does about 50 to the gallon. If you want a speedier version of the C5 you would need to look out for the 2.2 HDi version but then I'm not sure if you would get the same fuel economy.
I find it really easy to drive. The handbrake seems in a strange place - at least different to what I have been used to - it is a bit off centre towards the drivers seat but you quickly get used to it. It is a big car and seems too big for some car parking spaces where they are tightly squeezed in as in some supermarkets. This isn't helped with ours by the fact that there is also the towbar and bracket. For insurance it is group 8.
The car has electronically controlled hydractive suspension which automatically regulates ground clearance according to vehicle speed and road surface conditions - maybe this is why it is such a smooth and quiet ride. I guess this is likely to be expensive if it goes wrong!
We have great faith in the garage from which we bought it - it isn't the cheapest garage but the father and son who run it take great pride in ensuring they sell decent cars so we probably paid a little more than we may have done elsewhere. We bought it with 69,000 miles on the clock and it has a years warranty. The garage did various work on it before we had it so hopefully we won't have too much trouble with it. We don't have any previous bills to know what faults it had with the previous 2 owners - we just have the full service records. Fingers crossed the car will be OK as so far we are delighted with it!
It's a long time since we had a Citroen and afraid we had expensive repairs! Jo x
m.kerby 01.03.2007 20:55
Very good review, well written
RICHADA 17.02.2007 17:37
Yes that was a good read, the C5 is either a car that you understand and love, or one that you just don't understand at all. I drove one when they launched it and found it to feel too large and cumbersome for my needs - maybe a little too "laid back". What would have iced this particular review (apart from some pictures) would be a few running cost details. Your review highlights what great value larger second hand cars are - you'd pay more for a diesel Golf of a similar age. Richard.