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Citroen C5 2009 Review

Like many things French, we have mixed emotions about the Citroen C5 Tourer. Love the looks, space, equipment, technology, six-speed automatic and effortless cruising pace of the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel but the driving experience leaves us indifferent.

It all comes down to the car's hi-tech Hydractive III suspension. It is sensational when the roads are billiard-ball smooth and when you do happen to encounter some gravel roads, the Roll-Royce-like plushness and refinement is something you don't get for the price of a European family wagon.

However, sharp bumps like bridge expansion joints will catch it out regardless of whether you're in normal or sports mode. And speaking of sports mode, it doesn't feel particularly sporty, just harsher.

Perhaps it’s about taste. It takes a while to get used to the culinary delights of snails and frogs’ legs, so we suspect driving the C5 falls into the same category. There's is plenty to like about the big French wagon though. The cabin is plush, with heated front seats that have good support and the ambient lighting at night is a real touch of class.

The door pockets have motion sensor lights that turn on when you're rummaging around for gear and the luggage bay light that doubles as a torch is a neat touch.

An acoustic windscreen and laminated side windows do a great job of isolating the cabin from road and wind noise and the rear side window blinds are handy for keeping the sun off small children.

The 100kW/320Nm 2.0-litre diesel is quiet, smooth and reasonably frugal but feels a bit underdone in this cavernous wagon. Citroen quotes 7.2 l/100km and we came close to bettering that in a mix of highway and city driving.

Apart from the spongy ride, the C5's fixed-hub steering wheel - like the C4 - takes a while to get use to. Some of the minor switchgear and radio controls are not intuitive and storage space around the cabin is plentiful but practically useless because the nooks and crannies are so small.

But that's the French for you. You should not expect a country that gives you great food, architecture, fashion and style to execute cars with the same caustic efficiency as the Germans.

At $60,990 the C5 wagon is for those confident folk who embrace individuality and French flare.

As the name says, it's Exclusive.


Pricing guides

Based on 7 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

2.0 HDi Comfort 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $5,800 – 8,910 2009 Citroen C5 2009 2.0 HDi Comfort Pricing and Specs
2.0 HDi Exclusive 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $6,300 – 9,790 2009 Citroen C5 2009 2.0 HDi Exclusive Pricing and Specs
2.7 V6 HDi Exclusive 2.7L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $7,200 – 11,220 2009 Citroen C5 2009 2.7 V6 HDi Exclusive Pricing and Specs
2.0 HDi Comfort Tourer 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $6,100 – 9,460 2009 Citroen C5 2009 2.0 HDi Comfort Tourer Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 2 car listings in the last 6 months

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