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Citroen C5 2006 Review

But the good news for the French company is that the gong goes to one of its own - the new and larger C6 set to arrive later this year.

C5 has recently undergone a facelift, with new engines, transmissions and other changes.

Although it looks like a sedan, the car's bootlid and rear window actually lift as one piece, just like a hatchback.

Of course it wouldn't be a Citroen unless it had fancy suspension and the C5 does not disappoint.

The hydro-pneumatic system does away with springs and shock absorbers, replacing them with a gas and hydraulic suspension system instead.

The Hydractive 3 suspension changes the car's ride height, both automatically or manually - at the push of a button.

Above 110km/h the nose drops 15mm and the tail drops 11mm, returning to the normal if speed drops below 90km/h.

But on poor road surfaces the nose and tail come up 15mm, staying there unless speed rises above 70km/h.

Then there's some manual settings. The car can be raised 40mm to clear obstacles, with a low setting for loading and a maximum setting for changing a flat.

Our test vehicle was the top of the range Citroen C5 fitted with the latest version of the 3.0-litre V6 engine.

Four cylinder and turbo diesel models are also available.

The V6 develops 155kW at 6000rpm and maximum torque of 290Nm at 3750rpm.

The engine is hooked up to a new AISIN sequential, six-speed automatic transmission.

First gear has been shortened to provide quicker take-offs and a taller sixth gear has been fitted to reduce fuel consumption.

It is a relatively high revving engine that does not start to perform until it really starts to get going.

The V6 model can sprint from 0 to 100km/ h in 8.6 seconds and has a top speed of 230km/ h.

C5 is well equipped, with leather and climate airconditioning standard as well as some features normally found in much more expens- ive vehicles.

The lights don't just operated automatically, they come on earlier when it is raining, while the V6's high powererd Xenon headlights follow the direction of the wheel.

The cruise control system includes a speed limiter and the power operated windows close when a sensor detects rain.

The same sensor also turns on the windscreen wipers automatically.

We don't mind the look of the new "boomerang" shaped head lights but we're not too keen on the tail lights.

Inside, the speedometer segmentations are cluttered and hinder rather than help the driver to see how fast they are going.

Safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and a total of seven airbags.

C5 offers plenty of room inside in what is best be described as loungeroom comfort.

For a car with such a big rep however the drive experience is somewhat disappointing.

Even with the suspension set to sport the handling is rather soft and the gear changes are not always smooth.

Fuel economy for the V6 is a claimed 10.0L/100km from the 66-litre tank. During testing we got 11.2L/100km.

The Citroen C5 V6 is priced from $55,990.


Pricing guides

Based on third party pricing data
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Range and Specs

3.0 V6 2.9L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ $4,200 – 6,820 2006 Citroen C5 2006 3.0 V6 Pricing and Specs
SX 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $2,800 – 4,730 2006 Citroen C5 2006 SX Pricing and Specs
SX 2.0 16V 2.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,800 – 4,840 2006 Citroen C5 2006 SX 2.0 16V Pricing and Specs
SX 2.0 16V HDi 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $3,700 – 6,050 2006 Citroen C5 2006 SX 2.0 16V HDi Pricing and Specs