Holden Calais 2008 Review
Plans for an Aussie-built hybrid Astra, future cars with a wider choice of fuel types and exports...
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The arrival of the first C5 in Australia back in 2001 marked the beginning of the revival of a brand that had long suffered the reputation for not quite keeping up with the rest of the pack.
Thanks to the substantial makeover of the whole Citroen range that started with the C5, the big French marque has improved in many areas from safety, to suspension and engine technology.
Citroen hopes to continue that improvement with the new C5 sedan and wagon.
The all new C5 comes as a six speed auto with a choice of two diesel engines only – a 2.0- litre in-line four cylinder DOHC diesel – available in both the Comfort and Exclusive - and a larger 2.7 litre DOHC V6 – available in the Exclusive only.
The smaller version produces 100kW at 4000 revs and 320Nm at 2000 rpm. For the big one, add on another 50kW and enjoy a hefty 440Nm at 1900 rpm.
Using the two litre engine, the sedan burns 7.1 litres of fuel per 100km and the Tourer wagon uses 7.2. The larger engine in the sedan uses 8.5 litres of diesel per 100kms and in the wagon it uses 8.6.
CO2 emission numbers for the 2.0-litre are 189g/km for the sedan and 191g/km for the Tourer. The 2.7-litre sedan releases 225g/km, again adding 2g for the Tourer.
Citroen’s well-known Hydropneumatic suspension system features again this time round in the form of the Hydractive III+, which automatically alters height and firmness to improve stability and fuel consumption.
With the trademark long front and short rear overhangs, the new C5 is lower to the ground and has been designed to sweep gracefully from front to back, giving it a new sleek, aerodynamic look.
Its 2.82m wheelbase, unique concave rear window and high, creased waistline add to this effect but also, in a practical sense, allow for more room in the cabin and boot.
Large wrap around bi-xenon headlights on the Exclusive trim level not only adjust for road surface irregularities, but turn with the car when cornering, whilst kerb lamps help to light the way.
‘Boomerang’ rear lights together with 17 or 18 inch alloys – standard on the Exclusive - bring together a package that seems to glide rather than drive.
Visibility all round is very good thanks mostly to the large sloping windscreen and rear window.
Inside, the C5 matches its exterior for a combination of prestige, style and practicality.
Fully adjustable ergonomic seats – with massage function on the drivers side - made with quality leather in both variants, and a simple intuitive dash, allow for comfortable trips with several driving options at arms reach.
But there is little need for your hands to even move that far with options like cruise control, speed limiter, stereo system and the dashboard display navigation on the fixed-hub steering wheel.
Power steering, electric windows, height adjustable steering wheel and front and rear air vents and pollen filters are standard across the range, with Bluetooth, sunroof and a lane departure warning system as available options.
Interior mood lighting calms the elegant cabin and the Exclusive comes with laminated acoustic side glass which significantly reduces road noise to enhance that effect.
Rear parking sensors are standard in both cars. The Exclusive also gets front sensors.
There are several small compartments throughout the cabin including a hidden cup holder under the centre console armrest.
The C5 tourer holds 505 litres with the seats up and 1462 litres with them down. Other features specific to the Tourer are cargo tie-down rings, shopping bag hooks, a retractable cargo cover and a rear passenger protection net.
The sedan’s boot capacity is 439 litres.
A five-star Euro NCAP rating tops an impressive safety package for the Citroen C5.
The long list of safety features includes up to nine airbags, ESP, ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution Emergency Brake Assistance, energy absorbing side impact protection, hight adjustable seat belts and a fuel cut-off device.
Pricing for the new Citroen C5 starts at $49,990 for the two litre Comfort sedan, and tops out at $65,740 for the 2.7 litre Tourer.
Citroen predict 400 sales for the rest of this year with a further 1100 sales in 2009.
We drove both engines on freeways and hilly, winding country roads, and really didn’t feel there was a substantial difference in power from the V6 down to the four. Passing large trucks was worry-free even in the 100kW variant that constantly played above its weight.
Initially, it seemed a little hasty to expect people to be comfortable with a diesel-only offering, but in this case the quality combination of the smooth, six-speed auto with both engines, made up for the lack of a petrol unit.
Initially the ride felt a little floaty and the tyres yelped, especially when cornering hard. But with the dampers in sport mode it firmed up just enough to grip sufficiently, without spoiling the velvet-like effect of the suspension.
Citroen have made a big effort to reduce wind and road noise and the result is frankly unbelievable – this car is pin-drop quiet and it creates a luxurious ambiance inside.
The dash is well made and simple without skimping on functionality that makes life a lot easier.
The fixed hub steering wheel is a little strange at first and the wheel arms angled inward makes it hard to position your hands comfortably.
From the outside, the C5 certainly looks different, thanks in large part to it having a boot rather than a hatchback. Looking rather A4-like from behind, it has jumped a few spots up in the styling stakes in our minds.
Seeing it side-on with its high waistline crease that flows from front to back, together with its nice big wheels, short rear overhang and low-slung stance, it looks like a car that means business.
According to the marketing spiel, the new Citroen C5 is aimed at demanding, well informed buyers with an eye for detail and an awareness of competitive offerings. Coming in at better value than many of its peers, this version of the C5 is set well to attract those in need of affordable luxury - and even the odd ship-jumper.
|2.0 HDi Comfort||2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$5,400 – 8,360||2008 Citroen C5 2008 2.0 HDi Comfort Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 HDi Exclusive||2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$5,900 – 9,130||2008 Citroen C5 2008 2.0 HDi Exclusive Pricing and Specs|
|2.7 V6 HDi Exclusive||2.7L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$6,700 – 10,450||2008 Citroen C5 2008 2.7 V6 HDi Exclusive Pricing and Specs|
|3.0 V6||2.9L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$7,300 – 11,330||2008 Citroen C5 2008 3.0 V6 Pricing and Specs|