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Citroen C5 2008 review

Could this be the same car we loved to drive but loathed the look of, a car that looked more like a sperm whale than the stylish European motor that it purported to be?

That car — we're happy to say — has been beached in favour of the most stylish cars that we have come across in a long time, with design cues taken directly from Citroen's larger avantgarde flagship the C6 … a car that we finally got to drive a few weeks back.

Looking from some angles like a larger version of the C4, the all-new C5 adopts the trend towards sedans that look more like four-door coupes, with a sloping roofline, concave rear window and separate boot area.

In contrast, Citroen watchers may remember the previous model that looked like a sedan but was in fact a hatch.

The other big news this time around is the adoption of diesel engines across the board, with a choice of four cylinder and V6 variants.

That's just fine with us because Citroen has been banging out diesels since Adam was a boy and it knows what it's doing.

Our test vehicle was the top of the line 2.7-litre twin turbo V6, coupled with a six-speed sequential auto that allows the driver to change gears manually.

At 4779mm and weighing in at 1766kg it's about the size of a Holden Commodore, but with a smaller boot.

There's not as much rear leg room either.

The new C5 conveys a real sense of prestige and is certain to strike a chord with those looking for something different, but something different in a good way.

It offers status, individuality and high levels of luxury and performance.

The diesel V6 delivers 150kW of power at 4000rpm and 440Nm of torque from a low 1900rpm, sprinting from 0-100km/h in brisk 9.6 seconds and using 11.8 litres of fuel per 100km.

Priced from $49,990 with the V6 Exclusive at $62,990, the C5 comes with a five-star safety rating and long list of standard equipment.

These include electrically heated and adjustable front seats with driver's seat massager, self-levelling suspension, automatic electric parking brake and headlights that turn with the car.

Seven airbags are standard across the range as is electronic stability control, leather upholstery and automatc airconditioning.

A closer look at the rear of the car reveals a curved, concave shaped rear window, one of the hallmarks of the C6 and two-part boomerang lights.

Inside the cabin is just as stylish, with mood lighting to enhances this feeling, with ambient light glowing from the car's doors and dashboard in the Exclusive variants.

Like the C4 the steering wheel's hub is fixed and the wheel rotates around it, although it is still height and reach adjustable.

The dash with white instrument dials slit horizontally by a digital readout is particularly elegant.

The new C5 is not however without its faults.

The suspension still feels too floaty, even though it automatically firms up in corners and the steering itself is vague at times with a tendency to wander if not checked.

With twin blowers and a sizeable 2.7-litre litre engine, it's was not designed as a fuel miser but still manages to deliver far better economy than any petrol V6.

Performance is strong and particularly punchy with sport mode selected, exhibiting none of the turbo lag of the Renault that we drove recently.

In the sort time we had the car we were getting 8.3 litres/100km with the longterm average running at 10.5.

Our test car was fitted with 18 inch alloys and 245/45 tyres, with a full size 17 inch steel spare in the boot well.

All in all, here is a C5 worth owning.

Pricing guides

Based on third party pricing data
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Range and Specs

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
Pricing Guide


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