Citroen C5 Tourer estate (2008 – ) review
Read the Citroen C5 Tourer estate (2008 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
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Whereas Citroens used to be designed with real flair, the new Citroen C5 Tourer estate doesn’t really stand out from key rivals like the Ford Mondeo or the Peugeot 407 SW. However, this is still a handsome car, with its sharply-styled nose that incorporates Citroen’s trademark double-chevron grille. The rising waistline and sculpted sides lend a sporty air while the brushed alloy roof rails and wrap-around tail lights add interest.
The seats are supportive and thanks to reach and height adjustment for the steering wheel, it’s easy to get comfortable. It helps that the driver’s seat height is adjustable too, but entry-level cars don’t come with such adjustment for the passenger seat. But, the layout of buttons is confusing and fiddly compared with many rivals.
As a large estate car, the C5 Tourer promises no shortage of practicality, but it doesn’t quite live up to it. While the cabin offers plenty of space for those in the front as well as the rear, the load bay isn’t as big as you might hope. All C5 Tourers have rear seats that split 60/40 when they fold, but even once tipped forward the load bay measures just 1,462 litres. Leave the seats in place and there’s just 505 litres available. Those figures are pretty much identical to those of the Ford Focus estate. Buy a Mondeo estate and you’ll have up to 1,733 litres at your disposal.
Ride and handling
French cars tend to have a cosseting ride at the expense of handling, and that’s definitely the case here. That’s invariably no bad thing though, because it means the C5 Tourer is set up perfectly to cope with the poor road surfaces that UK drivers have to endure. The result of such ride comfort is a car that tends to roll a fair bit in corners. It doesn’t have the sharp steering that you’ll get from something like a Ford Mondeo or Mazda6.
There’s surprisingly little choice when it comes to engines. There are no petrol engines but the diesels are very good. The smallest engine is the 1.6-litre HDi, with 107bhp and 177lb/ft of pulling power. That’s enough to give 0-62mph in 12.5 seconds and a 107mph top speed. The best all-round unit is the 161bhp 2-litre HDi, which gives 130mph and 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds. Punchy, frugal and smooth, it’s a great unit. but if you want more there’s also a 3-litre HDi V6 available that packs 237bhp and 332lb/ft of pulling power, enough to give a 150mph top speed and enable it to cover 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds.
If you get a decent discount on the list price, you can reduce running costs significantly, as its declining value is the costliest factor in running a C5 Tourer. The fact only diesel engines are offered means decent fuel consumption. Even the 3-litre HDi V6 returns almost 40mpg officially, although this will only be achievable on a run. In everyday use the actual figure is likely to be below 30mpg. The 2-litre HDi and the 1.6-litre HDi meanwhile, officially return 53.3mpg and 56.5mpg respectively. However, in practice the smaller engine will probably prove no more economical as it has to be worked harder to keep up with traffic.
While the original C5 Tourer had a reputation for being unreliable, this second-generation model has proved to be more dependable. More solidly built and with higher quality components, the C5 Tourer still doesn’t top satisfaction surveys, but you’re less likely to have problems with one of these than with its predecessor.
There’s a huge amount of safety kit as standard on all C5 Tourers, including daytime running lights, electronic brake force distribution (EBD), electronic stability programme (ESP), emergency brake assist (EBA) and traction control. There are also three-point seatbelts for everyone, front, curtain and driver’s knee airbag plus Isofix mountings front and rear. Throw in height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners plus a stiff structure, and it’s no surprise that this is a car with a five-star Euro NCAP rating. Buy a C5 Tourer with Exclusive trim and there’s also a tyre pressure monitoring system installed.
Citroen is renowned for its generosity when it comes to standard equipment, and it’s no different here. There are just three trim levels offered, all of which come packed with kit. Entry-level C5 Tourers have VTR badging, the next step up is VTR+ Nav spec while Exclusives are the top of the range. All C5 Tourers come with a multi-function steering wheel, climate control, electric windows all round, cruise control, trip computer and a CD/tuner. Move up a level and there’s sat-nav, an electronic parking brake with hill start assist, auto lights and wipers, alloy wheels plus adjustment for both front seats. Exclusive adds hydraulic suspension, electric front seat adjustment plus an electrically operated tailgate.
Unusual and stylish, the C5 Tourer is also well-equipped and good to drive. But only buy one if you can get a good discount, as it will quickly lose its value.