The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 3.5
The Citroen C5 Tourer estate is stylish and refined, as well as comfortable and well-equipped. Offered with diesel engines only, it’s a good car let down by poor resale values.
Reasons to buy
- Looks great
- Excellent engines
At a glance
- How good does it look? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- What's the interior like? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How practical is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- What's it like to drive? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How powerful is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How much will it cost me? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How reliable is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How safe is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How much equipment do I get? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- Why buy? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
How good does it look?
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.
What's the interior like?
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.
How practical is it?
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.
What's it like to drive?
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.
How powerful is it?
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.
How much will it cost me?
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.
How reliable is it?
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.
How safe is it?
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.
How much equipment do I get?
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.