Citroen C5 Exclusive

Techno Pack HDi 180

Citroen C5, side
Citroen C5, front
Citroen C5, front
Citroen C5, side
Citroen C5, interior
Citroen C5, rear
Citroen C5, rear
Citroen C5, interior

LOVE ‘em or loathe them there's no denying the fact that Citroen has never shied away from taking a chance with the designs of its cars - some have proved best sellers whilst others have plummeted like a lead balloon.

There have been some truly whacky shapes and sizes over the years, but one car stood out as a great newcomer when it hit the roads back in 2001 - the larger-than-life Citroen C5.

In those heady days when the ‘larger' car was all the rage, buyers couldn't get enough of the stylish French masterpiece with 45,502 Mk 1 models sold between 2001 and 2004.

The second generation MK 2 version which ran from 2004 to 2008 saw quite a dramatic fall in sales numbers with just 11,711 units sold.

But the latest third generation model has really suffered the biggest downfall with just 17,105 sales over eight years.

And it's because of that decline that the C5 sales books have now been closed here in the UK and the vehicle will no longer be produced in right hand drive format.

That's a shame because the car, despite being rather dated, still offers plenty of appeal and still boasts one of the smoothest rides over any bumpy or pothole-ridden surface.

In fact the original car was renowned for its development of Citroen's hydropneumatic suspension - now called Hydractive 3 - which raised and lowered the car's suspension to offer the most comfortable and efficient ride.

From the outside, the C5 looks impressive thanks to its sweeping lines, 18-inch alloys, Xenon directional lights, body-coloured bumpers, door handles and mirrors, chrome trim and LED daytime running lights.

Move inside and there is enough room to house a small army with ample space for three adults to stretch out in comfort in the back seats and there is plenty of on-board technology included in the £29,560 asking price (increased to £32,520 with some options added).

Features include a great sound system, sat nav, dual zone air conditioning, cruise control, a colour touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, part-leather upholstery, reversing camera, mood lighting and plenty more besides.

It has to be said, the interior does look quite dated with an abundance of hard plastic on show and you have to be some sort of a contortionist to access the cup holder located inside the deep central bin. But, those gripes aside, the C5 still delivers when it comes to performance.

The car was powered by a 2.0-litre 180bhp diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It could sprint from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds and topped out at 138mph.

The official combined fuel economy figure is a 64.2mpg and carbon emissions are 114g/km.

During a long drive, covering approximately 500 miles, there were several factors that impressed. One was the extreme comfort levels and the other was the economy - I was seeing an average of 59mpg which is very close to the official figure.

In town centres the car handled well with the parking sensors and reversing camera proving most useful when squeezing into tight spaces. In fact, the C5 was far more agile and easy to manoeuvre than I had expected.

Out on faster lanes it was very responsive as it moved smoothly through the gears with a constant supply of power at your disposal. The road-holding was very assured and there was next-to-no engine, road surface or wind noise within the cabin.

And when it comes to storage, the boot capacity is very generous at 439 litres, a capacity that can be increased further with the split-folding rear seats lowered.

It seems a shame that the C5 will be discontinued, but I suppose all good things have to come to an end and as a spokesman for Citroen explained: "Sales have declined in the past few years in line with the product life-cycle.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C5 Exclusive Techno Pack HDi 180

Price:£29,560

Mechanical:180bhp, 1,997cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:138mph

0-62mph:8.7 seconds

Combined MPG:64.2

Insurance Group: 33

C02 emissions:114g/km

Bik rating:20%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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