A large family car, the Citroen C5 began production in 2001 and is still currently in production with its second-generation model. Replacing the Citroen Xantia, the C5 was originally released as a hatchback and as an estate. It was actually designed to be a hatch and a hatchback following a three-box design, allowing it to disguise the hatch which pushed Citroen to reverse Robert Opron’s saloon era design philosophy. In 2004, the first-generation C5 received a facelift. In 2007, its second-generation brother was officially unveiled. Foregoing the hatchback body style, the new C5 received scrutiny for looking more of a German car, throwing off hardcore Citroen fans. In 2011, the second-generation C5 was given a mild redesign.
While not many fans were fond of the German look the Citroen C5 was sporting, it was actually a good move for the company, taking note of what makes a German vehicle successful and trying it out on their own. With that, they’ve covered what makes a good car on the outside. They complemented this by designing the C5 to be related mechanically to the C6, a more expensive car, meaning the C5 also has its goods under the hood. But make no mistake about it, Citroen still very much wanted the C5 to be a French car. This gets you then a vehicle that has the styling of a German car with the emotion and feel of a French vehicle.
Step inside a C5 and you’ll still feel the German inspiration though it is a Citroen through and through. Some of the interior features, like the polished aluminum door handles and the flush-folding air vents, give off the impression that you’re riding a much more expensive vehicle given its class. A more prestigious environment is definitely a bonus.
There are petrol and diesel engine options available with the Citroen C5, but the petrol line is limited to just a 154bhp 1.6-litre unit. At the same time, this petrol engine is also married to a six-speed manual gearbox so you have nothing else to consider if you want to a C5 with a petrol unit.
The C5 does indeed look and feel good inside but it is not without flaws. While the dashboard is certainly functional and looks and feels like top quality with every inch, it has a problem with its instruments. Some of the instruments are hard to read so you really have to focus on what you want to look at. You just don’t always have the luxury to do that when you’re on the road.
Given that the C5 looks like a big car, you’d expect that to translate inside as well. There are no space issues if you’re sitting in front but it becomes tight when you take a seat at the back. There is more than enough legroom but headroom is wanting. The C5 compensates a bit though by offering 533 litres of boot space. That’s a lot of space considering a full-size spare wheel is already underneath the floor.
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