Buying a Citroën was always on the agenda. I've owned lots. My wife thinks it's a sickness. I love cars and ever since the first one - a Renault 12 - there has been a string of french beauties coming in and out of my life, and also into the lives of family and friends. I've had a couple of interlopers - a G-Wagen, Defender, a Verada and currently the "other" car is a Discovery, but I digress. Let me tell you about my C5.
A Bourassque Blue Tourer with a lovely black interior. So Chic. For the "spec" heads it's a 2.0-litre turbo diesel in Exclusive trim. In other words it pretty much includes the kitchen sink for a 2015 car. I've had it since new and it's the last of the model line that has the wonderful Hydropneumatic Suspension. After 150,000km I still love this car. It's solid, refined, brisk, quiet and really, really stylish. The fuel economy is outstanding and considering I travel long country distances every week, it never puts a foot wrong, even when I frequently bury the right foot (which is another sickness my wife reminds me of frequently...).
Is it all roses? Yeah, mostly. I still can't fathom how they managed such an impractical interior. The French were so good at the simple practicalities but this C5 is seriously deficient for interior storage. Sure, the Tourer boot area is huge, but the door pockets, oddments storage and glovebox are stupidly small. Don't even think of a takeaway coffee. Whoever designed electric tailgates should be shot. Replacing a perfectly simple task with a tardy groaning electric opener is such a retrograde step. The rear seats are super comfy but there's not a lot of room for legs and feet. The dash has 7,000 buttons but I kind of like that, especially at night as it makes you feel like you're piloting an aircraft. Minimalist new Volvo it ain't, not by a long shot.
But all is forgotten when you're out on the road. It simply eats up the kilometres with that French insouciance that you start to take for granted until you ride in other "normal" vehicles. You know, those cars that have "sporty ride" but that's code for deleting springs and dampers somewhere in the specification. Not sure why the world went from great-riding cars with excellent road holding to poor-riding cars with excellent handling. I remember pushing my old Renault 16TS and Pug 504 to hilarious levels of body roll but never ever losing faith in their road holding.
So I get that the C5 is not for everyone but that's part of the appeal. I take the "Shitron" jokes in my stride because I know just how capable and reliable the C5 is. It does everything I ask of it and more. The litmus test for me is trying out other vehicles that might be a candidate for the C5's replacement. There's lots of great stuff out there but nothing has made me feel like I had to have it, especially the new C5 Aircross (what were they thinking?) and not even the new 508GT which is stunning in its own right.
That's the greatest compliment I can give the C5. That and the fact that out of the two vehicles in our driveway I always pick the C5. Unless I'm parked in. Still a great design 10 years+ on.
NOTE: We have used a CarAdvice photo with this story.