Citroen C5 Estate

The Essentials

  • Price from £20,995
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 62.8mpg
  • What is it? Comfortable estate is big on chic but no match for a Mondeo in the boot-size department.

Great

  • Chic design puts some ooh la la into your estate car
  • So quiet you can hear a pin drop... in Paris
  • Safety and security features should keep car and contents intact

Gripes

  • Dash layout is dazzlingly difficult to navigate
  • Boot isn't nearly as big as a Ford Mondeo?s
  • Resale values plummet as soon as you?ve bought it
  • Drive

    Like travelling in your favourite armchair - supremely comfortable, deeply peaceful and not terribly exciting

  • Inside

    Curious driving position and mind-boggling dash design take some getting used to

  • Safety

    From laminated windows for security to headlamps that shine around corners, the C5 has it covered

  • Reliability

    Our surveys suggest Citroen still has a little way to go to match the most reliable cars

  • Space

    Good for five passengers, but not the most practical estate if you're moving bulky items or carrying big dogs

  • Standard and extras

    Air-con, cruise control and a multi-function steering wheel are standard; upgrade for alloy wheels, parking sensors and the snazzy suspension

  • What's it like to drive?

    Like travelling in your favourite armchair, driving the C5 Tourer is supremely comfortable, deeply peaceful and not terribly exciting. Choose between one petrol and three diesel engines (we like the 1.6-litre diesel) and two different suspension systems. More expensive models have Citroen's hydropneumatic suspension which smoothes out most of the bumps but neither stops the car wallowing through bends. The clunky gearshift and shortage of steering feedback are disappointing too. Shhh, what's that I hear? Yep, nothing at all, so refined is the C5 on the road.

  • What's it like inside?

    Sometimes we must suffer for beauty and the C5's sleek shape makes loading big square items more challenging. The boot is no match for a Ford Mondeo or a Volkswagen Passat in size, either. Five can travel comfortably and there's plenty of seat and wheel adjustment to keep the driver happy. The knees-raised driving position does feel a bit strange, however.
    Everything inside feels plush and smart but the dash is guilty of 'oversharing' ? there's simply too much information on the dials and too many fiddly buttons and it's all rather overwhelming.

  • How reliable is it?

    From laminated windows for security to headlamps that shine around corners, the C5 has you covered. It scored 81% for adult protection and 77% for child protection in Euro NCAP crash tests; better than a Mercedes C Class which scored 82% and 70% but not a match for the VW Passat (91% and 77% respectively).
    Owners in the latest JD Power customer survey rated the C5's reliability as average.

  • Should I buy one?

    Don't come crying to us if you plan to sell your C5 Estate after a year and realise it's already lost half its value. You have been warned. Leasing rates make it a sensible company car choice but unfortunately the cleanest, most efficient model has a jerky semi-auto gearbox.
    All models have air-con, electric windows and cruise control but we'd opt for at least the VTR+ Nav spec, which adds sat-nav with Bluetooth and alloy wheels.