It’s good news for used buyers, too. Heavy discounting has contributed to C5’s weak residuals; an 01/Y 1.8 LX can be picked up for around £5,000 – it was originally £14,777.
C5 was launched in April 2001 with four trims. LX has air conditioning, power steering, ABS with EBD, electric front windows and dual front and side airbags. SX adds climate control, rear sunblind, auto wipers and electric front windows.
Exclusive has an alarm and Xenon headlamps, while the Exclusive SE gains park-distance control, an electric sunroof and electrically-folding door mirrors. Estates arrived in May 2002 and VTR trim was added in February 2003, as LX but with 16-inch alloy wheels, carbon fibre effect interior trim and special upholstery.
DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
The handling isn’t up to Mondeo or Passat standards, but it’s safe, secure and bodyroll is kept in check.
Suspension on 2.0 petrol, 2.2 HDi and 2.0 V6 can be adjusted to a ‘sport’ mode, which gives a stiffer ride, but better cornering.
A cushy ride is a Citroen speciality and C5 benefits from the firm’s unique Hydractive suspension, which provides relaxed long-distance cruising.
The seats are well cushioned and there’s enough room in the back for two adults or three children to sit comfortably. Estates have one of the largest load areas in the class and as a result command higher prices on the used market.
C5’s range of modern, punchy and economical diesel engines almost make the petrol line up redundant. But they are pricier, commanding a premium of 15-25%.
The base 2.0 HDi is available with 90bhp and 110bhp – it’s more popular with the higher output unit. For buyers looking for more power there’s the 136bhp 2.2 HDi. It’s not as economical as the 2.0 (44.1mpg, compared with 50.4), but it offers a 0-60mph time just over 10 seconds. The 1.8 is the base petrol, and gives adequate performance; 0-60mph in 11.1 seconds and a top speed of 122mph. The range-topping 3.0 V6 is off the pace, thirsty (returning 27.7mpg) and too expensive new. Buyers agree: just 96, out 10,374 C5s sold during 2003 had the V6 engine.
A four-star Euro NCAP was awarded in 2001, but this is now starting to look ordinary against class-leading five-star models like the Renault Laguna, Toyota Avensis, Mercedes-Benz C-class and Saab 9-3.
All models have remote central locking, while models from VTR upwards add an alarm.