Citroen C5 Hatchback (2003)
Added: 17th of November 2013
Approaching the 110,000 mile mark and having owned the car from 8 months old, I think I've got the measure of it pretty well! Citroen are a much maligned brand in the press, but this is my second one (1st was a Xantia) and having totalled around 200,000 miles in them both, I can't say that I find the criticisms justified. With a car of this age there seems little point in doing too much detail analysis, so this is more of a general overview. The C5 is a great comfy, capacious, economical work horse. It's been to some pretty unforgiving places in the mountains of northern Spain and the Lake District where only 4x4s seem to venture (the adjustable suspension height really coming into it's own dealing with the dirt tracks!), it's cruised the motorways of the UK to far flung corners loaded to the gunnels with walking gear, partner and dog on many many holidays, it's been strained to it's limits loaded with building materials and it's ferried us around towns in our finery for fancy do's, yet it has remained reliable, and in near perfect condition with every gadget and gizmo still fully functional. You really couldn't ask any more of a car, and all for a lot less money than any of it's mainstream rivals cost. Well perhaps the greatest recommendation - I'll be replacing it with the current version in the not too distant future. It's not perfect, but the flaws are tolerable - the steering is a little too 'woolly' around 40mph but that is dramatically affected by tyre choice, with the right tyres it's not really a problem. It's not really an 'enthusiastic' drivers car, it's very safe and always behaves with no nasty vices and even impresses 'performance' car owning friends with how it copes, but the experience is just not that rewarding when pushing it, so perhaps it's best driven more sedately. Fuel consumption is really quite impressive (for such a big car) if you drive it right (there is a 'technique' to driving diesels to get the best of both performance and economy, and not everyone seems to have it!), 55+mpg cruising on motorways at 70mph, 43mpg on mixed roads, mid to high 30's around towns, I've actually achieved 800 miles on a tankfull on quiet A roads! Not many other cars to rival it on comfort and versatility.