CITROEN C5 Why didn't the X7 sell?
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Thread: CITROEN C5 Why didn't the X7 sell?

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Greg's Avatar
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    Default CITROEN C5 Why didn't the X7 sell?

    Hi Guys,

    Advertisement


    While there were many that criticised the C5 Series 1 styling, it out sold the X7 by a huge margin.

    Below is the sales figures year to year for all C5's in Europe. The figures speak for them selves:


    2016 9.464
    2015 13.480
    2014 18.064
    2013 24.841
    2012 37.930
    2011 57.873
    2010 71.420
    2009 81.288
    2008 71.187
    2007 46.853
    2006 65.640
    2005 84.506
    2004 89.437
    2003 105.299
    2002 145.731
    2001 109.657
    2000 99

    What is interesting is that the C5 X7 outsold the Peugeot 407 most years 2 to 1. The 508 replacement for the 407 faired a little better. Sales started strong, but have dropped considerably the last couple of years.

    It seems a little strange that PSA can find the funds to replace the 407 in 2014, but couldn't afford a C5 facelift?

    Best regards,

    Greg
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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Could be as simple as lack of promotion and advertising. . .

    I said in another thread the X7 may well be the best kept secret by owners. Without promotion to take advantage of that customer satisfaction, sales were doomed to drop off - with essentially nothing to differentiate a 2008 model from the latest offerings buyers went looking elsewhere for a point of difference in their new purchase.

    We had a very good run out of our series 1 C5, bought new and moved on after close to 15 years. The X7 replacement is one of the first, a 2008 model and 160k. I really can't fault it, my son drove it from Sydney to Brisbane for us, left with a full tank arrived same day after 972 kilometers and still showing 260+ available (71 litre tank). He exclaimed it was the best car he had driven, easy fuss free, comfortable cruiser.

    Our impression in our short time with the car is that it is a quantum leap forward for the C5 range, this car closing in on 10 years is quiet, rattle free and rides like a Citroen should. Paint has stood up well, interior likewise with no signs of wear. It had a few 'phantom' messages on arrival but all have been cured by fitting a new battery. The old battery had been in the car for 5 years and although it had plenty of kick to start the car it would immediately go into 'economy mode' once the engine is shut down, this shuts down non-essential functions i.e. some courtesy lighting, radio etc. The hand clap style wipers (shades of early id/DS) are very effective in clearing most of the windscreen. I'm still adjusting to the size and shape of the car when parking, rearward viability is restricted (I'm old school and reverse looking over my left shoulder) Thinking I might add a GPS with rear camera as an aid. My driving style has adjusted, the car demands subtle input of steering and throttle for smooth fuss free city driving. Mrs GB was sad to see the series 1 go but is totally a convert to the X7.

    Like I said, owners of the X7 have been very quiet about the virtues of this car, the last of this model is also the last of hydraulic suspension for Citroen. Grab one while you still can. . .

    Cheers
    Chris
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    X7 is a great car but all in all the SUV market hit its heights when it came out so the wagon / large sedan sort of died ie commodore and falcon I know it's not Europe but trends are trends still our x7 is the best car I have owned .


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    It came out at the same time as a lot of other new Euro models and during the rush to own the ego boosting SUV size vehicles.

    I think also that it stopped being a large hatch was detrimental. It is one reason why I miss the XM and its predecessor BX. Open wide....

    AFAIK there is only one large hatch still on the market in Aus and that is the Ford Mondeo. At the time of the X7 purchase this was our other option. Remarkably had we bought the Ford we would have bought the identical engine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    It came out at the same time as a lot of other new Euro models and during the rush to own the ego boosting SUV size vehicles.

    I think also that it stopped being a large hatch was detrimental. It is one reason why I miss the XM and its predecessor BX. Open wide....

    AFAIK there is only one large hatch still on the market in Aus and that is the Ford Mondeo. At the time of the X7 purchase this was our other option. Remarkably had we bought the Ford we would have bought the identical engine.
    Time will tell if we really miss the hatch, I must say it was a huge asset when moving house a few years back, it was jaw dropping what we were able to fit in the back of the series 1.

    Tongue in cheek. . . Why didn't the X7 sell? Has to be the lack of cup holders

    We never have seen a use for them, but the concessional/ poor excuse/ afterthought, in the X7 has to be the designers other little joke. Lift the armrest and flip up the single cup holder - sounds good in theory but. . . with the armrest raised how the heck do you now reach your latte? You would have to be a contortionist, left arm twisted to the point of dislocation whilst steering the car off the road - seriously, what were they thinking?? and, and who in their right mind would put a liquid in such close proximity to the OBD socket

    Cheers
    Chris
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

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    I will never understand this cup holder thing. I have never used or desired one, nor have several people I have asked. The idea of slurping at milky drinks while driving is beyond my understanding. A tinnie might be different, but Mr Plod has views on that.

    My C5, being an X7, has no hatch. It doesn't bother me, and I have managed to get furniture into the car with seats down. I have even had lengths of timber stuck out the back. The restricted rear door opening angle is a more significant restraint.

    Zero publicity and oddball reviews by often downright ignorant journalists had something to do with sales of one of the best sedans around.

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    UFO
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    Yes the stupid cup holder... Never used it but the rear seat ones have been used.

    I need my morning coffee on the way to work so that I am caffeinated enough to be conversant with my work colleagues. I used to use an aging Thermos brand mug and a plastic hanger that hooked on the door frame. The mug was getting old and chipped etc.

    Last Xmas I got one of these and it means I do not need a holder any longer. This mug has never spilled and I usually just chuck it on the passenger seat next to my work bag and it's in reach when I'm stopped at traffic lights. It also keeps water cool for an afternoon drive home in summer. If you get one get the full stainless steel model as the painted models cannot go in a dishwasher while the s/s can.

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    Ever noticed how biased the local press is ? I think every C5 , or even and French car "test" I have read in recent years stresses the fact that the manufacturer is ... well French....with the unwritten message ... crap, dubious and unreliable. The truth is probably more "unsupported" than anything else. The fact that the current C5 has a truly internationally supplied engine, a Japanese sourced gearbox, Italian sourced electronics and lots of German stuff as well doesn't ever enter the discussion. My old C5 has a Mitsubishi starter and a Valeo aircon compressor and Metzeler branded rubber gaskets.Chances are a new Citroen will not even have Michelin tyres. There was heavy marketing in Europe for the X7 .. anyone remember the "frog" coming on stage, or the Wagnerian backed blue eyed duelling super dude upsetting the serving wench as he preferred his drive over her offerings of beer and sausages, even showed the C5 passing the Brandenburg Gate.Well worth a YouTube search, you might enjoy the C4 transformer advertising too. I am amazed at how the VW group products always get "the tick" from our local journos....yet at the same time they publish horror stories of VW faults. At least the truth about the Chrysler group offerings and their backup service is common knowledge in the press. I suspect there is a "critical mass" of numbers before sales start to self generate. Advertising in this country has been too little to even begin the public interest. I make a case for journalist's ignorance with my Mitsubishi Challenger diesel...heaps of comment re "don't buy the auto. It can't make up its mind" well the auto is NOT the fault, but the fact that it is a 5 speed with lock up on 4th and 5th. the journos assume the unlocking that gains an extra 200 revs is a gearchange. Not so.
    Perhaps another part of the C5's poor sales is the fact that most dealerships are multi franchising, and the Citroen is too hard to (a) explain to customers or too (b) difficult to deal on and with...limited supply, stocks and delays.A Skoda or in days gone by a SAAB was more mainstream.

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    Its possible that so many owners were burnt by early C5 problems that they weren't able to forgive and went to other marques despite the x7's improved reliability.
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    Don't blame it on the distribution arrangements, it fizzled out in France as well. It was not as practical as the people carriers and the SUV. The urban market there has been downsizing its purchases as well. Their only real market push for sedans of this size is in China where they are having mixed success.
    Quality and reliability is not so much now a question of country of assembly but the age of the factory. Each new factory carries a higher level of automation even in cheap labour countries and robots build more consistently than humans.
    The US press carries some interesting anti-Trump stories at the moment because Ford is investing heavily in a latest technology new factory in China to build the Focus for export. Labour is now more expensive in China than Mexico but they see more stability in China and this plan now represents the first global company strategy to export a volume flagship product from China.
    The perceived issues about "French" quality are being pushed into irrelevance by globalisation.
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    I think a lot of the new car buyers feel they get burned by the depreciation as well.

    Cheers, Ken
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken W View Post
    I think a lot of the new car buyers feel they get burned by the depreciation as well.

    Cheers, Ken
    It was comparable with similar cars in France.
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    Hi Craig
    I'll put forward another large hatch (other than hideous BMW X6 and Audi A5, so maybe affordable?), Skoda Superb. That thing is truly massive and plenty of gizmos and things. I did say to a salesman when he was pointing them out that some just seemed like something else to go wrong. He nodded and said they do, don't own one past the warranty period....

    I'll throw in the suggestion of eye watering depreciation and that was evident when I was desperate to trade up my 2011 X7 on one of the last new C5s earlier this year.

    Cheers
    Jason
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    I have never sold a car, any make, except a couple to a wrecker. That takes care of early depreciation, and is the cheapest form of motoring.
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    Hi Guys,

    Interesting to read everybody thoughts on the X7......... most pretty accurate, though I don't agree about the problems with earlier C5s. What problems?

    Sure there were issues with the AL4 gearbox, but that gearbox was only fitted to early diesels, and all the 4 cylinder petrol cars (someone will surely dispute that?), but that said, the boxes were repairable, and many didn't play up at all.

    We had a new 2002 V6, and we had two problems. It needed a replacement exhaust catalyst (done locally) and had the coils replaced 3 times. The later Delphi coils worked fine for the rest of the cars time with us. The coil problem was a common issue at the time with Audi, BMW Volkswagen etc. Our C5 went to a new home with my cousin, after us, and it really only started to play up at around 15 years of age.


    Having owned all three incarnations of the C5, my thoughts are that for outright versatility, our 2006 2.0 HDI wagon, is an exceptional vehicle. The ride is very "DS". While not an Exclusive it had great things like HID turning headlamps and 6 way seats, & loads of storage. The fuel consumption was excellent, and the power from a 2.0 L diesel, a bit hard to believe. The AM6 gearbox was easily the best auto box Citroen has ever fitted to a car?

    It was a real workhorse for us, with a huge load area, and the rear seat can accomodate 3 adults far better than the X7. Given the electrical complexity on the C5, everything continued to work fine?

    This car is now owned by one of our local (Maitland) undertakers. He loves it to bits. It's now done around 290,000 ks. The rear arms were overhauled when the car was put back on the road at 75,000 ks, and they have only just now been repaired again.

    Considering this car was a repairable write-off, it's not doing too badly?

    Our present C5 is a 2009 low milage (30,000k) 2.7 litre V6. For me, the X7 is probably the most consummate modern vehicle Citroen has ever built. It's that good.

    Sure the design has some flaws, the biggest disappointment is the stupid rod bonnet prop that seems to be standard fair on Citroen these days. As for the Cup holder......what cup holder, what honestly was Citroen thinking!

    If you look at the kit included in an Exclusive X7 (even 12 way seats with heating and massage function), it was a bargain compared to you BMW / Merc equivalent.

    While not a hatch, that's not a problem for us as our everyday car is a Berlingo.

    The real reason for not being a hatch is that Citroen hoped to do big things with the C5 in China, and Chinese don't like hatchbacks.

    If you need convincing of this, just look at how many hatch back models that Citroen has produced a sedan body especially for China.

    So I agree with a few comments that maybe it's not that the X7 wasn't good, but really, not the right product for the time?

    Citroen, or maybe really PSA were so blind, for so long, with no SUV in their range, and even when they did sense a change, they only sold rebadged Mitsubishi SUVs. I thought that the motor industry had already leant that people aren't that stupid.

    Now the C5 has stopped production, there is no replacement, either sedan or SUV in production, and even then, there will be no 4WD, unless its a hybrid with electric motors in the rear.

    Having now also given up its hydraulic suspension, Citroen seem left with no trump cards up its sleeve, so nothing to differentiate it from all the other mainstream manufacturers?

    PSA seem unable to steer what was a smaller ship, so only time will tell how Citroen survives with Vauxhall and Opel now in tow?

    Best regards,

    Greg
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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    The answer is easy ... They produced the wrong car in the wrong time (just like falcon and commonbore). They are now a fashion symbol.... pretty shithouse as a family car. Take my wifes 407. The car itself is fine. The 6spd manual is great, the suspension is good for a "normal" car. that old 2litre diesel though laggy is great for it's time..... But gee's .... the car is shithouse.

    Lets look at a DS and CX for example. The wagons are vast ... absolutely enormous. They are true 7 seaters. The seating position is excellent. The seats are brilliant. The dyanmics of the cars are world beating. Now lets move onto to the 407 ... It suffers the same issues as most modern cars.

    The boot .... it's shithouse, it's not very big, the opening is weirdly shaped and small.... The inside, it's shithouse.... the seats are rock hard.... there is bugger all leg room in the back ... I'm only a little guy, I don't fit in the back unless I sit with my head on an angle. The front seats ... there shit, there rock hard... For an hour or so I find them quite good ... then they get REALLY uncomforable really fast. I'm a tiny guy, but I don't fit in the front ... my head is against the roof unless I have the seat layed back ( sadly I'm not a moron that drives along with the seat laying down and a cap on arse about to "look cool").

    You see, "fashion" says it must be "sleek and layed back"... so even though the car is very big on the outside, it is very small on the inside, and there is no head room. It must also sit "low" as that is the fashion. Which means we are forever smashing it's belly, nose and tail itno the ground.... There is no plastic left under it to smash off (for a long time) so you just let it crash into the ground. If you think I'm exagerting .... My shitty old 25+ year old 4wd has become the car we go everywhere in ... the 407 is just to small and squeezy and uncomfortable. A few days back we drove from Coffs Harbour over to byron bay .... The roads are so bad my wife actually said at one point "gee's we couldn't drive my car down these roads"). Just like a proper car (eg: CX or DS) The shitty old 4wd just ploughs over anything though, so not such a problem.

    When the 407 is replaced .... we are going to have to replace it with a pretend wank tank ... ie: a crappy pretend 4wd like every other middle aged women drives. The reason is .. the modern sedans are crap. The pretend 4wds are still "box shaped" so are usable. (ignoring the hairdesser cars like range rover evogues obviously). An X7 wouldn't even be considered. Why buy a large car that is tiny on the inside just so it "looks fashionable"

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    The answer is easy ... They produced the wrong car in the wrong time (just like falcon and commonbore). They are now a fashion symbol.... pretty shithouse as a family car. Take my wifes 407. The car itself is fine. The 6spd manual is great, the suspension is good for a "normal" car. that old 2litre diesel though laggy is great for it's time..... But gee's .... the car is shithouse.

    Lets look at a DS and CX for example. The wagons are vast ... absolutely enormous. They are true 7 seaters. The seating position is excellent. The seats are brilliant. The dyanmics of the cars are world beating. Now lets move onto to the 407 ... It suffers the same issues as most modern cars.

    The boot .... it's shithouse, it's not very big, the opening is weirdly shaped and small.... The inside, it's shithouse.... the seats are rock hard.... there is bugger all leg room in the back ... I'm only a little guy, I don't fit in the back unless I sit with my head on an angle. The front seats ... there shit, there rock hard... For an hour or so I find them quite good ... then they get REALLY uncomforable really fast. I'm a tiny guy, but I don't fit in the front ... my head is against the roof unless I have the seat layed back ( sadly I'm not a moron that drives along with the seat laying down and a cap on arse about to "look cool").

    You see, "fashion" says it must be "sleek and layed back"... so even though the car is very big on the outside, it is very small on the inside, and there is no head room. It must also sit "low" as that is the fashion. Which means we are forever smashing it's belly, nose and tail itno the ground.... There is no plastic left under it to smash off (for a long time) so you just let it crash into the ground. If you think I'm exagerting .... My shitty old 25+ year old 4wd has become the car we go everywhere in ... the 407 is just to small and squeezy and uncomfortable. A few days back we drove from Coffs Harbour over to byron bay .... The roads are so bad my wife actually said at one point "gee's we couldn't drive my car down these roads"). Just like a proper car (eg: CX or DS) The shitty old 4wd just ploughs over anything though, so not such a problem.

    When the 407 is replaced .... we are going to have to replace it with a pretend wank tank ... ie: a crappy pretend 4wd like every other middle aged women drives. The reason is .. the modern sedans are crap. The pretend 4wds are still "box shaped" so are usable. (ignoring the hairdesser cars like range rover evogues obviously). An X7 wouldn't even be considered. Why buy a large car that is tiny on the inside just so it "looks fashionable"

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Ouch!!!!!!!!
    Cheers Gerry

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    Fellow Frogger! dmccurtayne's Avatar
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    We'll sell it and get over it enjoy your lofted shitbox


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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmccurtayne View Post
    We'll sell it and get over it enjoy your lofted shitbox


    Sent from my iPhone using aussiefrogs
    That's the sad bit ... every other sedan I own has plenty of ride height. no-one really needs a wank tank as a family car... But how do you get something that doesn't have it's belly scraping the ground and no interior space without getting a pretend 4wd The only reason I have the shitty old 4wd (rather than the CX) is it tows big caravans and car trailers legally. It's also so much better than the modern cars we tend to use it as the family car.

    seeya,
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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    I do have to watch nosing into kerbs like every other modern car, but there is no problem driving on dirt roads in my C5. By that I mean roads which see the occasional grader, not Shane's driveway.

    No modern car has Landrover clearances, and neither do most SUVs. Highway performance is more important.
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    Depends on your priorities. If you want handling, ride & fuel economy then go for the sedan. If road clearance, space and towing are priorities then the SUV is the go!

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    Fellow Frogger! Greg's Avatar
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    Hi Shane,

    If you want to bag cars that are more form over function, then you have to include the CX...........There is very little headroom, the seats are on the floor, and working on them is mostly a nightmare. The stupid longerons really served little purpose, and only complicate the whole underfloor.

    Our C5 X7 really tick all the boxes, to stay in production for 9 years without a facelift is testament that Citroen got it right the first time around.

    And by the way, the X7 out sold the 407 2 to 1!

    Best regards,

    Greg
    We Have:
    C5 HDI Exclusive 2.7 '09, Pluriel '09, Berlingo 1.6 HDI '10, C4 VTS coupe. C4 Picasso '08, 2CV Charleston '84 Grey, 2CV, '55 Australian delivered. 15/6 H '55, SM '74 BVM, DS21 EFI BVH, DS21 '67 BVH.
    We Had:
    1930C6F, '73 GS1220 wagon X 2, '75 G special, '75 GS panel van, '74 GS Birotor, '82 GSA panel van with factory AC, '85 CX25GTI BVM, 2002 C5 V6, 2006, C5 S2 HDI, '86 BX19GT, '72 DS21 BVM, '55 15/6H, '54 Lt 15,'73 Dyane, '82 Visa Super X, with Chrono Mecs & factory AC, 1972 SM.

  23. #23
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    I rode in the rear seat of my daughters Ford Territory on the road from Cobden to Port Campbell. The thing lurched around so much that my head was constantly being banged into the roof rail--------Most uncomfortable. Admittedly it was a Ford and therefore a piece of Merde, but on that road, most highly set SUV type vehicles would lurch and sway. Give me a normal car with a proper longer wheel base, a proportionate track width and a low set centre of gravity. I will at least then be comfortable. Neither will I need all this electronic stability control rubbish that modern cars are required to have in order to correct all of the afore mentioned dynamic faults pervading todays revolting design trends. If I owned a C5 X7 I believe I would be most happy! Until then I will stick with my VT Commonbore 5litre Calais and enjoy the odd run in my real cars; the Light 15 and the CX!
    PS the VT is a really good car! People who bag them out should try living with one and see if they still hold their biased opinions!
    Cheers Gerry

  24. #24
    Fellow Frogger! Greg's Avatar
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    Hi Jerry,

    Just wondering what sort of fuel consumption you get with you 5 litre Commodore?

    Best regards,

    Greg
    We Have:
    C5 HDI Exclusive 2.7 '09, Pluriel '09, Berlingo 1.6 HDI '10, C4 VTS coupe. C4 Picasso '08, 2CV Charleston '84 Grey, 2CV, '55 Australian delivered. 15/6 H '55, SM '74 BVM, DS21 EFI BVH, DS21 '67 BVH.
    We Had:
    1930C6F, '73 GS1220 wagon X 2, '75 G special, '75 GS panel van, '74 GS Birotor, '82 GSA panel van with factory AC, '85 CX25GTI BVM, 2002 C5 V6, 2006, C5 S2 HDI, '86 BX19GT, '72 DS21 BVM, '55 15/6H, '54 Lt 15,'73 Dyane, '82 Visa Super X, with Chrono Mecs & factory AC, 1972 SM.

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Hi Jerry,

    Just wondering what sort of fuel consumption you get with you 5 litre Commodore?

    Best regards,

    Greg
    I mostly use it in country running. The best is around 9.5/100k and the overall consumption sits around 10.9-11.1/100k. Not really too shabby given the capacity of the engine. Plus it will tow quite a sizeable load ( at greatly elevated consumption figures ----around 17's)
    It has now travelled 235,000k and still runs extremely well although it could do with a new seal on the trans input!
    Cheers Gerry

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