Road Test on new C5
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  1. #1
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Road Test on new C5

    A French guy sent a road test/comparison into one of the mailing lists I'm on.
    His main comparison is between the new Citroen C5, Renault Laguna & his "old" XM. I don't think he is a journalist or motoring writer & his personal honest opinion is very interesting. For the record, he bought the new C5 for 40 DM

    Hope you enjoy.


    Alan S


    Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 10:23 PM
    Subject: [Citroen-L] I drove a C5 and bought one


    Dear listfolk,

    Last friday I made a short test drive in a CitroŽn C5 2.2 HDi SX from the
    local CitroŽn dealer.

    Just for comparison and out of curiousity (and because I think that it
    looks great) I made a test drive in a Renault Laguna Grandtour (Break or
    Estate) 1.9 dCi (107 HP) directly after that. I drove exactly the same
    route of about 40 kms on rural roads with both cars. And afterwards I drove
    the the same route again with our 1989 XM 2.0i (170.000 kms on the
    odometer).

    Now before someone might think that I'll give you a perfect comparison of
    the three cars please consider the following :
    1) I'd consider myself a good driver (who doesn't ?) who likes to drive too
    fast on (narrow) curvy rural (and sometimes bumpy) roads (from which we
    have enough around here) but who doesn't really like to drive real fast on
    the autobahn unless its almost empty (i.e. I'm not one of those persons
    that wants to drove 200 km/h on the autobahn when there is much trafic all
    going at around 120 km/h, nor am I the kind of guys that performs
    acceleration races at the lights).
    2) I find it difficult to compare the behaviour of two cars on a certain
    road when there is an hour or so between experiencing the two cars.
    3) I've been driving DS's the last 12 years (apart from the last 4 years
    and some winter cars the DS's were my main cars) and driving XM the last 4
    years so I like and am accustomed to comfortable and relatively
    underpowered or slow big cars.
    4) Our XM is worn out (front axle) and noisy (slightly worn exhaust and
    noisy and unworthy 2.0i engine).

    That being said I found the C5's 2.2 HDi engine (133 HP !!, our XM has 121
    HP, the DS19 84 HP) very impressive and much more powerfull (off course)
    than the XM engine (only 10 HP difference) and the Renault 1.9 cDi engine
    (26 HP difference). My *impression* was that the performance of the XM and
    Laguna was not that much different.

    Because of the C5's powerfull and pretty silent 2.2 HDi engine, one is
    driving 160 km/h in no time and without really realising it until the next
    bend in the road appears. But then there is a (ungood) surprise, the C5
    handling in narrow bends at (too) high speeds in the road left me with an
    almost unsecure feeling ! The Laguna did better, but both the C5 and the
    Laguna definitively handled less good than our old XM !

    I'm not sure why this is so. Somebody will probably say that it is because
    the C5 is higher then the XM, resulting in a higher center of gravity, but
    since we are only talking about a few centimeters here (diff. in height)
    the effect can't be that much. I suspect that the C5's self steering rear
    axes is causing this, but I'm not sure because I have nothing to compare
    and don't know enough about car suspensions.

    Anyway in real narrow 90 degree bends at 70 km/h or so the XM just goes
    where you tell it to go, the C5 however seems to make strange movements
    with its rear (the Laguna also but to a lesser extent).
    Also in longer but faster (120 km/h) bends (we are still talking curvy
    rural roads, not Autobahn) the C5 feels a bit unprecise or swaying maybe.
    The Laguna and XM didn't.
    Now maybe I'm just a poor driver or have to get accustomed to C5 for a
    longer time. Another reason might be that perhaps I was driving 20 km/h
    faster in the C5 than I did in the XM (because I didn't notice the speed as
    a result of the far less noisy engine and the good suspension, and because
    I didn't had the time to look on the tachometer).
    That might have been true for the longer bends, but that was not the case
    for the short, fast 90 degree bends !
    Also I've never ever felt close to unsecure in our XM, but I did feel
    slightly in the C5 a few times.

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    The C5 I drove had Hydractive III+, but I didn't put it in sport mode.
    Maybe I should have done that.

    On the other hand the C5 stays comfortable soft where our old XM switches
    to hard mode. The difference in suspension comfort between the
    (comfortable) Renault and the C5 is clear. The C5 gives you the typical
    floating CitroŽn feeling, which the Renault definitively does NOT give !

    A few other things I noticed :
    The steering of the C5's feels a bit vague and unprecise. I like the
    steering of the XM (and DS) better !

    I did one (simulated) emergency brake. I noticed the ABS working but was
    not impressed with the lenght (or better lack of length) of the braking
    distance (perhaps I was driving faster then I thought I was). Also I had to
    correct the direction the car was going at more then I have to with our XM
    under similar circumstances.

    The seats of the C5 are definitively not good for me (I'm two meters tall).
    There is no way to tilt the seats which is necessary for me to be able to
    sit comfortably. The seats of the Laguna are much better and the seats of
    the XM are close to perfect for me. This should be better in a C5 with
    electrical adjustable seats, because there one can adjust the tilting, but
    the car I drove just had manual seats. I'll try check that soon.
    A good thing about the seats is the fact that the headrests can be adjusted
    to such a height that they are ok for a 2 meter person also. This was also
    the case in the Laguna, but it is not the case for our XM.

    The driving position in the C5 is really a bit higher then in a normal
    berline/limousine. Not as high as in a Mini-Van (Evasion or Picasso) of
    course but it is noticeable and it felt good to me.

    I didn't pay too much attention to the interior, but at first sight I
    couldn't find anything terribly wrong apart from the strange too small
    cupholder left from the steering wheel.

    The spare tyre is in the trunk, not under the trunk ! Stupid ! Also the
    horn "button" is in the steering wheel. Both things just like in any
    ordinary German car, how dissapointing

    I think that the outside design of the C5 is not as bad or ugly or boring
    as a lot of people say. Ok, it's far from spectacular but it has style, and
    it looks better the longer and ofter one looks at it (this is a matter of
    taste of course). The Laguna Grandtour (means Break/Estate) looks very nice
    both outside and inside and I love the key-less-go system (the key is a
    credit card like and size thing that one has to put in a slit in the dash,
    the engines starts and stops by pushing a button !) but I wouldn't be
    surprised if the styling ages fast. I mean that it won't look good anymore
    in a few years. The C5 styling is, typical CitroŽn (also typical Peugeot in
    my eyes) much more "time-less".

    Summarizing things I have to say that I was surpized and dissapointed by
    the handling. Suspension comfort is ok and CitroŽn like. I like both
    interior and exterior. I won't buy a C5 limousine but maybe a Break but
    only if there is a way to have better (tilt) adjustable seats.

    I'll most definitively have another (or two) test drive(s) in a C5. I want
    to drive it on the Autobahn, and I want to drive the 30 km route that I
    drive to work every day. That route is pretty curvy (and very bumpy at some
    places) and I know it very well so that will probably result in a better
    comparison with our old XM.

    I hope the above is of interest to some of you !

    Jint

    Oh yes, the C5 that I bought has the same colour as the one I drove (dark
    green), is only 10.5 cm's long and costed DM 40,- ! A nice 1:43 model car
    from Norev.




    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  2. #2
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Orright,
    If the Frenchman didn't get you all that excited, have a look at this. Julian Marsh is the Editor of the newsletter for the Citroen Car Club of the UK. He has a site called Citroenet & it's the kind of site that even if you drove a Commodore (sorry about the language) you could enjoyably lose yourself for weeks in it.
    He has just done a road test on a C5 also. My only response after seeing both of these down to earth reviews is "excuse me Mr Citroen, but when 'r we goin' to get the C6?"
    Bit of a worry I reckon.

    http://web.ukonline.co.uk/jr.marsh/c5test.html

    Alan S

    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  3. #3
    Local Tyrant gibgib's Avatar
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    Well I enjoyed reading both tests.
    They have changed my initial thoughts on what look to be cumbersome, perhaps a little boring in the look department cars.

    I have heard there are some other road tests that rave about them too.

    I have passed on the link to my dad as well

  4. #4
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by gibgib:
    [B]Well I enjoyed reading both tests.
    They have changed my initial thoughts on what look to be cumbersome, perhaps a little boring in the look department cars.

    I have heard there are some other road tests that rave about them too.

    Here's another brief test which came through from Belguim. This guy is full on Citroen but I haveted his comments as they are comparable to gibgib's thoughts regards looks.
    Still waiting for the C6 which is supposedly Citroen in the old mould. What's that mean; dodgy wiring & rusty bodies ??


    Had the opportunity to testdrive the HDi version.
    Not bad, not bad at all.

    Not really a Xantia anymore, but neither an XM yet.

    Some funy features like split airco for both driver and passenger. A
    call-function for finding it on the parking lot. A speed-excess warning.
    Oil-level in display at startup and automatic lights when dark.

    On cobblestones it drives like a Citroen should and on the highway is
    cruising at 150 not at all unpleasant.

    But a bit too big and bulky to my liking.

    cu,
    Erwin O'
    Kontich/Antwerp/Belgium
    www.reKup.net/blackattack


    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  5. #5
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    It will be interesting to drive the C5 when it arrives here in in July, I'm hearing strange things about the car, that in my view moves it another step away from the vehicles we know and love. If Citroen is true to form the second or third release will have most of the bugs ironed out... remember the first CX's to hit Aus. certainly not the vehicle to suit our roads and climate, but I would gladly own and have owned the later models. I'm becoming very interested in post '94 XM's I guess a few of these will start to appear as they are traded on the C5. The poor old XM gets some bad press, again mostly because of the first batch to arrive here, but I think it may become the last real Citroen. Have any of you first hand experience with owning, driving, servicing ect. of later model XM's and any that might be coming up for sale.
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Dťesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Dťesse 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 Dťesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

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

  6. #6
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Here's the latest regarding the future of the C-5 from Julian Marsh. It is a press release I got on my e-mail this morning.
    Sounds as though PSA are starting to see the light & getting a bit more innovative than they have in recent times but - when they say "steering by wires" do they mean like 'electronic' type steering - I mean - like - Citroen wiring and the word 'steering' in the one sentence

    Alan S


    My sources have confirmed that tomorrow, at Frankfurt, the C5 Carlsson
    Break will be shown.

    Engine mods lift power to 235 bhp, suspension has been remapped and there
    is a body kit.

    Also there will be a new concept car called the C Crosser - a 4 x 4 with 4
    wheel steer sports utility vehicle that can be changed, Pluriel
    fashion, from a six seat sports utility vehicle into a semi-roadster or
    pick-up - has drive by wire - no steering column or pedals Hydractive 3
    suspension, automatically increases ground clearance by 60 mm and
    suspension travel of some 150mm.

    The Xsara T4 World Rally Championship rally car will be on show too.

    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

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