2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Business is bad: from the middle class upwards, private customers are falling further and further away. With the new C5, Citroen is therefore primarily focusing on business customers. That could work.
By Jürgen Wolff
From their own pockets, potential customers today finance at best small new cars - or used ones. In the middle class, fleet customers have already overtaken private customers. Bad for those manufacturers who are not exactly among the classic suppliers of company fleets, where German brands are mainly used. Citroen now wants to change that and with the completely revised C5 on the shopping lists of the fleet managers. "That is the reason," says Citroën spokesman Thomas Albrecht, "why we have put the new C5 on a bit German."
Adjusted to preferences
Although the C5, which is based on the platform and chassis of the C6, corresponds for the most part to the original French version, even in the version sold to Germany - in a few details it was adapted to the preferences of customers on this side of the Rhine. The seats, for example, no longer feel like a recliner, but are tighter and offer more lateral support.
In addition, there is a chassis that skilfully finds the compromise between superior luxury and sporty driving comfort. As usual, Hydractive II + filters out all the adversities of the road. With brisk cornering and load changes, however, the French no longer bounces like a jelly. The hydropneumatics adapts to the road conditions and the driving style of the pilot, automatically hardens the chassis and reduces the side tilt. According to Albrecht, this is also a "recognition of the realities of the German market".
Unlike its somewhat dull predecessor, the new C5 has what it takes to really patch up the German middle class - in terms of comfort and quality, anyway. This is especially true for the station wagons that are called Tourers at Citroen. The star among them is the V6 biturbo HDI with 150 kW / 204 PS. Its price of 37,350 euros is a word - but if you want to buy comparable items for the management fleet elsewhere, you can hardly get it cheaper.
More expensive competition
The Audi A4 Avant 3.0 TDI, for example, costs at least 40,550 euros, you don't even need to think about a BMW 525d Touring under 44,500 euros and a Mercedes C 320 CDI T costs from 41,799 euros upwards. At most the Ford Mondeo can keep up - if you are content with four cylinders.
Even in the production version, the C5 is consistently better equipped than its German competitors. And design, workmanship or materials no longer really make a difference. Anyone who takes a seat in the C5 V6 HDI immediately feels in good hands - with enough free space in front and behind. The seats also fit taller contemporaries and can be comfortably adjusted. However, the seat pad could be a little longer.
The steering wheel - Citroën style with a fixed impact absorber - can be adjusted in two axes. The materials and covers used look high quality and are pleasant to touch. Joints and connections are precisely fitting. As with most other Citroën, the controls take some getting used to and - especially on the steering wheel - quite overloaded.
The cargo space has shrunk
Even as a tourer, the C5 is not a tradesman's station wagon - especially since the cargo space in the new version is even slightly smaller than that of its predecessor. The trunk holds 533 liters with full seating and a space-saving breakdown kit. By folding down the split rear seats, space for up to 1490 liters can be created. This is not a record in the segment - but certainly sufficient for a lifestyle station wagon. The low loading sill makes loading easier - what can only be said to a limited extent about the tailgate: It does not open wide enough and anyone over 1.80 meters in height risks head contact. Also annoying: the floor of the cargo area is structured with smooth plastic rails - this ensures that the load slips.
Anyone who drives the V6 biturbo will also enjoy top-class comfort in terms of performance. The standard 6-speed automatic shifts perfectly and smoothly. The sonorous sounding and unobtrusive V6 diesel pulls through so powerfully and stoically that it is a pleasure. The noise development is low: Citroën has also packed a few kilos more insulation material into the new C5. You can tell from the pressure that the 440 Nm torque, which is only available from 1900 rpm, brings the two-tonner to 100 km / h in less than ten seconds. The end is for the tourer at 222 km / h. On average, however, 8.9 liters of diesel per 100 km are required for so much power.
With the new C5, Citroën will not take the vehicle fleets of German companies by storm - the domestic managers still look too much at the image of established brands. But the way it is now positioned, it should at least have a chance of a good piece of the pie. Especially since the French have put a lot of luxury in the surcharge list, from the lane assistant to the parking space detector to the comfort seat with massage function.