The new Citroen C5 would be a big leap forward, promised Citroen of its all-new saloon and estate models. So much so, the new range would be near-premium, and an advertising campaign proclaiming the new C5 to be ‘reassuringly German’, albeit ‘Made in France’ was duly launched.
Quite a reputation to live up then and first impressions back Citroen up all the way. In both guises, the C5 looks sleek, high-end and a much-changed car from the previous models.
The C5 Tourer, in particular, looks the part of the premium estate from the outside – remarkably for a large estate it looks sleek and elegant.
The interior, decked out in leather in Exclusive trim, looks sumptuous and comfortable.
Comfort, of course, is something Citroen has built a reputation on, with all those whacky pneumatic suspensions from the 80s. While the rising and lowering suspension is gone, the magic carpet has not. Acoustic sound and heat reflecting front windscreen ensure that spending time in the Tourer is not taxing, but rather pleasant.
The C5 Tourer is supremely comfortable; a machine made for transporting families and their belongings in comfort. It won’t handle like the Citroen DS3, and the electronic power steering is built with ease of use in mind, but it’s a far more serene vehicle that will handle as well as it needs to.
A responsive, quiet 2.0-litre HDi diesel engine provides plenty of grunts, but it will return smooth motorway miles with the economy – which is surely where the Citroen C5 Tourer will spend most of its time. Towing weight go up to 1,800kg with the 138hp diesel engine our test model was equipped with too.
Where the C5 Tourer excels, and what it’s designed for, is in providing plenty of room for passengers and luggage, and transporting the former in comfort. Passengers will not want for legroom or headroom, while the boot provides 505 litres of space that extends to a huge 1,462 litres.
An electrically-powered tailgate; wing mirrors that fold in when the engine is turned off; cruise control; a multi-function steering-wheel; Bluetooth; cubby holes; parking sensors; air conditioning; adaptive front lighting; automatic electronic parking brake and hill-start assist; electric sockets… They’re all designed to make travelling in the big Citroen estate a more comfortable, more lazy experience.
There’s still the odd quirk in evidence, just to remind you that you’re driving a Citroen. The baffling steering wheel from the C4 – the interior of which stays where it is while the wheel itself turns – is a welcome touch.
The new Citroen C5 Tourer is a long way ahead of the previous model in all regards. It’s a different car entirely, but despite all that talk about German cars, the C5 is still a Gallic car in most respects.
All in all, it’s reassuringly… French.