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Citroen C5 Tourer 2.2 HDi Exclusive review

We drive Citroen's C5 Tourer 2.2 Exclusive to see if its load lugging abilities match its handsome looks.

"The C5 Tourer brings a little style to this old skool market segment"

What is it?
In a car market full of niches, the Citroen C5 Tourer is refreshingly old skool - it’s a big, traditional estate car. But while the idea isn’t particularly groundbreaking, the big Citroen certainly brings plenty of style and even a little Gallic flair to this market sector

What’s it like on the outside?
The C5 Tourer is a big car. This is most obvious in length, where its 4,829mm (plus the optional towbar fitted to my test car) means that the Tourer tends to stick out of parking spaces like a tall person’s feet stick out the end of a bed. That said, the C5 is still a handsome beast. It’s the same as the C5 saloon at the front (so attractive in a sort of slightly Germanic way) but the Touer’s gently arching roofline, shoulderline that sweeps up at the back and neatly designed taillights mean that the C5 looks a bit classier than the equivalent Mondeo.

What’s it like on the inside?
Up front, my Exclusive spec C5 Tourer had some comfy leather chairs, which made the 1,100 miles I covered in the car pass by in total comfort. The dash looks good too, with its chrome flashes and piano black trim. I’m still not sure about the splattering of tiny buttons that control the satnav and heater though. The steering wheel’s centre boss doesn’t move, which take s a bit of getting used to. Fewer buttons, a better satnav and dials which are easier to read would be welcome.

In the back, there’s loads of room, and, as you’d expect from a big estate car, the C5’s electrically powered tailgate reveals a large 505-litre boot. Fold the rear bench flat and this grows to 1,462 litres. It’s less cavernous than a Mondeo’s, but is still plenty big enough to swallow all that a family holiday could throw at it. Neat touches in the luggage area include a 12V power socket, a number of hidden cubbyholes and a rechargeable torch which doubles as the boot light.

What’s it like to drive?
The C5 Tourer is superbly refined. The acoustic glass insulates the cabin from wind and road noise well. The torquey 2.2-litre engine offers decent poke and is connected to a slick six-speed gearbox. Economy suffers in town because of the Tourer’s 1,765kg weight though.

The Tourer’s party piece is its Hydractive 3+ suspension which offers sublime long-distance comfort and an excellent ride. Bodyroll is pronounced in tighter corners though, and the steering is light and pretty numb, but the overall experience is satisfying as you waft along, cocooned from the outside world.

Verdict
The C5 Tourer doesn’t break new ground, it doesn’t offer a particularly focussed driving experience and it isn’t even the biggest load lugger in its class. But the Tourer is excellent value, its ride is second to none in its class and I reckon it looks good too. If you don’t need a full seven-seater, the C5 Tourer is worth considering.

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Car Specs - Citroen C5 Tourer 2.2HDi Exclusive

Engine:2.2-litre diesel, 173hp
0-62mph:10.4 seconds
Top speed:134mph
Economy/emissions:42.8mpg/175g/km CO2
Price/On sale £23,995/Now

We rate:
Classy looks
Decent diesel engine
Brilliant ride

We slate:
Tiny dash switches
Body roll
Sat nav isn't great

Rating: Image removed.

By Tom Phillips

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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