Citroën C5

The Citroën C5 is a large family car produced by the French manufacturer Citroën since early 2001. The C5 replaced the Citroën Xantia in the large family car class.

First generation

The first generation C5 is available as a five-door liftback or station wagon. Unlike its predecessors, the C5 is a liftback with a three-box design and a hatch. This form actually disguises the hatch, so Citroën has completely reversed the design philosophy from the fastback sedan era of Robert Opron. Power comes from by 1.8 and 2.0-litre straight-4 and 2.9-litre V6 petrol engines as well as 1.6, 2.0 and 2.2-litre direct injection diesel engines.

The C5 is the last Citroën developed under the chairmanship of Jacques Calvet (1982-1999), a period which saw the marque's historically distinctive design and engineering brand erode markedly. The C5 had a further development of Citroën's hydropneumatic suspension, now called Hydractive 3. The major change with this system was the use of electronic sensors to replace the mechanical height correctors seen in all previous hydropneumatic cars. This allowed the suspension computer to automatically control ride height: at high speed the suspension is lowered to reduce drag and at low speeds on bumpy roads the ride height is raised. Manual control of ride height was retained, though it was overridden by the computer if the car was driven at an inappropriate speed for the selected height. Certain cars also featured the computer controlled ride stiffness seen on the Xantia and XM.

In a major break with Citroën tradition, the brakes and steering were no longer powered by the same hydraulic system as the suspension. It has been speculated that the primary driver for this was the cost of developing electronic brake force distribution for the system when the PSA Group already had an implementation for conventional brakes. Another factor may be the highly responsive nature of Citroën C5 brakes, which some have found hard to adjust to on other hydropneumatic cars, though it is felt by some to be superior. It can be scary for a C5 driver used to the instant reactions of an older hydropneumatic car to drive another vehicle and find an inch of pedal travel before any significant braking is achieved.

In 2004, the C5 underwent a major facelift (new front and rear ends; same centre section) to bring it into line with the look of the new Citroën C4. The liftback was lengthened from 4618 mm (181.8 in) to 4745 mm (186.8 in) and the station wagon from 4755 mm (187.2 in) to 4840 mm (190.6 in). Also this new version got swivelling directional headlights.

The Hydractive suspension improves ride quality and keeps the car leveled and can enable the car to drive on three wheels if one tire is flat. The suspension is derived from the Hydropneumatic suspension used in the 1950’s Citroën DS. Variations in height using the Hydractive suspension range up to in the front and in the back.

The turbo power originates form two fixed turbochargers of identical size. Each of these can supply half the air input required to give the engine more power. Fuel mileage is 8.1 litres/100km - this was received from city and highway driving. The side windows are laminated to reduce noise from passing cars.

Engine specifications

Engine Displacement Power Torque Top speed 0-62.5 mph (100 km/h)
1.7 L EW7 I4 1749 cc (106 in³) @ 5500 rpm @ 4000 rpm 122 mph (196 km/h) 11.1
1.7 L EW7 I4 with automatic 1749 cc (106 in³) @ 5500 rpm @ 4000 rpm 122 mph (196 km/h) 11.3
2.0 L EW10 I4 1997 cc (121 in³) @ 6000 rpm @ 4100 rpm 129 mph (208 km/h) 9.8
2.0 L EW10 I4 HPI 1997 cc (121 in³) @ 6000 rpm @ 4000 rpm 130 mph (209 km/h) 9.6
2.0 L EW10 I4 VVT 1997 cc (121 in³) @ 6000 rpm @ 4000 rpm 130 mph (210 km/h) 9.1
2.9 L ES9 V6 2946 cc (179 in³) @ 6000 rpm @ 3750 rpm 144 mph (232 km/h) 9.7
2.9 L ES9 V6 VVT 2946 cc (179 in³) 211 hp (155 kW) 143 mph (230 km/h) 8.6
1.6 L DV6 HDi diesel I4 1560 cc (95 in³) @ 4000 rpm @ 1750 rpm 118 mph (190 km/h) 11.3
2.0 L DW10 HDi diesel I4 1997 cc (121 in³) @ 4000 rpm @ 1900 rpm 112 mph (180 km/h) 13.1
2.0 L DW10 HDi diesel I4 1997 cc (121 in³) @ 4000 rpm @ 1750 rpm 119 mph (192 km/h) 11.3
2.0 L DW10 HDi diesel I4 1997 cc (121 in³) @ 4000 rpm @ 2000 rpm 127 mph (204 km/h) 9.8
2.2 L DW12 HDi diesel I4 2179 cc (132 in³) @ 4000 rpm @ 2000 rpm
2.2 L DW12 HDi diesel I4 2179 cc (132 in³) @ 4000 rpm @ 1750 rpm

Second generation

The second generation C5 was officially unveiled in October 2007, and it does not retain the liftback body style, now being a regular, three box saloon, albeit of a striking aerodynamic shape. The estate version was released in May 2008.

Engine Displacement Power Top speed 0-62 mph Economy (mpg) CO2 Emissions (g/BIK)
1.8 L I4 1749 cc 11.0 35.8 188/24%
2.0 L I4 1997 cc 9.7 33.6 198/26%
1.6 L diesel I4 1560 cc 12.2 50.4 149/19%
2.0 L diesel I4 1997 cc 10.6 47.1 157/21%
2.2 L diesel I4 2179 cc 9.2 43.5 172/24%
2.7 L diesel V6 2679 cc 8.9 33.6 223/34%

External links

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