I have had this car for two years and I have generally been impressed. I owned a Citroen Synergie previously which was reliable but not a patch on the C8 for size, comfort and overall practicality.
Having four children we really appreciate the space and the kids really enjoy the car. The electric sliding doors are very useful and the interior is generally well-laid out and although the styling is not to everyone's taste, I actually really love its quirky French design.
There is no doubt that the C8 is most at home on motorway runs where it is a refined and comfortable cruiser, but it is also capable around town and its handling belies it size. Whilst the engine is willing, it is also thirsty, especially with the four speed auto/sequential manual box and I struggle to get any more than 31mpg combined.
The only problems we have had have been with the climate control system, which has had to have the fan unit replaced twice. Other minor niggles are with the automatic wipers which only seem to operate at one speed (fast) and the speed-sensitive stereo which does not seem very responsive.
Overall, this is a practical and comfortable MPV with lots of clever touches and it represents excellent value when compared to its rivals - we managed to get £9000 off the list price when we bought it new and that put it in the same price bracket as a standard family hatchback - there really is nothing that comes close at that price.
Although last time I wrote I would not buy a C8 again, I did summer 2005.
After a test with a Galaxy 1.9TDi 115HP at a Peugeot/Ford garage, I was so disappointed by the noise of the TDi motor that I didn't buy that car. Also handling & drive is far of the refined drive of the C8.
I decided to take the risk and buy a 2nd C8, and till now (september 2006, after 60.000km's -40.000 miles?- ) I have no problems anymore. All the child-diseases of the 2003 model are resolved on this one. Yes even the tires are still that good that the fronts will last to 70.000km and the rears will easily last to 100.000km. Also the suspension clearly is smoother again, significant difference with the 2003 model!
Fuel consumption is 7.3l/100km which is about 35mpg - but most of the time quit drives on motorways.
Quality is better: seats are softer and don't break-off anymore, no airbag lamp anymore, as said no excessive tire wear anymore, the grips on the doors outside are grey-painted now and not an aluminium coating which came-off after a time, the back door doesn't touch the rear lights housings anymore at hot outside temperatures, the dash doesn't make noise anymore at very cold outside temperatures, .....
Yesterday I was in the garage for service, and took place in a 2006 model - again in some details you see that they continue to improve the car. It's just a pitty that it was that bad in the beginning - not everyone would buy a 2nd one after bad experiences.... .
I have a new C8 as my company car and after 1000 miles I have grown to really like it. Initially, I was overwhelmed by the size of it after a regular car, but now seem able to hustle it along quite well.
I have the same complaints as everyone else here, as the fuel economy is nowhere near as good as quoted - although my engine is still to loosen up, so it might improve.
At the moment the car's trip computer is showing 32mpg, but that includes a long trip to Gloucestershire. I suspect that the fact I have to use all of the pedal travel to get decent performance is to blame - I'm just glad I pay a set pence per mile.
I also agree with another reviewer on here about the auto wipers. They spend all of their time on extra fast - even when it's just spitting!
I would recommend it to anyone, though - although a Ford S-Max looks so much cooler!
I bought this car new in March 2005, as it was by far the best value large MPV.
It has a lot of nice touches (window blinds, child observation mirrors, plug points, bottle holders etc). The ride and handling are fantastic - as good as any saloon or estate I've driven, even when you throw it around bends when you're on your own. The electric sliding doors are fantastic if you have young kids (you can operate them in five different ways and the kids can't!) and there is a lot of storage space.
I have the same gripes as the others on this site - the quoted fuel economy is a joke. You would be doing well to average more than 33mpg even doing 70mph on the motorway.
Although the interior is nice and bright, using good materials for the seats and dashboard and so on, it's let down by small things, such as the driver's seat lumbar support handle falling off and the lower rear seat trim coming loose. However, it's still better than a new Mercedes, which is my company car.
Also, the cruise control very occasionally refuses to engage - the dealer can't find out why. The removable seats are difficult to fold, remove, and slide around - I'm sure there is a knack to it, but I don't have it. Finally, the centrally mounted speedo takes a bit of getting used to.
However, you only have to have a family picnic in the rain with the front seats facing the rear and the middle seat folded down as a table once to really feel that you made the right choice buying this car.
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