Used Citroën C5 Estate 2001 - 2008 review

Category: Estate car

The vast space and smooth, adjustable suspension are real attractions, but the heavy depreciation could be a worry

Citroën C5 Estate (01 - 08)
  • Citroën C5 Estate (01 - 08)
  • Citroën C5 Estate (01 - 08)
Used Citroën C5 Estate 2001 - 2008 review
Star rating

What's the used Citroën C5 estate like?

It's a big, smooth cruiser with more load space than you'll find in most rivals. And, the adjustable suspension, which lets you lower the car when loading, is a real help.

There's loads of room and a good view out for every passenger, and they'll be comfortable, to, thanks to the gas-filled spheres that do the work of the springs and dampers you'll find in other cars to produce a floaty ride. You'll hear the wheels as they thump into potholes but won't feel a thing.


The vast space and smooth, adjustable suspension are real attractions, but the heavy depreciation could be a worry

  • The C5 has a super-smooth ride, lots of space
  • and adjustable ride height
  • The unconventional suspension can prove costly, and the steering lacks much feel

Wind and road noise, too, is kept out, creating a wonderfully hushed cabin as you glide along. The diesel engines are quiet and powerful, although the 1.8 petrol makes some noise.

Corner the car enthusiastically, though, and the amount it rolls will be alarming at first. To be fair, it grips well, although you may not feel comfortable as it does, and the steering's lack of feel doesn't help.

Ownership cost

What used Citroën C5 estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Citroën C5 estate?

The C5 loses value rapidly from new, making the C5 potentially a bargain by its second or third birthday. However, it has the potential to put a big dent in your bank balance as it gets older.

Reliability is poor and the C5 also needs a suspension overhaul after five years. Main-dealer prices for servicing are competitive, but it's doubtful whether switching to a back-street garage to save money would be as wise as if you owned a Ford or Vauxhall - spares aren't dear, but the complex electrics and suspension could jack up repair costs.

Insurance costs are average: the 1.8 and 1.6 diesel are cheapest and in group 8, the 2.0 diesel and petrol are group 9 or 10 and the 3.0, group 14. Fuel economy is good - up to 52mpg for the 1.6 diesel and 47mpg for the 2.0. The 1.8 petrol manages up to 35mpg, the 2.0 up to 32mpg and the 3.0 29mpg.

Our recommendations

Which used Citroën C5 estate should I buy?

Go for a model from after 2004, when the C5 had a facelift that improved the looks of the original car, as well as boosting kit levels and addressing some of the car's reliability problems (see 'What to look out for'). Then pick a diesel.

The 1.6 is the smallest available, and its 110bhp is strong, but the 136bhp 2.0 diesel is the better all rounder.

If neither suits, the 2.0 petrol is reasonable, but the 1.8 struggles when the car is laden. Also avoid the 3.0 V6 - it's thirsty and dear to insure.

Entry-level LX trim is loaded with kit, but move up to Design if you want alloy wheels and rear electric windows. The sporty VTR or top-trim Exclusive are worth considering, providing you pay only a couple of hundred pounds extra.

When it was new, the car could be fitted with cutting-edge extras including a device to rouse a sleepy driver should the car wander across lanes, but we have rarely seen it on a used C5.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Citroën C5 estate?