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Citroen C6

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Citroen C6
6/10

Overall
verdict

A car to be bought by your heart, not your head.

Additional Info

  • A spaceship that rides on air. Possibly one of the finest oddities that Citroen has ever produced
  • Top Gear wildcard

    Chrysler 300C. Value and road presence in a good American car. The new version, appearing in Europe as a Lancia, is even better.

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What is it?

Citroen’s foray into the large saloon market. Some will argue this is just as much a folly as a foray, but President Sarkozy needs something French to ferry him to official engagements, so why not let Citroen build it. But stop it – we shouldn’t be this cynical. Instead, we should be delighting in the fact that something as epically cool as the C6 actually exists. It oozes class and there are hardly any on the road, so you’ll look very left-field to all your neighbours. There are cheaper and more reliable ways of achieving this, like buying some designer glasses, but few cars out there make such a strong statement about what you, as a person, want people to think of you.

Driving

To start off with, the C6 was offered with a load of different engines. Now, though, you’re limited to just the 3.0-litre V6 diesel. Which is no bad thing, as the petrol was ludicrously thirsty and the 2.7-litre diesel never had quite the punch you’d want. The current 3.0-litre diesel does a good job, though, as it’s reasonably economical (38.7mpg) and clean (190g/km), and not that slow either – 0–62mph in 8.9 seconds. But, and it really is an enormous but, look at the other cars in the class. The BMW 520d, for instance, betters all those economy and CO2 figures by a HUGE margin, and is quicker as well. But it doesn’t waft quite as well as the Citroen. This is a very soft car, one that encourages you to just relax, get there in your own time, and not worry about the world.

On the inside

This is where the Citroen really starts to show its age. Both the design and quality aren’t up to what’s been achieved in more modern cars. It’s the little things that stand out – move the indicator or wiper stalks and there is lateral as well as vertical movement. There’s too much hard plastic on the dash. And sure, you get most of the gadgets available to modern drivers, but in a dash that’s been liberally sprayed with switches. The thing it does well is space–this is a big car. Transporting four adults in the C6 is effortless.

Owning

Honestly, there can’t really be any sensible reasons for buying this car. The long-termer we ran had numerous electrical problems – the dash was quite often caught doing a very reasonable impression of a Christmas tree. But, if you’re prepared to take that risk, there are benefits to the C6. Its 3.0-litre diesel is economical and... Well, that’s about it. At a shade over £40,000, there are loads of cars in this class that are much cheaper, both to buy and run - just have a look at the aforementioned 5-Series. A secondhand one, if you can find one, is the way to go here.

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