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Road Test: Citroen C5 3.0 HDI V6 Exclusive 4dr Auto (2009-2012)

£28,800 when new
Road test score

Car specifications

Brake horsepower
Fuel consumption
0–62 mph
Max speed
Insurance Group


This C5 is the most powerful Citroen ever built. This may appear to be an excellent Pub Fact, but, should you ever become the proud owner of this C5, you must never repeat this fact in any pub. Because it will give people the mistaken impression that your new car is in some way sporty.

The most powerful Citroen ever is not sporty. It is, if anything, anti-sporty. It is quick - packing the same 237bhp V6 turbodiesel as in the Peugeot 407 Coupe and Jaguar XF, it’ll flatten 60mph in under eight seconds, with all the in-gear acceleration you’ll ever realistically need - but it boasts all the nimble athleticism of, say, Stephen Fry in a pair of tartan slippers.

That isn’t meant as a criticism. This is a relaxing, wafty saloon: the diesel is beautifully smooth and low-end lazy, while the steering is lighter than a helium mousse. It’s only available with Citroen’s posh ‘Hydractive’ pneumatic suspension, which absorbs bumps with C6-esque calmness. There’s decent grip but it feels strangely improper to chuck the C5 around, like forcing the slipper-clad Mr Fry into press-ups.

OK, £27,000 is a meaty list price, but you get masses of kit and lots of posh leathery stuff. If you’re looking for sheer cruisability - without the sporting pretension of the German diesel saloons - this, the most powerful Citroen ever, is worth a look. Just don’t mention the ‘most powerful Citroen ever’ bit.

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