C5, or Xantia part 1.

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MJM
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C5, or Xantia part 1.

Post by MJM » 10 Aug 2014, 20:15

I’ve put this in French car chat, I don’t want to clutter up the Citroen section with my ramblings and I don’t want to start a blog.

Well, I’ve had the C5 for 9 months now and I thought I’d put a few observations down.

A bit of history: - the first Citroen that I can remember riding in was either a DS or an ID. It was back in the late sixties and I cannot remember the model. I can remember thinking two things, though. “Some companies obviously have some strange ideas” and “What a ride”.
About 25 years ago I changed job within the company that I work for and lost my company car. By then I had had enough of Cortinas and Sierra non-turbodiesel estates. The best thing that I can say about them was that they could be guaranteed to reliably break down.
I had seen BXs on the road and thought that they looked ok. A red 16TRS (with the LED tachometer) came up for sale locally so I test-drove it. Within a few hundred yards I was sold on it. I had that car for 3 years. Then a BX GTI for 3 years until I couldn’t resist the lure of a red BX GTI 16 valve. What a pocket rocket! (I’ve still got a starter motor for one if anyone wants it). I had that car for 8 years and hadn’t really thought about changing it until my friend “in the trade” invited me to have a look at a Xantia Exclusive HDI estate. It was lovely inside but I wasn’t totally sold on the looks. The other problems were, it was an estate, it was diesel and it was blue.
We came to an agreement that if he found a metallic red 2-litre petrol hatchback I’d have it. Nothing happened for a couple of months until I was sat in the front room one Sunday and saw this red Xantia hatch drive down the road, turn, and park outside. I was told to “Try this, if you like it, have it, if not I’ll take it back.” I liked it so I had it even though I was still not sold on the looks and still liked the BX.
The Xantia looks grew on me. The general build and finish was much better than the BX and the 2-litre petrol engine was probably the best 4 pot I’ve driven, it pulled like a train and was as smooth as a turbine.
10 years later I was still happy with it. My wife said that it was too big but drove it anyway. I hadn’t really though about changing it until I realised that the new C5 was only available as a saloon or an estate and many didn’t have “proper” suspension. We need a hatchback to accommodate Will, the Border Collie. They are also good for load lugging when needed. I’m not fond of estate cars.
The drawback was that the hatchback models were getting old. I decided that I would not consciously go car hunting but if something suitable cropped up I would go and have a look. But what would be suitable? Well, it would have to be a hatchback, to start with. That means up to 2008 model year. Petrol C5s are few and far between and the C5 is heavier than the Xantia so fuel consumption would be heavier. Diesel was the only fuel option left. It had to be a 2 litre; the 1,6 can be a bit troublesome. That brings the pull clutch and DMF with it in manual form, neither of which I really wanted. So it would have to be an automatic. The 6-speed Aisin box has had good reviews so a diesel auto it had to be. The Xantia was Exclusive trim so the C5 had to be as well. The top end trim level in a used car isn’t really as significantly dearer as when the car is new. The car also had to be red, preferably metallic. Any car that isn’t red is a funny colour to me!
So if a metallic red 2-litre diesel automatic hatchback cropped up locally and I saw it advertised then I’d go and have a look at it. I thought that the chances of that happening were slim so I didn’t get excited about it. The other half also had to get on with an automatic.
It was only about 3 weeks later when I happened to see an advert for a metallic red C5 for sale at a local dealer. It also turned out to be a 2-litre diesel automatic exclusive hatchback. It was a C5II, 2007 and very low mileage with regular annual services.
The other half said that it was too big so we bought it.

This is getting a bit long so I’ll do a part 2 to break it up.

MJM
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Re: C5, or Xantia part 2.

Post by MJM » 10 Aug 2014, 20:17

So, what is a C5II like after a Xantia?
These are my thought:-
Styling. The Xantia shape grew on me. I look at one now and it still looks modern. It was the best looking car of its class, in its day. The early C5 I didn’t like at all. The C5II looks better but it still doesn’t look, to me, as classy as the Xantia. It does look better than other cars in its class, though.
Interior. The Xantia was leather. The C5 is Alcantera? In terms of seat comfort and general driving position both cars are similar. The Xantia had a sunroof, the C5 hasn’t. I don’t miss it; the C5 interior is lighter than the Xantia. The C5 has more toys than the Xantia. I like toys.
Performance. It’s hard to directly compare a petrol manual with a diesel automatic. They both go as well as I want. I have got used to the relaxed way that the C5 lopes along and the lack of effort changing gear. It wouldn’t bother me if I had to go back to manual and petrol, or diesel, though. The C5 had to be cost neutral on fuel. The Xantia did 30mpg on average. Diesel is about 5% dearer than petrol so the C5 had to do 32mpg to break even. It’s doing about 40 at the moment so it’s well in. The extra saving will go towards the dearer road tax and insurance.
What is better or worse? The biggest improvement the C5 has is the lights. It’s got the swivelling HID dipped beams and they are the best lights that I have driven with in any car.
I thought that the window switches in the Xantia were better placed than in the C5. The clock disappears with the ignition off in the C5, it stayed visible in the Xantia. It was handy to look through the window of it when mowing the lawn to see the time. I have sub-contracted the lawn mowing to my wife so the problem has disappeared.
The overall ride comfort in the C5 is the same as the Xantia. I think the ride is a bit harder but the seats work well with the suspension to give the same effect. It feels more nose heavy and doesn’t turn into bends as well as the Xantia. I’ve adapted my driving to suit.
Some interior features in the C5 are not as good as the Xantia. All the electric gubbins under the seat were hidden by trim in the Xantia but are visible in the C5.
I could list a few more differences but this could turn into a book!
There is much more “technology” in the C5, fap filter, brake assist, stability control etc. It’s the way the world is going, really. I think that you either accept it or worry about it. I can remember people worrying about electronic ignition, fuel injection etc but we coped with it so I don’t worry about it now. I’ve armed myself with a Lexia so we’ll see what happens.

Overall I like the C5. It’s growing on me. It’s a solidly built, roomy very comfortable car. A good follow on model from the Xantia.

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daviemck2006
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C5, or Xantia part 1.

Post by daviemck2006 » 10 Aug 2014, 22:22

It sounds like you have my nearly perfect C5. I have a 2007 2.0hdi manual in vtr trim in white. The only car I would change it for would be an exclusive auto in red, but I would like black leather to go with it. I'm not worried about dmf dpf Eolys or anything else. When they need attention they shall get attention. I've never had a xantia and only had a very short drive of 2, an hdi and an activa, so I can't comment on which is a better car, but I would say that the xantia has better looks in hatch form, but C5 is better as an estate. The c5 II is a big improvement in front end looks but the rear is poorer. The lights, mine has the hid lights too, must have been an option when the car was new, are magic on the country roads we have up here.

Northern_Mike

Re: C5, or Xantia part 1.

Post by Northern_Mike » 10 Aug 2014, 22:55

I prefer the C5, I like the MK1 shape, even though some find it pretty horrible, I like the seats, I find the driving position much nicer than a Xantia - the seats *seem* higher up, and the vision is better.

I'd still have an Activa or V6 Xantia though.

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daviemck2006
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Re: C5, or Xantia part 1.

Post by daviemck2006 » 10 Aug 2014, 23:19

Would you try a C5 V6 Mike?

Northern_Mike

Re: C5, or Xantia part 1.

Post by Northern_Mike » 10 Aug 2014, 23:20

daviemck2006 wrote:Would you try a C5 V6 Mike?
Oh for sure, as long as I could get the Lexia on it before I bought it.

Oh, I forgot, the C5 handles and grips so much better than a Xantia.

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daviemck2006
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C5, or Xantia part 1.

Post by daviemck2006 » 11 Aug 2014, 01:14

I think they handle extremely well for such a large car. Mine is a bit slidey at the front just now, but that's down to tyres approaching the end of their life. Another month or so and they will be changed. I have new and nearly new waiting on the standard wheels to go on.

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NewcastleFalcon
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Re: C5, or Xantia part 1.

Post by NewcastleFalcon » 11 Aug 2014, 06:42

MJM wrote: So it would have to be an automatic. The 6-speed Aisin box has had good reviews so a diesel auto it had to be.
As a bit of preventitave maintenance I would recommend seeing if your transmission fluid is still nice and red and smells nice. The boxes are supposedly filled for life, but have an internal filter, only accessible by removing the entire box. My Aisin Warner six speed is fitted to a Vauxhall, but the same box is used across a whole range of manufacturers inc Peugeot, Citroen, Ford, Volvo, Mazda, Opel, Vauxhall, Saab, Cadillac, Fiat, Renault, Alfa Romeo & Land Rover.

regards Neil