Recently tested a C5 HDi 90hp estate demo for one week. I've driven a Xantia 2.0HDi 110hp hatch for two years.
C5: more space (lots), gutless (90hp engine at 1 000 miles = "couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding"), suspension OK, very unstable at motorway speeds, particularly in crosswinds .... scary. Seats uncomfortable. The 136 hp HDi engine must be the one to go for in the C5, but the car would still be unstable at speed. Lots of toys including beeping as you reverse into the car behind.
Xantia: restricted leg space in the front, 110hp HDi very good at 85 000 miles, 50 mpg plus excellent torque (the Jag convertible driver at the lights in Regent St at 0800 hrs on a Saturday morning was very upset .... street racing in an HDi Xantia .... no this can't be possibly be true??) Seats OK but nowhere near Mark 2 Granada (but what is?). Handling can be good (better than C5) but gets confused on long curves (eg slip onto M11 southbound from M25). Stable at speed including 100mph plus on continent with 3x cycles on the back .... 30 mpg at that speed .... thought gauge was faulty .... still frequently passed by the French cruising at 110 mph plus. Citroens definitely prefer French diesel.
Mid-range "grunt" outstanding, power at low revs also good. Two front spheres required at 80 000 miles ... strangely just after LHM fluid change. Boot space small, Xantia estate a better choice. Where did Citroen go wrong with the C5? If the stability is sorted (more down force on the front... front air dam? Steering geometry?) and seats improved then I'll (probably) buy HDi 2.2 SX estate but if not then a two year old Xantia (for the family) plus a Caterham (for me) is a distinct possibility.
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- Donor 2016
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- My Cars: 2010 Citroen C5-X7 tourer
1998 Citroen Saxo 1.5D
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1998 Peugeot 306
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