Nice ride, but TOO unreliable and costly
I have a Citroen C5 2001, 210bhp. The initial posts comments have been in many ways mirrored by my experience. As a long distance and heavy driver I spend a lot of time in a car and wanted one that was comfortable. The C5 is certainly that. When everything is working the C5 is one of the most comfortable rides I have ever experienced.
The problem is that most of the time everything is not working. Intermittent “ESP\ASR Fault” is frequently displayed and apparently almost impossible to fix as it remains after 2 years and numerous attempts to fix it. (which included replacement of both front suspension legs, due to leakage)
Anti pollen faults are also popular.
My rear passenger side door no longer opens and the rear drivers side door only opens from the inside. I was told at the dealership that this was a common fault with an “actuator” and they get around 10 in every week. If it is this common one wonders why Citroen has never remedied it. But at the potential cost of up to £800 to fix the door that will not open at all, well maybe economic greed prevailed.
Much of everything to do with the car is controlled by the on board computer, and so the computer needs resetting or updating with most of the work done on this car. At my local Dealership they were charging a minimum of £200, up to £400 just to reset the computer with someone else doing the work, and not including their own labour time to do this. However I found another dealership who only charged the time it took to reset it and do the work. (I installed a JVC MP3 player, still running it off of the steering wheel stalk controls. After I had done this the central locking no longer worked on the car. Apparently the computer needed reprogramming to accept the new stereo. The local dealership quoted me an initial £200 fee, with labour on top expecting it to take an hour or two to reset it. However another dealership in a nearby city installed it (I had taken it back out so I could lock the car) and reprogrammed the computer for a total cost of under £74.)
At an average of every 60,000 miles an anti-pollutant that feeds into the exhaust part of the engine runs out, needs refilling. The trouble is this cannot be refilled at all and so needs replacing instead. I am told the part alone costs £800, and that the engine needs to be taken out in order to replace it. However one mechanic at the dealership stated that it does nothing to effect car performance and is just environmentally friendly. Without this the emissions still fall with in legal limits and so he advised I simply ignore this which is what he does with his own.
My most recent problem stated battery Recharge fault, and shortly afterwards everything electric failed with faults for ABS, ESP/ASR, all airbags, brakes, speedometer failed, and every electrical display died. This has only just occurred, so I dread to think what this one will end up costing me.
In short I purchased this car in 2003, and in the 3 years I have had it I have paid out twice the cost of purchasing the car trying to address and fix numerous recurring faults. It should be noted that most parts required can only be obtained from dealerships and seem close to extortionate when compared with similar items for a Vauxhall of Ford car.
Nice ride, but unreliable and very expensive to maintain.
It seems with my C5 that it costs twice as much to keep it running as it does to actually buy it. But after spending so much to fix it, I'm reluctant to then take a loss and get a reliable banger. But when is it much too much?
The comments and responses from the mechanics and other service representatives seemed to imply that all my problems are common Re-occurrences that they receive every day. The explanation as to why faults remained after supposedly been repaired, or just reoccurred after a few months, seemed to be given in the bored monotone of someone who has repeated the same information time and time again. This totally demoralised me in terms of its reliability across the whole C5 range.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 26th March, 2006