2003 Citroen C5 SX 2.0HDI 110 from UK and Ireland


Great value for money


Headlamps flicker.

Poor radio reception.

Misaligned front panel.

Sun visor lights not working.

Erroneous airbag fault reported & simultaneous automatic lighting fault. This sorted itself out the next time I started the car.

General Comments:

Overall, I am delighted with the car and having read reviews on earlier models before buying the car, I can report that I do not appear to be experiencing any of the major ones; mind you, I've only had the car for five months and 6k miles...

The faults described above, with one exception, are generally niggles and probably relate to this particular car so I'm confident I can get the dealer to sort them out.

My biggest gripe has been the issue of the lights. The cause of the flickering is, apparently, the hydraulic pump causing a voltage drop. The pump, which is now electric rather than the earlier engine driven versions, is almost constantly cutting in and out and presumably gobbles huge amounts of amps, especially on start-up, and thus starves the rest of the system momentarily. I guess for many people, they either haven't noticed it or else they drive mostly in well-lit areas and don't find it annoying. Personally, I do a lot of driving on very dark lanes and when you are doing speed into a bend I find it extremely distracting to say the least. Citroen will have to sort this out somehow - the problem of smoothing electricity is hardly a new one!

I have had a number of Citroens, finding the suspension to be one of the best when you have to drive poor roads and tracks as I often do and the C5 appears to be the best yet. In particular, the cornering characteristics are much better than the BX and Xantia, and inspire great confidence. The braking system is absolutely superb and if you haven't tried out the EBA yet, then give it a go! The 110Hp diesel has given no problems so far and the new turbo-less injection system way outperforms my 2 litre Xantia; it pulls from lower revs, is smoother throughout the range and is much more economical.

I concur with other reviews about the noise levels which are so low that you have to batten everything down (hence all the little cubbyholes?). The problem is that the slightest crackle on the radio is a real distraction and I have never managed to get really good reception despite the RDS and other systems; the dealer fitted a new aerial head to appease me, but it hasn't made much difference.

This is an extremely good car for the price - especially with the deals around - and I'm already saving to replace it with the bells & whistles version in a couple of years time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th December, 2003

23rd Feb 2004, 13:12

Just a small point of order! The 110 HDI does have a turbo, and an inter-cooler. The 90 horse version doesn't use an inter-cooler. Hope that clears that up!!

8th Mar 2011, 16:25

You get a good one or a bad one, but you don't know when you buy it. Very French. Superb on the motorway, but not great on twisty country roads. Not as economical as German equivalents, but a lot better value and no less reliable. Feels strong and safe. Crap switchgear layout, but very low noise levels and excellent comfort.

9th Apr 2011, 10:01

Extremely comfortable. Surprisingly good to drive - brilliant on a long run. Mine has proven reliable in the three years that I've owned it. Returns around 45mpg. Only gripe is that the front tyres wear very quickly - a pair of Toyo Proxes CF1 lasted about 15 months!

2003 Citroen C5 SX 2.0 petrol from Singapore


An automobile to look forward to driving, time after time


Nothing has gone wrong yet.

The front ashtray seems to have trouble staying shut, so I can't really use it as a viable storage compartment. Fortunately, there are many other storage areas throughout the interior.

The car was delivered with some smudges on the leather trim on the front passenger's door.

I find that if I slam the tailgate too hard, the rear sun-blind is dislodged and retracts.

General Comments:

The university campus in which I work has many speed bumps and regulating strips of varying heights and sizes. in addition, the car-parks are cobbled. I find that I am able to drive over these calming measures with impunity.

Specifically, when the front axle hits the first bump, it hits stiffly because the suspension setting I guess is at a fairly stiff setting since I am at speed. But the system reacts so brilliantly quickly that in the milliseconds of time interval between the front axle hitting that first bump and the rear axle hitting the same bump, I do not feel the rear axle going over that same bump.

By this time, the suspension is set at a more supple setting, so subsequent bumps, regardless of size, are just taken as if they literally aren't there.

I have been so pleased with the way the suspension works in its default mode that I have not tried the 'Sport' setting yet.

The air-conditioner is extremely efficient at cooling the car, even on a hot day.

I am not sure if there is another way to release the fuel filler cap, without having to use my ignition key to unlock it.

I also wish that there was a way to regulate the radio's volume using the steering-wheel-mounted remote. If there is, I haven't found a way yet. It would also be good for the buttons on the remote to be lit at night.

I find the squab on the front seats a little too short for my six-foot frame. On the whole the seats are very comfortable and are set at a suitable height for egressing.

I find that I still need to get used to the eagerness of the gearbox to change down on a trailing throttle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th December, 2003

13th Sep 2004, 06:09

The radio stalk does allow volume adjustment. The two large pads on the reverse face control this. You have to click them several times to have an affect. Each press results in one increment up or down. Holding the pad in will not affect the volume.

16th Oct 2004, 04:22

What a beautifully written review.

Thank you.