After taking delivery of the car, it soon became apparent that something was wrong with the gear change. It was very clunky in the lower gears, and wouldn't lock-up at all.
Over a three week period (mostly spent at the dealers), the dealer tried replacing the transmission fluid, valve body and transmission wiring loom.
Net result was zero improvement. Finally the dealer re-flashed the software on the ECU and some improvement was made. It was not nearly as clunky, and it now locks-up OK.
It's not perfect mind, but it's acceptable for now. I've been too busy with a new family addition to take it up with the dealer again.
Other than that, in just 4,000 miles I've also had problems with one of the headlamp washer jets not returning after use (so it sticks out by 2" until I flick it back by hand), some of the seatbelts no longer reel in automatically and have to be fed by hand, the boot lid doesn't open fully without being pushed by hand to the top and there seems to be a leak through one of the rear door seals.
Apart from that, it's been fine...
No, hang on, one more fault, the driver's seat has a small amount of free-play in it, so that when you accelerate or brake hard, the seat moves a little.
But apart from THAT, it's been fine...
Actually no, there's one more thing, the back brakes squeal horribly sometimes, a known fault stretching right back to the BX. Liberal application of copper grease has helped somewhat.
Oh, and because the car was ex-motability, the previous owner had fitted a crane hoist in the boot, so I spent some time patching the holes in the boot floor and wheel arch that had been helpfully left wide open after the hoist had been removed.
When I got the car, the steering wheel was "melted" and the front seats bobbling slightly, but I live with that because I knew about it and used it to negotiate the price lower!
Citroën quality shining through, as you can see! ;)
If, for one minute I could just forget the legion problems with the car, there is much good to say about it.
Firstly, this is the estate model, so it's vast. Thanks to the large rear end and compact Hydractive 3+ suspension, the boot is wide, long and high. Perfect for family duties. The little switch in the boot to raise and lower the boot floor for loading is a neat touch, as is the tailgate window that opens separately to the boot lid itself. So that's good. Laminated side windows and a high ratio for 6th gear ensure near silent motorway cruising; perfect for long trips to see family far away.
The multi-way adjust electric seats are reasonably comfortable, but what on earth were they thinking with the driving position? The steering wheel doesn't extend nearly close enough, so I can either be sat too close for the pedals and have my knees stuck out at strange angles, or I can be sat with my arms stretched out, causing fatigue within minutes. I don't remember having this problem with my old BX years ago.
The car is very well equipped with neat features like proper dual zone climate that has independent air flow directions for each side, as well as temperature controls, a feature not normally seen in this kind of price range. However, some of the features are more trouble than they're worth. The auto wipers are annoying, either going too slowly or too quick. I generally like auto wipers, but not on this car.
And why oh why have Citroën, in all their wisdom, fitted a huge long sunroof, but done it at the expense of a rear interior light? I don't know if you've ever tried buckling up two child seats in the dark when it's pouring with rain, but if you have, try doing it with your eyes closed to get an idea of what it's like attempting it in the back of the C5. I hear the new C5 has C-pillar lights, about time too.
Aside from that, there is some very good news under the bonnet. The 211bhp V6 is a marvel. Quiet and refined in normal pootling about, but take control manually or put it into sport mode and you can really make some very quick progress in this car.
The suspension too is excellent, handling all kinds of bumps and poor surfaces very well indeed, but a quick stab of the sport button and it hardens up, taking almost all the wallow out, and opening the door to a bit of wailing V6 back road fun in 2nd and 3rd gears.
Fuel consumption, as you might expect, is quite high. I'm looking at around 21mpg average in mostly town driving. Out of town I can get mid to high 20s - if I'm sensible. Given how much cheaper to buy this V6 was compared to the diesel with the autobox, which is only 10-15mpg more efficient, I can happily live with the thirst for fuel. I don't do many miles presently, so I don't worry too much about fuel costs.
Would I buy another? Yes maybe. For all its faults it has something special about it. I might consider the new C5, but only in Exclusive trim with Hydractive suspension. I would never buy a Citroën with regular coil suspension (like the new C5 in low-mid spec trims), what would be the point?
The only shame is that the V6 petrol is no longer available, and I'd have to make do with the new V6 diesel, which is a fine engine I'm sure, but will it sound as gorgeous as this one does?