First a little heads up. I posted in the C4 Picasso section a comment about leasing a C4 Picasso in may 2007 for about 2 months. Then, when the car had to be upgraded to C5 Break I promised a follow up in the right section. So here it comes.
I got the car brand new through the Citroen buy back program which is available to outside EU tourists.
The car was brand new and behaved admirably. I have heard about reliability issues with the brand however I cannot find a serious fault on my C5 Break. And the customer service was great.
I drove through various conditions, from rainy German autobahns to muddy Danube shores going through narrow French city streets and parking lots and also bumpy roads in the Eastern Europe.
All in all, the car worked great. As a a matter of fact it just worked. The only thing that proved too much for it was the excessively bumpy segment on an Eastern European highway. I will not mention the country's name since the quality of that road was the exception to the rule in that case and the route could not have been avoided. Anyway the plastic shield below the car broke and finally went to pieces about 500 clicks later on a highway driving at 160 km/h. I guess it was the excessive airflow that finally ruptured it.
Other than this detail the only other thing that bothered me, and again it is a minor one, was the way I started to get numb after sitting in the chair for more than 2 hours straight. Yeah, I'm picky, but only because I'm used to chairs form a Grand Marquis. Apples and oranges I know, but there you have it.
The Citroen dealer in Regensburg, Germany was very helpful with the initial visit. Even if they spoke no word of French (the papers were in French) they did their best to accommodate me and did the the initial revision on the car without a problem.
Other words that might define the car: roomy by European standards, highly maneuverable, safe, silent, comfortable, steady. Oh, and also the automatic gearbox is no sport enthusiast's dream, but then again it's not supposed to be. This is a family car that only lacks a 4x4 option, but I guess there's not much call for that in Europe. Canadian winters require it though so if Citroen plans on crossing the Atlantic they should consider a 4x4 option on their cars.
So to sum it all up, this car did about 9000 km in 50 days on all kinds of roads and didn't even break a sweat.