Citroen C5 Tourer – Undone By Buttons

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Today Volvo revealed that their new XC90 will feature a dashboard that is virtually devoid of buttons.The new model is launched later this year and has a tablet-like touch screen, a head-up display and only a couple of thumb buttons on the steering wheel.

The idea is brilliant and SUV owners everywhere will look on with envy. However, such ground-breaking technology is bound to send a shiver down the spine of the design team at Citroen because I’m not sure I have ever seen a car with as many buttons as the C5.

Just take a look at that steering wheel – it has more buttons to press than the entire dashboard of the new XC90! It’s actually rather intimidating when you sit int he Citroen for the first time.

These two cars are polar opposites in terms of driver controls. Personally, I’d choose something in-between because driving any car, you should always pick function over form.

Citroen C5 Tourer – The Large Lap of Luxury

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Is there something about the French I don’t know? I lived in the Tarn for two years and I thought I had a pretty good idea of their driving habits – so why the heck doesn’t the C5 have a cupholder?

You only discover these things at the last moment, usually when you have just bought a takeaway coffee and suddenly realise there is nowhere to slot it in safely. Hmm, risk holding it between the knees, or will it stay upright in the centre console bin? Probably not…

Hang on, here it is! The cupholder for the C5 is situation inside the console bin, and even then you have to search to find it. A pop up arm is folded down inside and holds my cup beautifully. Just an odd place to put it, don’t you think?

Driving the big Citroen is like taking an armchair for a ride. It’s super comfortable, refined and rather chic. I just wish the French didn’t have to be quite so quirky with their product…

 

 

Citroen C5 Tourer – Driving With Frank Sinatra

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Citroen calls it Hydractive 3+ suspension. It’s not standard in every C5 Tourer but on our Exclusive estate it makes for the most comfortable ride of any car I’ve driven this year.

That’s on a smooth, fast duel carriageway. On winding A-roads, the suspension doesn’t quite live up to expectation. It feels fidgety and doesn’t cope with a rough surface in the same impeccable manner.

The Exclusive is exceptionally well equipped inside the cabin though, with part-leather trim and electric front seats. I still can’t get on with electronic park brakes and I’m not entirely sure interior mood lighting is required. Does it flash red for road rage?

And further extending the unnecessary names for features, the sat nav system is called eMyWay. Or Mancunian for a northern pub singer doing Frank Sinatra…