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.
If your car budget doesn’t stretch to a German estate then the C5 offers an interesting alternative to the everyday Ford Mondeo, VW Passat and Vauxhall Insignia.
While it may not be as much of an all-rounder as those three favourites, the Citroen is a load-lugger that at least looks different and gets kudos points for sleek styling.
Th problem with the top of the range Executive we have on test right now is that costing £30,000, it comes very close to costing as much as premium brand offerings from Mercedes, BMW and Audi.
However, the C5 Tourer is much more roomy inside than any of those rivals, with better leaf and headroom front and rear.
So, you pay your money and make your choice. Personally, I’m loving the C5 Tourer because it is just that little bit different. Would I rather have a Ford Mondeo on the driveway? What do you think!
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…
I can’t help it – I like estate cars. They carry stuff around and I like practical, sometimes. Except these days they call them Tourers and Avants, which seems to make no sense at all.
The latest C5 is no exception but at least it now looks the part, with sleek lines and a huge interior that swallows up people and luggage.
It’s true that Citroen secondhand values may not be as good as German marques but you are getting a whole lot of car for your money in the first place.
The C5 is fully equipped, with air suspension, excellent seats and every gizmo going on the Exclusive model.
Are you going to choose a £30,000 French estate over a BMW or an Audi? Let’s see how we get on in the week ahead…