I’ve avoided writing about Citroen as much as possible. But here it is, just like those family gatherings you can’t stand, what you fear most is what you can’t escape from. And the list is opened by the Citroen C5 DC.

Citroen C5 DC, the car for the man who doesn’t have enough money for a proper car but wants something somewhat new and resembling a saloon. And the Citroen C5 DC is none of these things.

Why would you buy a Citroen C5 in 2019?

Good question.

However, there are still a few good things about the Citroen C5 DC, such as the plethora of technologies that became standard on other cars many years later. You get adaptive hydro-pneumatic suspension, xenon headlights that adapt in curves, a particulate filter for diesel engines, or a suspension that adapts itself according to driving style. At high speeds and on straight roads, the suspension lowers and provides stability. On roads worthy of our B-roads, the suspension rises.

This technology sounds very good on paper.

Here comes the big issue with the Citroen C5 DC. All of these are technologies launched long before the competition, and you can imagine they have quite expensive maintenance. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that hydro-pneumatic suspension costs a fortune to replace. And if your budget is 2000 pounds or less aka the price of a Citroen C5 DC, you certainly won’t be able to maintain the car as Citroen imagined you would. Not even in the glory days and warranty days did people maintain their cars properly. And that’s where the issues and the famous reliability of Citroen come from. Hence, a lot of people have a very bad opinion about the car: Yes, you expect such expensive technologies in an S-Class and expect high maintenance costs. But not from a 1,500 quid Citroen C5.

Citroen C5 DC front almostcarreviews


Citroen C5 DC Engines


  • 1.8 EW7 of 115 horsepower – An absolutely legendary engine, known for the astronomical miles it has done under the hood of the Peugeot 406. Slow, but ridiculously reliable.
  • 2.0 EW10 of 136, 140, and 143 horsepower – The same engine, just slightly stretched for a larger capacity. If you have this engine in your Citroen C5 DC, you have one of the most reliable engines of the 2000s. Too bad you have to buy the rest of the car as well.
  • 3.0 V6 ES9 of 207 and 211 horsepower – An engine famous on the Renault Clio V6, this engine is worthy of Lana Rhoades movies before they get taken down. Issues with radiators and cylinder head gaskets, but with a 3.0 V6 do you really expect cheap maintenance? Plus, the car will understeer heavily due to the weight of the engine. What’s understeer? You take a corner, turn the steering wheel left, but the car keeps going straight because it was better off that way before.


  • 1.6 HDi of 109 horsepower – The same 1.6 HDi that ruined the reputation of Ford, Peugeot, Volvo, and Mazda comes to make your life miserable on the Citroen C5. I talked more about this engine in the Ford Focus review. Essentially, you have turbo oil filter gets clogged, the turbo no longer receives lubrication and fails. If you only replace the turbo and not the filter, the new turbo will break at the same pace as the previous one failed. Bonus you also get issues with the EGR and injectors.
  • 2.0 HDi of 90, 109, and 136 horsepower – I won’t talk about the ones with 109 and 136 horsepower because they are not that reliable or good. However, I will talk about the legendary 2.0 HDi with 90 horsepower. I talked about it in the article about the Peugeot 307, where I said it’s as good as VW’s 1.9 TDI ALH. Additionally, this is the only diesel that comes without a particle filter and with a single-mass flywheel. Seriously, it’s more expensive to buy sneakers to wear them out walking than to keep this engine running.
  • 2.2 HDi of 133 and 170 horsepower – The legendary 2.2 HDi with a turbo is one of the most reliable engines of the modern era. And the 2.2 HDi on the Citroen C5 DC is not that engine. It’s the predecessor of that engine. I won’t talk too much about the engine because the tax costs more than the car. Bonus points for the water accumulating in the air filter.


Citroen C5 DC V6 almostcarreviews


Citroen C5 DC Reliability Issues

  • The adaptive headlights need extra power to function. If your battery isn’t sufficiently charged, you’ll be left in the dark, with your pants down and without headlights.
  • Suspension issues, both front and rear. Especially if you have hydro-pneumatic suspension, you’ll probably end up selling the car when it fails.
  • The manual gearbox is full of issues, but at least you can live quietly knowing that there are just as many issues with the ZF automatic gearbox. Besides, the automatic gearbox needs an oil change every 50,000 kilometers.
  • The door locks and boot lock remain locked. This gives you the chance to stay outside the car and reflect on the fact that you bought a Citroen C5.
  • Serious issues with HDi engines regarding the clutch and particulate filters. I’m starting to get tired of writing this list.
  • The rear brakes and alloy wheels oxidize. If you can easily change the brakes with another set of equally oxidized ones, changing the wheels is much harder because the wheels remain stuck.
  • Back to Xenon headlights, and I remind you that they cost more than the car. It seems that Citroen engineers came up with the expensive headlight issue before Audi did, so here we see that the Germans learned something from the French.
  • The entire electronics part suffers from issues. Nothing serious to report, but when all possible parts break down, you start contemplating eco-solutions, like biking.


Citroen C5 DC wagon almostcarreviews

Citroen C5 DC Verdict

If you’re passionate about French cars and experimental technology, then the Citroen C5 DC is an excellent car for you. However, if you don’t want to be the guinea pig for the French and the main source of income for your mechanic, it’s probably best to avoid this car. However, at least it’s good to know that this car features technology that came to competitors many years later.

Which engine do I recommend? The legendary 2.0 HDi and it’s 90 horsepower. As I said earlier, the disadvantage is that you have to buy the rest of the car as well.