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  • Posts

    • Tongue and Groove is best! For the Computer Nerds here:
    • One thing leads to another ... having one Alphaville song in my music collection leads to being clue in to another.  These German guys - meaning Alphaville - are good. "Big in Japan" This is quintessentially '80s all the way around, which is just fine!
    • Man cave type jokes since that would describe most of the active members ... here's an oldie but goodie: Did you hear about the two lesbians who built a house? They used no studs ... it was all tongue and groove.
    • This road test of the Citroen C5 was the result of a serious upgrade in a rental at a Sicilian airport.   I’ve been assigned a smaller Citroen C3 at this very airport before – when the AirBump feature was novel and unusual - and remarked on its excellent ride and easy handling. The C5 is quite a few steps up.  Mostly, it’s all good.  This is a heavier vehicle and, along with that, the ride is like that of a bank fault.  It’s smooth, quiet, and isolated.  In some ways, it is perhaps too isolated.  By this, I mean that road feel is a little compromised owing to its very soft ride, and there is too much assist in the steering.  I noticed this upon taking out of the rental agency’s lot and through its narrow alleyways. It reminded me of an American boulevardier more so than the European SUV that it is.  It firms up some on the open road.  It’s at slow speeds that it feels way more "electric" – the way electric felt when there was the palpable adjustment we all had to make from hydraulic steering. This C5 had a diesel engine, but it was almost hard to tell that.  It is a turbo charged 4-cylinder engine.  The mileage was excellent.  It returned about 43 mpg in a combination of driving – mostly highway driving but with some small town and arduous mountain two lane road driving.  The transmission is a geared automatic unit and has 8 gears.  The shifts are extremely soft, which I feel is mostly a good thing, and suited to the C5.  The only time it’s clear that it’s geared is when pushing down the pedal – just because - or to pass. The C5 is powerful enough and certainly has the torque to sustain grades and demanding conditions.  However, passing seems to be a variable situation.  It almost seems to depend on the speed and the grade.  In most situations, it does so fairly easily.  High speed passes require some strategizing, and, in a few rare cases, it seemed better to avoid them.  In maintaining high speeds on the autostrada, it does so effortlessly and stably.  You might not have an idea how fast you’re going (114 km = 70 mph, and, on a few occasions, there were some 120 kms and 130 kms where the “bank vault” feeling didn’t let on that this was the actual speed). The workmanship is quite good.  The seats had centralized cloth surfaces with bolsters and side construction of either leather or leatherette.  There is stitching that is attractive and taut.  The C5 is ideal and comfortable for long hauls.  Front seat comfort and leg room is more than adequate, and rear seat leg room is acceptable.  Rear storage space is capacious, and this is without folding forward the rear seats.  The small lift-up area for the tire well provides for some additional storage and symmetrical small cubbies on the sides of the rear storage area can come in handy. Except for the diagonal edge on the infotainment center screen (a pet peeve), I really liked the volumes of the dashboard. Everything was nicely crafted.  Linear gauges for fuel and temperature seem to be the thing these days and, although nice, it would be easier if they indicated critical zones in orange and/or red.  The audio quality appeared to be good.  Also, setting up Bluetooth and keeping Android Auto going seemed easy. The console, which opens lengthwise in the middle, is both unusual and large.  The air conditioning works quickly.  In concert with liking the volumes of the dashboard, the number and placement of vents worked well to distribute the cool air.  Ahead of the console are two ergonomically placed cupholders and all the switches for key operating functions ahead of them reflect quality workmanship and are easy to operate. These would include the pushbutton engine start button, the transmission lever, the drive mode selector, and the parking brake.  That said, I found operating some of these features on a rented (and reviewed) BMW Series II Gran Coupe less intuitive.  In general, I liked everything about day in-day out living in this C5 more than in the fussier BMW Gran Coupe.  However, with its lower framework and Germanic underpinnings, the BMW really shone for its roadability and the sense of control it offered. The C5’s silhouette is not that captivating.  However, they work around the “chunkiness” and this can be seen from the interior.  I was surprised at how good rear visibility is.  The seating position is high and commanding relative to the road.  In tight spaces, the tabletop look of the hood ahead of the windshield doesn’t have clearly defined ridges and is harder to work with.  It appears wide for the genre.  Thankfully, the parking assist feature and other traffic sensors were fairly sensitive. I asked a friend who likes cars and rents them often in Europe what he thought of the major French brands.  He ranked them as follows: Citroen, Peugeot, and then Renault.  This vehicle speaks well to the Citroen brand and also aligned with what I’ve experienced among these brands. For a person with a little extra money and who needs the space, a supple ride, and its “thickness” all the way around, the Citroen C5 is a good choice.  On a few occasions, its vagueness annoyed me, but that wasn’t too often.  It was challenging to operate on a few narrower Sicilian streets and alleys, but that would apply to narrow streets and parking lots anywhere.  For some, this C5 could check most, if not all, of the boxes. - - - - - PHOTOS FORTHCOMING
    • I’m 99% sure it’s coming, just not officially announced. It might be a 2026 model. They’ve already developed the powertrain for the China market and with Barra’s reversal on PHEVs in the US, it seems logical to not waste development dollars.
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