Our Fleet Test Drive: Citroen C5 Tourer - 1st report
05 November 2008
 A proper gouge
In these cash-conscious times, can businesses shave a few pounds off each company car by coming down a bit in terms of engine and specification?
We're going to find out with the help of the latest addition to our test fleet - Citroen's C5. Having been impressed by the new C5, it seems like a natural progression to see how it copes with a six-month tour of duty on the BusinessCar fleet.
Both the saloon and estate are a big leap forward in styling terms over the comfortable but boring predecessor, but the wagon is the classier of the two, and the extra practicality is worth the £1100 premium over the saloon.
That's where our splashing out pretty much ends, because we've decided to stick to the lower end of the C5 price list. Having been impressed with the 110PS 1.6-litre HDi engine when we tried it in the C5 saloon earlier this year, as well as in our long-term Peugeot 308, it seemed like the obvious choice in the current economic climate. We've also plumped for the entry SX trim level, and the only option fitted is the Bourrasque Blue metallic paint at £425.
But that doesn't mean living like a pauper. Standard kit includes cruise control, trip computer, climate control, four-way adjustable leather steering wheel, ESP anti-skid control and black roof rails  for the £17,710 P11D price.
Combined fuel consumption is put at a shade under 50mpg, and CO2 emissions are 150g/km, dropping the C5 into the 21% BIK band.
To quicken delivery, our car came from Citroen's stock, which means it's already done almost 5000 miles and there's no need to run it in. That also nicely accelerates the aging process, giving us a better idea of how the interior in particular will fare over time. The cabin  is one of the best points of the new C5, with an hefty leap forward in quality over the old model, so it will be interesting to see if the durability is as good as the quality.
One person who has left an early impression on our C5 is the swine (a toned-down version of the word used in the BusinessCar office) who drove into our car in Tesco's car park, four days into its time with us. This wasn't a little parking ding, it's a proper gouge  and the result is an insurance claim for a new front wing. Once it's repaired the 1.6 diesel estate will be heading to our editor-at-large Guy Bird, whose urban family life should be a good home. The next six months will prove both whether the new C5 has come as far as we think in terms of family transport, and if you need to pick higher trim levels and bigger engines to keep drivers happy.