17 April 2014
The C6 is a Parisian boutique hotel room on wheels; the bulb in that vintage bedside lamp may keep blowing but those curtains will still look amazing. It’s chic, quirky and pretentious with technology that leaves you wanting for nothing; it’s innovative Citroën at its best offering a super smooth ride with SM/DS blood in its veins. The C6 Is big, bold and very, very French now with a stonking new 3.0 litre HDI engine but is any Citroën really worth £38 grand!?
The C6 is now only available with HDI engines ranging from 2.2 litres up to the brand new 3.0 litre found in the Range Rover Sport and Jaguar XF. The 3.0 HDI develops 240ps and delivers impressive mid range punch allowing the C6 to silently surge to 60 in 8.9 seconds. Gear changes through the auto box are fast and seamless and the C6 will go on to nudge 150mph. Torque is impressive with 450 lb/ft from only 1600 rpm and although it’s not blindingly fast from standstill you have to remember this is almost 2 tonnes of French fancy. The experience can only be described as taking a boutique hotel room for a spin as I actually forgot about how fast it was; performance seemed irrelevant. However the 3.0 seems a tad pointless with the 2.7 so close on performance; they both have the same 0.60 time and have just 6mph difference on top speed yet the 3.0 is considerably thirstier.
The C6 is uniquely smooth, quiet and comfortable with Citroën’s latest iteration of their hydraulic suspension, ‘Hydractive3+’. The car measures vertical movement in real time and has gas spheres that are constantly monitored to maintain optimum ride quality. It really is akin to rocket science and even has 16 damping laws!? Despite this technology, the sheer bulk of the car makes itself present; even on the stiffest setting (of 4 settings) the car rolled and wallowed more than expected and on the softest setting the car felt like I was carrying vast amounts of water on board. The steering also fails to inspire or return useful feedback, it’s heavy then super light and never in a hurry for your input. The C6 is thoroughly refined though and ‘wafting’ along is a great experience but it’s not impenetrable to bumps or swift changes in direction as Citroën would lead you to believe. It’s still the best for all out comfort though.
The C6 introduces a new level of French precision and it feels special despite the faux wood veneers. The leather seats are beautiful things and the Interior reeks with class. It has damped door pockets, ambient lighting and lots of ingenious features. Citroën have suffered with weak electronics and the C6 is dependent upon them but given the R & D investment they should prove reliable. Engines are proven from the Jaguar and Land Rover range so they should give no problems either. To prove this Citroën offer a 3 year complete package for £499 that covers everything including wear and tear items.
The C6 is nothing short of a safety marvel, managing the highest possible NCAP safety ratings even for pedestrians. The bonnet actually lifts up during a collision to absorb energy becoming the world’s 1st car to achieve 4 stars for pedestrian safety. The C6 also has a Moulin Rouge inspired party trick by vibrating your seat when you venture over the white line and an optional heads up display that projects vital info without ever taking your eyes off the road. With 9 airbags, active seats, traction control and ABS brakes; cars get no safer than this.
The interior feels like L’hotel Costes in Paris, unique and so French you really must don a scarf and beret when driving. The boot has 488 litres of space and the rear passenger compartment is huge. The emphasis of the C6 is passenger comfort and it really does sooth and pamper you. The back seats can be electrically reclined and if that doesn’t help, you can return the front seats to the upright position, genius! If the BMW 7 series is an executive suite of the Hilton then the C6 is a boutique hotel room in Montremart; it’s not cheap but in return it makes you feel individual and special. At almost 5 metres the C6 is really long so think twice before attempting that parallel park!
As with anything unique especially unique and French, very few will be willing to pay the £29,000+ price tag. The 3.0 litre test car in Exclusive trim with every gadget under the sun costs a ‘tres cher’ £38,000. However, for those that do stump up the cash, the C6 will be a rewarding, soothing piece of transportation greatness. It isn’t a sensible choice from a financial standpoint but then again individuality has to come at a price. The 3.0 is surprisingly the cleanest of all engines in the range with 195 grams of CO2 putting the test car is band J. My advice, hold off and enjoy the benefits of huge depreciation; some cars can now be bought from just £14,000 but expect to wait before the newly launched 3.0 HDI becomes a bargain.
Submitted: 29/09/2009 11:45:35
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