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voyager 15-12-2006 10:18 AM

C6 added to 'Autocar' UK's long-term test fleet
The 6 December issue of 'Autocar' UK (not ASEAN) has an article on the CitroŽn C6 being added to its long-term test fleet.


'Return to form is good to C6' by Steve Cropley.

Step into your average CitroŽn showroom, start talking C6s, and the salesman is apt to describe the car as 'a different choice' and 'an understated symbol of success'. He has to, probably. Such language is all over CitroŽn's brochures, so it's bound to be part of the authorised sales patter as well. Having just done the first 1500 miles in our new C6, i feel a little frustrated by such descriptions, because it's already clear this car is far more than either a status symbol or some kind of virtuous non-BMW. To me it's nothing less than CitroŽn's successful return to building great large cars.

These are big claims, you may think from someone who's only had his backside in the car about three weeks. But in that time i've formed a special partnership with the C6, the kind that makes me jealous when someone else drives it home, and fretful if they return it with unsympathetic comments. My three weeks tells me there are quirks about the C6 that take a little getting used to, like the functioning of its unusual but brilliant Hydractive suspension, the ultra-low driving position, the light steering, and the accelerator whose short travel leads to untidy take-offs unless you're gentle.

i felt keen on the idea of the C6 well before it hit production, for two reasons. First, i've always loved its brilliant-but-different ancestors, the SM sub-supercar and the individualistic CX saloon. Second, because i so liked the C6 Lignage concept that presaged it at Geneva in 1999. Jean-Pierre Ploue, CitroŽn's head of design, says the company worked hard to preserve the "lines and general spirit" of the Lignage, and it really shows. The C6 is one of those cars that gives pleasure every time your eye falls on it - to the extent that even when i don't have time to give it a full wash i try to keep its wheels clean because it looks better that way. i'm especially sold on the curves of the C6's concave rear screen, so reminiscent of both CX and Lignage and so unlike anything else.

i'm less sure about the interior. It's more conventional in design than its predecessors, and people get sniffy about the quality of the materials, though i think their problem is really with the C6 cabin's conventionality, not its quality.

Still, most of the controls work spectacularly well, such as the head-up display. A few are a pain, such as the cruise control / speed limiter switches (i've looked them up in the handbook twice now and still don't have their measure). There's also an unseemly rattle coming from the lower front JBL speaker on the passenger's side.

Although familiarity breeds affection, anyone can jump into the C6 and drive it well. The six-speed ZF auto is silky and a winner. The C6 has strong step-off from rest and decent passing acceleration when roused.

The C6 feels unmistakably CitroŽn-esque thanks to the low, luxurious driving position and the typically low-effort controls. In corners it grips and resists roll brilliantly, even in the more relaxed of its two Hydractive suspension regimes. Over humps and dips it's incredibly flat.

Overall, i'm really enjoying the CitroŽn. It's different, special and constantly rewarding to the driver who wants to understand it. i'm disappointed by the high price, and as a result i wouldn't expect the C6 to keep its value with age and mileage. But i do believe it deserves to, and that's a good start.

tm 15-12-2006 04:59 PM

Re: C6 added to 'Autocar' UK's long-term test fleet
Wow, you manually typed out article...? Much thanks. 8)

voyager 15-12-2006 05:13 PM

Re: C6 added to 'Autocar' UK's long-term test fleet
you're very welcome :-)

didn't take me that long, thank you for your consideration :-)

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