...or 'goodbye, old friend', in real money. Shed a tear: the last big Citroen is on its way out.
Most of the time, the passing of a big saloon doesn’t really raise an eyebrow at PH Towers. But today is different. Today is the last day the Citroen C6 will be produced. And as we all enjoy a large, wafty Citroen, we thought that was worthy of a moment to pause and reflect.
Lignage concept previewed dramatic styling
Big Citroens have never been driver’s cars, but that hasn’t stopped them from being seriously cool. The C6 was no different. Its dramatic styling had first been previewed by the Lignage concept at the Geneva Motor Show in 1999; six years later, it emerged as a production model, virtually unchanged. With its Hydractive III suspension, enormous armchairs and selection of torquey engines matched to automatic gearboxes, it was clear from the start that this was a car designed first and foremost to relax and cosset, rather than to deliver the last word in driving exhilaration. And that made it a refreshing change from the usual attempts at faux-sportiness so prevalent among the German competition.
Unsurprisingly, though, the C6 sold slowly here in the UK, with many buyers deterred by the prospect of the usual big French car problem: depreciation. As well they may have been; the only C6 for sale in the PH Classifieds has already taken a hefty hit, and is unlikely to stop there. Eventually, Citroen had to face facts, and the C6 was pulled from the UK market back in May. After struggling on for a few more months in its home market, it seems the big Cit has finally been laid to rest completely.
It seems unlikely that there’ll be a true successor. Citroen says that the DS5 is about as close as we’re going to get – but that’s half the car the C6 was, with conventional steel springs and a confused character as a result. And with the appetite for big French cars seemingly at its lowest ebb ever, even in the home market, it looks like the C6 will be the last in a long line of big, effortlessly comfortable French saloons. Quel dommage, truly.
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I've had mine for ~13 months now, use it as a daily drive, mainly back roads, never missed a beat. Funny thing is before I got mine I hardly saw any on the road, now I semi regularly see 4 others around Watford, Rickmansworth, Hairfield and Uxbridge/Heathrow.
The weird part of ownership is not the fact the first time I drove it to work one of the security guards on the business park saluted me, but the fact I keep getting people coming up to me saying things along the line of "I've always liked/fancied one of those, what's it like".
The car is some what marmite, and as a kid I would have got car sick in it. It's more marmite for the ride and fear over Citroen's legendary reliability - not many on it's looks. but then beauty in the eye etc (most people who criticise its looks drive cars I wouldn't be seen dead in, but then to them they may well be things of beauty)
There is one thing I need to take up on though .... Two Decembers ago I encountered a certain MX5 hating journo at a very snowy Ace Cafe, when I arrived in my top down MK1 MX5 (with snow piled up on the rear shelf ...). ~20 months later said Journo now has one of his own (though I don;t remember ever seeing a picture of it top down ...). Feb this year I turn up at a PH photo course session and once more meet this reporter of excellent taste. This time I'm in my C6. Now we see
Driven a few of these and it's one of the few cars where I'd choose the diesel over the petrol as it suits the car so much better.
I'm a big fan, will definitely own one at some point.
I'm almost tempted to buy a Austin Maestro, turn up at PH towers in it, and see what happens 18 months down the line
Gizmoish20 Dec 2012
Such a bizarre thing... why is it that we like our luxurious big saloons to be as sporty as possible?
If you want sporty, buy a sportscar. If you want luxurious, buy one of these. Except you can't now.
Surprised that the Chinese didn't buy loads of them - or maybe not - they prefer saloons. Citroen: make one of these with a boot. Black with red leather. Win.
It does have a boot, it isn't a hatchback. The CX was the same, sloping fastback body that looked like a hatch but with a conventional boot. Nice, low loading lip too; the opening seemed quite shallow but the boot seemed to go back miles into the car.
That's my thing I've learned today. I thought both this and the CX were hatches.
Gizmoish20 Dec 2012
"Vieux ami", actually. "Vieille" is the feminine, but the masculine is "vieux".
Sorry PH. I just thought you might like to be accurate in your headlines.
Technically, I should really have used 'vielle amie', as a car is a feminine object in French. But I went for 'ami' in a rather poor attempt to play on the fact there was a Citroen Ami. That being the case 'vieil' is the right form of 'vieux' to use.
Pedantry and puns in French. Top work, you can stay