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CUNNING OLD FOX; Charming Citron is smooth mover.

Byline: Paul Myles

WHO'S your date tonight? A feckless youth having trouble with his knife and fork or someone more mature with the style and experience to turn a St Valentine's night into something special?

And there are few more fitting chariots for the "Silver Fox" to whisk you home than in the comforting mature charms of an old smoothy like the Citron C5 Exclusive.

Here is a car that just doesn't have to try to impress - it does so quietly, elegantly and with a self confidence that comes from more than 100 years of Citron building fine high-class motors.

Sure, there are executive cruisers that handle better, that are faster, that are even more comfortable. But few mix that particularly special HI-TECH: C5 is loaded cocktail of accomplishments as well as this seasoned campaigner.

A super silky three-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine puts out a quietly assured 235 brake horse-power to take the C5 to 60mph in 8 seconds - not fire breathing but enough to stay near the front of the pack in most conditions.

And, with a real-world fuel economy around 35mpg, the owner is going to have enough of the folding stuff spare to make sure their partner for the evening can pop as many corks as they want!

Handling, too, is more safe and dependable than exciting - even with the sports suspension switch selected.

Yet the big car hustles on well through bends and will surprise many more flashy young blades who will be surprised they've not left the old fella behind.

And while the younger chap may be fretting and getting too excited, this smooth moving Frenchman remains composed and in control with enough time to reassure his companion they are in safe hands.

Passengers will of standard equip-also enjoy the level of standard equip-ment in the Exclusive which includes full-colour traffic-aware sat-nav, Bluetooth handsfree phone, USB MP3 compatible hi-fi, cruise control and speed limiter, auto lights and wipers.

There's also Hydractive three-position suspension with auto ride height and parking sensors front and back.

There is also masses of space inside for both passengers and luggage - that's plenty of room for a couple of overnight bags in the boot just in case!

But if the evening doesn't go quite so well then at least the owner gets to "enjoy" the lane-change warning device which vibrates the drivers' seat when the car is taking too long to move between lanes.

My only possible criticism of the interior is the overly fussy array of buttons on the control panel which, finished in dull silver is, for some of us long-sighted older gents, a mite too hard to read especially at night.

You'd think all this Gallic style would have a hefty price tag to match but you'd be wrong.

At a little over pounds 28,000, the C5 is actually good value compared to many other executive models.

And with a smooth operator like the big Citron you can offset the price tag against wasting your money on that useless programme of botox!

Model of vehicle

Engine 3.0 V6 HDi

Power 235bhp

Top Speed 151mph

0-60mph 8secs

Economy 35mpg

Insurance 14

Price pounds 28,085

CAPTION(S):

HI-TECH: C5 is loaded with toys
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Feb 14, 2010
Words:536
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