Citroen C5 2.7 TDi Tourer Exclusive - Enertainment

By Jeremy Laird


Review Price free/subscription

What to make of the C5's entertainment system? The broad specification is moderately promising thanks to support for MP3 playback, CD ripping and 10GB of storage space among other features. But like much of the rest of the infotainment rig, frustration and confusion is never far away.

Before we get to our detailed complaints, first a quick breakdown of what the system offers. There's a single optical drive in the centre console capable of reading both standard RedBook CDs and MP3 CDs. Redbook CDs can be ripped for storage on the 10GB hard drive. The glovebox, meanwhile, houses an array of analogue RCA aux-input sockets including a composite video port, more on which in a moment. Note, however, that there is no digital connectivity, be that general USB or specific iPod support. Finally, there's also an RDS AM/FM radio tuner.

The problems start with the CD ripping. Without any kind of CD database, users must manual assign album, artist and track information. That's no small task given that the system lacks a touch-screen for text input. But our biggest complaint involves the onscreen interface. In short, it's completely baffling. Part of the problem is the fact that management of the MP3 jukebox's content has been completely separated from the playback controls. Often, therefore, you have track lists or albums displayed on the screen but no way of accessing them for playback.

However, pretty much all areas of the interface are hard to fathom. Despite having the manual to hand, for instance, it took us a good five minutes of hammering away at the console controls to work out how to do something as simple as changing the album being played. Admittedly, once learned most functions can be accessed pretty swiftly, but the curve is unnecessarily painful.

One other idiosyncrasy that we found particularly infuriating is the impatience of the interface. It's far too quick to give up if you fail to make an input and jump back to displaying the track being played, the navigation map or whatever the previous focus was. In other words, should you become momentarily distracted having drilled down through several layers of options, you'll be booted out of the menu and forced to start all over again. Maddening! Playlist creation isn't exactly world beating, either. It can only be done via the jukebox management menu and you can't add tracks on the fly during playback.

In that context, the multi-function steering wheel provides some welcome respite. The right-hand of the its two scroll wheels allows you to roll through the various on screen options, whether that's selecting tracks from the jukebox or stations from the RDS tuner. It's easily the most painless part of the experience.

As for the video playback function, it's limited to displaying composite analogue video piped through the aux socket in the glovebox. There's no support for DVDs or video file formats generally, nor a TV tuner. We didn't have a composite source to hand for quality testing, but frankly we can't imagine this feature will see a great deal of use.

Still, we can report that the audio quality packs plenty of power and betrays little evidence of distortion when you crank up the volume. That said, the soundstage is pretty muddy - clarity certainly isn't a strong point.

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June 23, 2009, 5:42 am

That's an awesome (erggg) display of grey plastic on that dash ;)

I was also wondering if the car industry is somehow shielded from the dubious legal practice of allowing CD ripping. -Given that pirates are derided and pursued so relentlessly by the music industry currently? Or, is this a case of the old radar detectors - you could sell 'em but not use 'em - legally speaking...Just curious.


June 23, 2009, 3:20 pm

Your review is totally off-topic: this is NOT a review of a this car - it's basically a review of its entertainment system !! How about writing a review of the car!! Very disappointing and unworthy of this site


June 23, 2009, 5:46 pm

@Bornesen: TrustedReviews is primarily a technology news and reviews website, so it's to be expected that they focus on the technology inside the car. If you want an all-round review of the vehicle, there are plenty of motoring websites and magazines available.


June 24, 2009, 9:25 am

If you're going to choose a car based off of the quality of the technology inside of it, then you probably have enough money to be able to take some time and rethink the priorities in your life... Oh and the flagship of the Citroën range is the C6... Just as a small point.


June 25, 2009, 5:51 pm

To be fair - my over riding concern when buying new cars is all about the tech inside - that's where I spend many hours each day driving around the M25 and if the tech it comes with isn't exactly right I'm just not interested. kudos to trustedreviews for starting to review cars in this way :) Now if you could review the upcoming Idrive system due for release by BMW in the Autumn I'd be a happy man


April 17, 2010, 2:33 am

more like a advert for car audio accesories, i was searching for a driving experience of this and the performance and merits if any of the v6 engine, i have had 3 different models of the citroen range and this review has given me more details of audio specs for the tourer which is ok if you purchase the tourer but iam interested in the exclusive. model which has not got the audio system mentioned in this road test. i have noticed your remarks re the trusted reviews is mainly a technology website but the car industry does have other technology in their models apart from audio and gps systems ??

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