Citroën C6 - the dream car with the second career
Not only the Saab scene has a dream car with the 9-5 NG. The Citroën world adores the C6, built in Rennes from 2005 to 2012. Both vehicles have something in common. They are the last big cars of their brand, the numbers produced remained small. With Saab it will (probably) stay there forever. At Citroën, the future is open. You can be surprised. C6 and Saab 9-5 have in common that they are traded at high prices in good condition. Workshops have specialized in the exotics and their enthusiasts. After all, the presumably last big Citroën produced around twice as many copies (23.384) as the Saab.
A stunningly beautiful car
However, the brand with the double angle took a lot of time for this. In seven years the vehicles just dribbled off the belts in Brittany. The Swedes didn't even have a full year for their 9-5 mission. But even without time pressure and drama, things didn't go optimally for the C6. After the first big hype about the C6 had subsided, demand was only moderate.
It can hardly have been due to the Citroën C6 itself. The design was typical for a large representative of the brand. Elegant restraint mixed with historic design cues from the CX and DS resulted in an exceptional, hauntingly beautiful car. An overly long bonnet, frameless windows like the DS, the ingeniously inwardly curved rear window like the CX. Everything that was promised on the outside was kept by designer Marc Pinson, who also gave the new Citroën C4 gave its shape to the interior.
Driving more beautifully with the C6
Nice living, or better, nicer driving, is only about right. High-quality details such as the wood-panelled door pockets met a tidy ambience that did not have to hide behind the ancestral line of large Citroens. Everything about the C6 was of high quality, the technology, the workmanship and the opulent equipment were up to date. The Hydractive 3+ suspension marked the pinnacle of a long evolution, bringing comfort and floating to perfection.
The fact that the C6 was praised by the trade press and that the chassis only received clearly admired words didn't really help. She sold badly.
The reason why the C6 unfortunately did not become a success is not difficult to pin down. Perhaps many other sympathizers of the brand were like me. I really wanted to own the XM. The premiere lured me to local dealers, brochures were circulated. I only noticed the C6 appreciatively, but it wasn't enough to move me to my former Citroën dealership.
Close contact with the brand had been lost over the years.
Understandable. The XM as a direct predecessor was discontinued in 2000, customers migrated to other brands in the years without a successor - and stayed. And a large station wagon, popular with the Citroën XM, was not in the program.
A balancing act fails
To make matters worse came a serious marketing problem. For years, the Citroën image had been reduced to a provider of inexpensive vehicles that could only be pushed onto the market at significant discounts. The glory of the innovations of the past was gone. So the admirable balancing act that had once been done between the high-priced DS and the rudimentary 2CV could no longer work.
When the production came to a quiet end in 2012, only the fans noticed. The C6 has long ceased to play a role on the market. Only 2006 C2012s were newly registered in Germany from 3.701 to 6.
The second career of the Citroën C6
But, the C6 was far from dead. It had fans who just wanted to drive a C6. The avant-garde started a second, now convincing career. Because, once again, there was no successor. The throne of levitation, it remained empty. When it became clear that Citroën would forever depart from the religion of hydropneumatics, the C6 was finally established as an immortal icon.
The last great Citroën is the last great hydropneumatic sofa licensed to float. The C6 has been on the way up for a few years. At about the same time as the 9-5 NG from Saab, she took off into the fans' sky. For a good, well-kept C6, you put €20.000 plus X on the table today. Depending on the mileage, equipment and engine.
The vehicles with the double angle are stable in price, with a tendency to become even more expensive. The V6 petrol engine, which is also extremely rare with only 2.783 copies, is considered particularly desirable, but often has full equipment in mind. C6s with a diesel, much more common, come down in price significantly and with high mileage are available at a fraction of the petrol.
The Citroën C6 will probably always remain the dream car of fans. If a new big Citroën ever came onto the market, it would certainly be purely electric. You won't see hydropneumatics again either.
The throne of levitation will forever belong to the C6.
Images Citroën Communication (3)
20 thoughts on "Citroën C6 - the dream car with the second career"
I also keep looking for C6, they are just as difficult to get as a good 9-5NG, although I already know the scene. If I unexpectedly get a nice sum of money, I'll just hire one of my Saab expert friends and they should be able to get me a reasonably usable 9-5NG from somewhere. But with Citroen? I would first have to get to know the scene and, as I have read from the long-term car forum, the supply of parts is much more complicated. The relationship to the Insignia probably helps with Saab.
I only read unfortunate words about the C6 when there is the DS9, the perfect successor to the C6.
Why isn't anyone talking about it?
The question is, dear Ulrich, do you see the DS9 as a legitimate successor in a line with the DS, CX, XM and C6?
I believe the DS9 has two problems. The general public does not know the brand (and the vehicle). And hardly anyone dares to offer a really good car to an unknown brand. If DS and DS 9 were more visible, someone would be talking about it here too.
Recently it was written on this site that the (the?) DS 9 did NOT become President Macron's vehicle because the model is exclusively manufactured in Shenzhen, China.
That explains a lot (although not everything).
The DS 9 doesn't look bad in my opinion. But I can't see any innovative design. Not a trace of avant-garde.
In addition, the DS 9 is a real upper class (mW also offered as a long version), not upper middle class like the C 6.
This is exactly why the President of the Republic drives a DS7: https://saabblog.net/2022/08/22/das-faehrt-praesident-emmanuel-macron-ds-7-elysee/
The DS9 doesn't look bad and for me it would be an alternative to the German Premium. But, as you write, no avant-garde anywhere.
The DS9 is missing the “sparkle”, the magic. No why idea. I like it, but I don't love it. Maybe it's not crazy enough 🙂
In my opinion, the C6 was the most beautiful car of its time in the upper middle class.
Incidentally, Alfa Romeo also makes the mistake of not having a “station wagon”.
The Giulia was also only offered as an impractical limousine (hardly for sale in Germany, and therefore not very suitable as a "representative vehicle").
Those who didn't like it were referred years later to the (even more expensive) SUV "Stelvio".
What is actually going on in the heads of marketing “experts”?
Good question. I know an Alfisto who has been waiting for a new station wagon for years...
Vain. He didn't want an SUV. Finally, the Giulia followed the 159 with gnashing teeth...
Few are so loyal to the brand these days. That's how you alienate customers. And that's not how you win new customers. The Guila would appeal to me as a station wagon. Alternatively, I might even be interested in the Stelvio, but that also fails because there is no station wagon from Alfa. Why? Because Alfa, with its greatly reduced model range, gives the impression that the brand is on the retreat ...
But I'm already through the topic with Saab or I'm still experiencing it. Joy and sorrow are so close together. I don't regret anything, but I don't need a new edition, a new, demonstration or year-old car from a brand that's being phased out. Yes, what do you think about Alfa?
But the marketing experts are innocent.
These are purely economic decisions and wrong decisions by the management, which models they want to afford in which financial situation and when and which not.
No marketing expert in the world would ever advise management against a model because it supposedly could not be marketed. Certainly not from a station wagon in the Guila segment.
That would be a declaration of bankruptcy in relation to one's own abilities - and that to the management? No way ! !
I mostly agree with Tom, as does Volvaab Driver. The C6 was late, and it was... playful. He brought the high-class claim with him, but he was too unconventional and not practical enough. And he looked very powerful. Anyone who had migrated from Citroën to Audi or VW did not come back. From 2008, you could buy the revised C5 for less money, which brought these nice details such as the concave rear window, Hydractiv 3+ (not in all versions), a no-frills but elegant design, etc.
If I look at what was brought onto the market by Citroën from the late 90s to 2008, then I have to say: it wasn't a design. That was….something. Abandoning previous design principles that made a Citroën unmistakable both visually and technically.
But I'm old-fashioned there too 🙂
Beautiful Citroën with utility and pleasant extras were C5 from 2008, Xantia, XM, BX, CX, GSA .... I'm too young for others. And there you can see: there is a gap in time between Xantia and C5 III.
In 2017, Citroën made the same mistake from my point of view: Discontinuation of the C5 without replacement, a change in design for new cars, then a move towards SUVs, discontinuation of the hydropneumatic company feature. And a certain arbitrariness in design. For me: become uninteresting.
Exciting post. Going back to Saab, I think sales would have developed comparatively poorly.
The hardcore fans would have ordered by 2013, the inventory would have been renewed by then, and then things would have gotten really tight.
Similar to Citroën, Saab had waited too long with the successor to the 1997-9 that appeared in 5. In the end, only the real fans bought the chrome glasses, otherwise no one was interested in them anymore.
There's truth in there. The problem described had already been recognized in Trollhättan in 2011. Beyond the official forecasts, the sales opportunities were assessed as poor after the initial enthusiasm had subsided.
There would have been an enchanting C6 or XM parked in my garage long ago. If I could find a reliable and capable workshop in the "nearby". The search is still in full swing. At some point it will work out.
Greetings to the community.
Sad that Citroën (apart from SUVs) no longer builds big cars ...
The market analysis in the article about the C6 is probably accurate. But if I understood them (the C6 and its design) correctly, Citroën also neglected the trunk and, above all, easy access to it. Not to mention the missing break...
The C6 came late and some customers have probably migrated simply because the desire for regularly available new cars in the traditional vehicle class was not fulfilled in time. But I believe that the C6 also disappointed and alienated many patient fans...
After DS, CX and XM came the first and last time for the time being a top model that no longer seemed to care about its usefulness...
On the one hand, the C6 embodies the claim that it is not necessary as a beautiful luxury vehicle, but in terms of luxury and driving performance it does not play in the league of those car buyers and drivers who no longer worry about their luggage in luxury limousines or sports cars did because it also followed them in other ways...
This has struck many Citroën drivers in the head. The expectation after the DS, CX and XM was very clear that you could also travel comfortably and almost royally with your luggage in the next big Citroën without the court and escort vehicles. Unless you were so fortunate that luggage space and ease of access were no longer an issue, the C6 was a step backwards. And if you were so favored, it was (almost) without charm.
With the C6, Citroën has created a relatively impractical vehicle for the upper middle class, when other manufacturers have long been on the trip that "today" many people want a lot of utility and luggage space at the level of the luxury class and have realized corresponding cars. I find that bizarre, especially given the history of Citroën ...
In principle, they were once exactly on this trip, were far ahead of their time. The cars (such as a DS or a CX) were outrageously long, longer than most of the upper class - but at the same time practical and always available as a break ...
And just when we all finally understood that not only craftsmen drive station wagons, just as station wagons and SUVs arrive in the upper class, Citroën comes with the C6 and does it without a big mouth and without a break with banal engines in a very elegant way?
As beautiful as she may be, good timing is sure to be different...
CX and DS also had relatively small trunk lids, like the C6. Only the XM had a large tailgate.
But yes, they are correct. It would certainly have gone better with a break. Audi, Mercedes and BMW also have large station wagons at steep prices. It is incomprehensible why Citroën did not do this.
Yeah right …
Even the Traction Avant was previously available with different “backpacks”, from the posh handbag (“series”) to the full-blown duffel bag…
However, it was also the end of the time for body builders and tailors who diligently worked "haute couture" for their customers ...
The C6 (without a break) has said goodbye to a long-cherished tradition that the largest available Citroën, depending on the customer's preference, could hold the small or the large wardrobe and was ready for the larger one, also adding its own external elegance Somewhat sacrificed...
There is no question that from the Traction Avant to the DS, the CX to the XM, the smaller wardrobe was always the more elegant. That is also reflected in the numbers. And yet, customers want a choice. If you refuse this, they turn away insulted (because they are being patronized). The C6 was also a bit patronizing. Here comes the purse. Take it like this and not otherwise, or leave it...
Many left it, although they thought the C6 was beautiful. Is very similar to Saab with the opposite sign. With the 9K, the hatchback was clearly the model favored by Saab itself. The sedan was actually redundant by objective standards, unable to offer the occupants significantly more comfort and inferior in luggage. But she was smart. If only because it offered customers a choice. Or because it rubbed off on the image of the hatchback that this car with this engine could also be a representative sedan if the buyer wanted it that way. Never understood the 9K Limo until today. About the detour (C6) it seems to me to have been a good and right decision on the part of Saab.
The more comments...
the sadder I become. They are all good and correct and it is already in the article in relation to Citroën, the C6 and its predecessors. The price of the C6 is not rising for no reason...
The bayernloewe also brings Alfa into the conversation. I can't shake the feeling that Citroën and Alfa are past their best and that the (temporary?) continued existence of both brands is not suitable for consoling Saabists ...
I actually like them both - the histories of Citroën & Alfa Romeo. Still, I can't really get excited about her presence.
One of my previously unrealized dream cars
I'm with you there. The C6 is simply beautiful!
The C6 is magic :)) The funniest thing about this car, is that the first glance many people don't notice the really awesome features. It's absolutely funny seeing the face dropping when they finally notice the curved back window, or learn about the normally hidden active spoiler, the curve following lights and the head on display. We were asked if it's a new car not so long ago. Yeah, new… from 2006. We are fortunate to drive not one, but two 😀 Sad thing is… that we actually need two, and probably will need to sacrifice one of them, later in time, because it's close to impossible to find parts … Citroen discontinued pretty much every part for this car.
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