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Old 01-09-2013, 03:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Flying carpet - '12 CitroŽn C5 Tourer HDI 200 Exclusive
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Moin Moin

...as they say in North Germany.

I'm driving 30Kmiles per year, mostly long distances for business.

4 years ago I got a new job and had to chose from either a corporate paid car or a fixed monthly bonus when I continue using my private car. My private car was in pretty good condition, 60K miles old and pretty cheap to maintain, so I chose the monthly bonus.

My old car was already fully paid and very fuel efficient (about 45-50 mpg), so a lot of the bonus was not used, so I saved it for a new car.

Last year I decided to spend my savings. My old small Citroen C3 had 150K mls on the meter, worked fine, but I was dreaming of a more silent, comfortable car for my frequent long distance travels. I had about 30K Euro to spend. It should be a Diesel, because they are the most cost efficient cars when you run more than 20K miles in Germany. Some luxury was mandatory:
- automatic A/C, because I cannot go sweaty to a business meeting
- Cruise Control, because no one wants to keep the foot down for 300++ miles
- Xenon light, because my eyes are not the best anymore, I am close to my 50th
- Hands free phone
- Comfortable seats and suspension

The usual suspects, Audi A4, BMW 3 series, Mercedes C are way to expensive in Germany, at least when you want some extras. They start at 40K or more. Since my last Citroen was (unexpectedly!) very reliable, I search for good offers for a young Citroen C5 Tourer. I found a 4 month old exhibition car: Fully equipped (leather, SAT nav, 204HP, 6-speed automatic), original list price 45K, for a little more than 28K. I couldn't resist, a similar equipped Audi would have cost 50K or more, and only the Citroen has the unique, excellent Hydractive suspension, making the car a flying carpet!

Now I had my new car.
Big.
Heavy.
Super Power Diesel.
Running easily 140mp/h on my home Autobahn.

Though I was tempted, I didn't change my driving style and so I achieved extremely high mileages. The new car is a super luxury, 2 metric tons station car. I'm really impressed about the engine, a 2.2 liter diesel engine with 204 brake horse powers and 330lbft torque. Though it has a regular 6-speed automatic transmission, it can be run easily at 40++ mpg.
OK, other drivers of this model say it's impossible, but in fact they are just speeding too fast on the German highways.

I quickly entered the top of the list on the German Fuel Economy web site spritmonitor.de

No other driver of this model reached better mileages, and almost all comparable cars (A4 Diesel 200HP, BMW 3, Mercedes C) do not reach this efficiency. I found only one other driver in the 200HP class with an automatic gearbox, who was doing better than me (Mercedes CLS 250 Diesel).

I'm not going to change much on my car. I keep the tire pressure only slightly above normal, I don't want to lose all the comfort. I use best 0W30 oil, fuel efficient Michelin tires (which last MUCH longer than any other brand) and keep going smooth. I guess an average of 45mpg is possible, not bad for such a heavy flying lounge.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to EM
It's good to hear that you are doing so well with such a car, though an automatic isn't the best choice for long trips at a steady speed.

If your comfort is the most important then not everything will work, but there are still a few things we can suggest. Not going into boattails (which are great for highways!), wheel skirts, etc., then maybe at least a partial grille block for winter?

Oh, and slowing down always works. At highway speeds, even lowering your cruising speed by 3-4 km/h will extend the distance you can do on one tank.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not in Germany

Thanks for the warm welcome.

As I mentioned before I'm German, and here it is not allowed to modify a car with a boat tail or covered wheels. You will lose your insurance since the car does no longer match the the one that was used in the certification process for security and COC conformance.

Rules here are *way* more strict than yours. Police would pull you out and you have to revert your car back into the original state to drive on.

I had no choice about the transmission, the 204HP is not available with manual transmission. In Germany, other than in the US, most cars are manual, only the top models with the strongest engines are usually available as automatic. In this specific case, I had to chose between a 163HP manual or a 204HP automatic, but the 204HP is the newer, has the more modern engine and is more efficient than the slightly older 163HP engine.

In the city and after cold starts, the mileage is poor with automatic, but that changes on the highways when the gearbox oil warmed up and the torque converter is locked. Then the 204HP engine revs lower than the 163HP and the mileage is close to or better than the 163HP engine. Actually I was worried about the "automatic overhead" when I bought the car, but I drive more than 95% Autobahn, long distance. That gives me a combined mileage close to the highway mileage. In the European EPA counterpart NEFZ, the 163 manual is 20% better than the 204 automatic, which is still 20% better than the 163 automatic. On the highway, 163 manual and 204 automatic are very, very close.

For the city traffic, we use my wife's small LPG car (LPG is 50% cheaper than regular gas in Germany). The "big vessel" is for the long distances (50mls or more), and there the automatic doesn't matter much.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Impressive milage in the C5. I bet you can run tire pressure higher with no discomfort. Can you lower the ridehight with the hydraulic system. I my old Citroen ID 19 I could do that. Think I had ride hights to choose from, and to for repair work (fully down and fully up)

I run my tires at 2,9 bar in all four, even factory sepcs are only 2,2 bar.

Im shure you can do some subtle areomods to the front to get even better milage on the C5.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Grill Blocker

PS:
All new Citroen cars come with a partial grill blocker for winter from factory.
Other standard fuel saving measures:
- Electric power steering
- Electric AC compressor with variable compression rate
- Low friction Oil & Tires

Gas costs about 8-9$ per gallon in Germany, Diesel 50 cents less, so you can believe me: Car manufacturers do care about fuel economy, otherwise their products are unsellable.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyden View Post
Impressive milage in the C5. I bet you can run tire pressure higher with no discomfort. Can you lower the ridehight with the hydraulic system. I my old Citroen ID 19 I could do that. Think I had ride hights to choose from, and to for repair work (fully down and fully up)

I run my tires at 2,9 bar in all four, even factory sepcs are only 2,2 bar.

Im shure you can do some subtle areomods to the front to get even better milage on the C5.
As I told before, aeromods are illegal in Germany.

I run the tires with the pressure recommended for high loads (2.8 bar). I tested more but that gets really bumpy.

In the old Citroens (an old DS is my dream... *sigh*) you were able to manually control the height. But on the new models, the ride height lowers automatically at about 65mph by about .5-1 inch and pumps up the car on bumpy grounds by 1-2 inches. The french engineers were smart enough to make this automatic. Manual height adjustment works at low speeds only (0-25mph), beyond this speed the electronic takes over.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Slightly narrower tyres can improve the mileage, altough it leads to some worse braking performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fklein64 View Post
As I told before, aeromods are illegal in Germany.
Even spoilers, sideskirts and ailerons? Ironically, one of the most praised aerodynamics specialist was Prof. Wunibald Kamm, a German national...
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fklein64 View Post
I quickly entered the top of the list on the German Fuel Economy web site spritmonitor.de
Congratulations on that! It's fun sometimes to read the disbelieving owners of the same car.

Your usage is actually very friendly to fuel economy, as you've pointed out. The long average trip length means the car warms up and stays at peak operating temperature much more than typical sub/urban drivers with short trips.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
Slightly narrower tyres can improve the mileage, altough it leads to some worse braking performance.



Even spoilers, sideskirts and ailerons? Ironically, one of the most praised aerodynamics specialist was Prof. Wunibald Kamm, a German national...
If you change anything, spoilers, body kits, wheels, lights, air filters or whatever, the part needs a test certificate to be used with that car.
Commercial spoilers or body kits or alloy wheels come with such a certificate (called ABE). Those are common in the custom car community but not designed for economy.
Home projects are more complicated: You have to show up with your car at a local technical specialist and ask for an expert testimony. Then you have to visit your local registration and add the change to your car's papers. This is more expensive than any savings you might have. (at least several hundred Euros). And many mods will not pass the strict rules at all.

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