A big unapologetic family vehicle with space for up to eight (most are seven seaters), the Citroen C8 is about as sensible as family transportation can be. It's a simple formula, which was offered between 2002 and 2010, with sliding rear doors, a large passenger cabin and lots of seats. It's not exciting or particularly sexy as a result, but it's difficult not to admire its usefulness and practicality. Like its predecessor it has some French and Italian cousins, as Peugeot, Fiat and Lancia (the latter in left-hand drive Europe only) sold their own versions - with differing styling and specifications. The C8 competed not just with them, but also against rivals like the Ford Galaxy and a number of other full-sized MPVs.
If you want exciting family transport then you shouldn't have had a family, or at least not one big enough to require you to consider a Citroen C8. It'll seat seven, with two seats up front and five in the back, though some are available with eight seats, too. In either the C8's seating lacks some of the more innovative remove/hide/fold options of newer rivals. Still, sliding doors make up for this, which mean that, even though it's huge, you'll be able to get the kids out in tighter parking spaces.
Should you live outside Ireland you'll find a selection of petrol and diesel choices on the used forecourts, but here you'll struggle to find anything but the 2.0-litre HDi turbodiesel. It'll do a decent job unless you're prone to driving with every seat occupied by an adult, which will dent its performance significantly. Gears are shifted by a high-mounted stick, which helps liberate some space around the neat dashboard.
With all the seats in position it's not got the most commodious boot, though there's a good bit of room around the interior for family detritus if you're not too ambitious with your packing. While Peugeot and its Italian relations are still offered - or were offered for sale longer, the C8 finished production for Citroen in 2010, it replaced by a combination of its Grand Picasso and the more commercial-based Dispatch Combi.
There's only really one engine choice on offer in the Carzone classifieds, the 110 HDi making up all but the tiniest number of available cars. That's fine, as it's a good all-rounder, with decent enough performance for a big family machine, and respectable economy too. Specifications should include air conditioning and electric windows, though only a few come with eight seats, the seven-seater more common.
Citroen C8 2.0 HDi
Engine: 1,997cc four-cylinder turbodiesel
Maximum speed: 174km/h
0-100km/h: 13.4 seconds
Fuel consumption: 7.2 litres/100km
Euro NCAP: ***** (Peugeot 807 score - the same car effectively)
- Useful family vehicle
- Safe in EuroNCAP tests
- Sliding rear doors
- Uninteresting to drive
- Lack of luggage space
- Eight-seat option rare
The Citroen C8 is an entirely sensible, and hugely practical machine if hauling people around is your goal. Luggage space might not be so generous when all those seats are occupied, but the C8 drives nicely enough, has useful sliding doors and seats for up to eight - depending on specification.