Citroen C8: The French Estate

The Citroen C8 is a great choice for families looking for a spacious, comfortable people carrier. It offers excellent value for money, with a roomy interior and convenient features like sliding side doors.

Table of Contents

Citroen C8 top

The Citroen C8 is a great choice for families looking for a spacious, comfortable people carrier. It offers excellent value for money, with a roomy interior and convenient features like sliding side doors. While driving may not be the most exciting, it is a comfortable vehicle for long trips. Plus, dealers often have attractive cashback offers. It’s worth considering, especially if you prioritize practicality and affordability in a large family car.

The Citroen C8 evolution

CITROEN C8 2002 – 2008

Citroen C8 first gen

In 1994, the Peugeot-Citroen Group and Fiat joined forces to challenge the dominance of the Renault Espace by launching a series of badge-engineered vehicles. This collaboration proved successful, leading to a second generation of these Eurovans. Citroen unveiled the C8, while Peugeot introduced the 807, Fiat offered the Ulysses, and Lancia presented the Phaedra.

Citroen C8 first gen 2

In 2000, Citroen adopted a new front-fascia design theme for its entire lineup. This theme debuted with the Xsara and continued with the C5 in 2001 and the 2002 C8. The C8’s distinct tear-shaped headlights featured a straight cut towards the hood, giving way to rounded edges on the exterior. The chromed slat on the grille, supporting the iconic “double-chevron” badge, was part of this design theme. The C8 displayed a sloped front profile that began with a short, steep hood and extended to a lengthy windshield. At the rear, slim and exceptionally tall taillights flanked the tailgate.

Inside the C8, Citroen offered three rows of seats, with an option for up to seven seats. All seats, except the front ones, could be adjusted, reclined, or removed for greater versatility. The Eurovan manufacturers opted against a seat folding system, favoring this adaptable approach. The instrument panel was positioned in the middle of the broad and lengthy dashboard, which simplified the production of both left-hand drive (LHD) and right-hand drive (RHD) versions.

Citroen and its partner manufacturers installed a combination of shared and unique engines under the C8’s hood, sourcing powerplants from Citroen-Peugeot and Fiat. The C8 offered an impressive range of up to ten different engine versions with manual or automatic transmissions.



CITROEN C8 2008 – 2014

Citroen C8 2nd gen

Citroen introduced the C8 2002 as a spacious minivan for comfortable and safe travel. It boasts a 2,820 mm wheelbase, 4,727 mm length, and 1,860 mm width, providing ample room for eight passengers across three rows.

The C8 offers flexibility by allowing the removal of seats to accommodate varying cargo needs, providing up to 2,948 liters of cargo space. The cabin features a sleek chrome finish on door handles, gear lever, and air vent cursors.

Citroen C8 2nd gen 2

Equipped with ABS, ESP, and ASR, the C8 offers a choice of 8 engines, including six diesel and two gasoline options, with power outputs ranging from 120 hp to 173 hp.

The C8’s design, characterized by drop-shaped headlights, resembles the Peugeot 807. Notable differences include elegant lateral direction indicators placed on the lower side of the external mirrors.

Additionally, the C8 features the NaviDrive system, offering services such as Citroen Emergency, Citroen Assistance, and Citroen On-Line. Citroen Emergency can determine the vehicle’s location in case of an accident, providing access to call center services for assistance.



Performance of the Citroen C8

Citroen C8 on road

The 2.0-liter petrol and diesel models offer satisfactory performance, but for a more relaxed driving experience, the 130bhp 2.2HDi and 160bhp 2.2-liter petrol engines are preferable. In August 2006, the 2.2HDi was replaced by a much smoother 2.0HDi, available in 120bhp or 136bhp variants.

This powerful diesel engine performs well on highways, especially with the six-speed gearbox. The lower-powered version can achieve a fuel efficiency of 41mpg.

Although the dash-mounted manual gearshift might look unusual, it is easy to operate. An automatic transmission option was introduced with the 2.0HDi in May 2005, but it slightly dulls the performance.

Citroen C8 engine

In early 2008, a robust 2.2HDi engine with 173bhp was introduced. It offers strong pulling power and refined performance, suiting the C8 perfectly. Despite its power, it remains fairly economical, averaging around 34mpg.

Drive of the Citroen C8

Citroen C8in black

Despite its size, considering its height, the C8 handles well with nicely weighted steering and limited body roll. However, it may sway slightly when pushed hard and doesn’t feel as confident as more modern alternatives. Nevertheless, as a long-distance cruiser, it performs admirably with excellent ride comfort. It only falters on particularly rough surfaces and bumps at lower speeds.

Interior of the Citroen C8

Citroen C8 interior

The interior of the C8 is thoughtfully designed, placing the main controls conveniently next to the gear lever on a central console.

Citroen C8 automatic gear

This arrangement not only makes the controls easily accessible but also creates additional space between the driver and the front passenger. This smart layout allows for clever stowage areas on the dash, keeping it uncluttered. While the quality isn’t top-notch, and some materials feel cheap, the finish is acceptable.

The central display is well-organized, although the speed and rev counter dials might appear outdated. A unique feature is the placement of the handbrake, located on the floor to the right of the driver rather than the left.

Citroen C8 seating arrangement

All the engines offer good refinement, and the cabin is relatively quiet with subdued wind noise. However, the 2.0-liter petrol engine can be noisy when pushed hard.

Citroen C8 inside

The middle row of seats provides ample space, accommodating three adults comfortably. In contrast, the rearmost seats are cramped, offering limited legroom and suitable mainly for children. All cars have air conditioning and electric windows, ensuring a spacious and airy interior.

Citroen C8 sun roofs

Higher trim models include electric sliding side doors, particularly useful in tight parking spaces, and air conditioning vents for all three rows of passengers, enhancing overall comfort.

Exterior and Accessibility for the C8

Citroen C8 in red

The C8 boasts a stylish exterior and a well-equipped interior that helps distract from some of its issues. The main problem lies in the chassis flex, leading to noticeable rattling and squeaking in the cabin. Despite this, the car appears solidly built externally, featuring tight shut lines and sturdy fixtures. The numerous drawers, picnic shelves, folding seats, and electric door mechanisms are well-constructed.

Citroen C8 on road

With five large doors, the C8 offers easy access in and out of the car. Its high seating position and roofline mean no bending is necessary, and the twin electrically operated rear doors in the Exclusive model open swiftly with the push of a button, ensuring unrestricted access even in tight parking spaces. The middle row of seats slides forward, facilitating entry to the rear. However, the top-hinged boot door requires ample space to open fully.

The C8 is designed with families in mind. Its excellent access and seven-seat capacity appeal to large families, especially those with small children. The Exclusive trim level includes a special fish-eye mirror for the driver to monitor the rear, and picnic tables in the back enhance its child-friendly features.

Despite its style, the C8 may not be a top choice for first-time buyers. While it lacks street credibility and youth appeal, its size might also pose challenges for inexperienced drivers regarding maneuverability.

Journalist reviews

“It’s not great to drive, but it makes a comfortable long-distance cruiser. It also shares its underpinnings and looks with the Fiat Ulysse and Peugeot 807, but it’s the C8 that’s the best value.”Parkers.


If you prioritize impeccable quality and smooth handling, the C8 might not meet your expectations. However, if you seek a well-equipped car with superior safety features compared to budget alternatives, it’s an excellent choice, especially for family transport. Spending a bit more for enhanced safety is wise. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly yet modern MPV, the C8 is the top choice.

Highs and Lows

Written by: TAZ

Your comprehensive website, your one-stop destination for a vast collection of articles and information about every car brand in existence.

More Goodreads from Motorcardata

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.