Pros: plush ride quality, lots of interior space
Cons: no all-wheel drive, handling isn’t so sharp
The Citroen C5 X bucks several trends by offering an estate-only body style with crossover-influenced design and puts an emphasis on outright comfort. And it works.
Citroen C5 X Design
Don’t worry if it takes you a moment to try to figure out exactly what the Citroen C5 X is, because its exterior design seems to straddle a couple of different market segments. There’s certainly some crossover and SUV influence to be seen in the raised ride height and protective cladding around the wheel arches and sills. It’s long too, almost five metres in length, with an estate body style, albeit a sleeker-than-usual one for this segment of the market.
Citroen’s brand identity is clear to see at the front, which has V-shaped LED daytime running lights that are similar to the C4 crossover’s and a chrome grille detail that extends outwards from the brand’s double-chevron logo. A contrasting black roof slopes gently down towards the rear of the car and its high shoulder line kinks up over the rear wheel arch to underline its muscular profile.
At the rear of the car the taillights wrap around into the sides and split in a V shape as the front DRLs do, while a roof spoiler and secondary spoiler on the trailing edge add to its stretched appearance. The lack of a rear wiper is something that may cause annoyance down the line with owners, however.
Citroen C5 X Interior
Interior design continues to be an area that Citroen is making steady strides at improving and the C5 X is one of its best cabin designs to date. What is immediately noticeable is the quality and selection of the materials used throughout. Across the top of the dashboard are polished metal accents that continue into the doors, while the vents are pushed to the far corners and integrated into the centre console. Citroen gets a bonus point for retaining physical dials for the climate control, enabling adjustment with less distraction.
A small digital instrument display is tastefully illuminated from behind with ambient lighting and has a clear and somewhat simple layout. That’s partly due to the introduction of a 12-inch full-colour head-up display that can show all the relevant driving data plus navigation directions directly in your eye-line.
Citroen’s latest infotainment system runs on a 12-inch touchscreen that sits high on the dashboard within easy reach. In addition to two physical shortcut buttons the new system has multi-finger gesture and swipe functionality much like a smartphone. Speaking of which, both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available wirelessly and Citroen offers an inductive wireless charging pad, too. By sticking exclusively with automatic transmissions there is a wide and flat centre console between the front seats that has a rocker switch for selecting forward or reverse gears set into it.
Comfort is a major factor in the C5 X and that is first experienced by sitting in the driver’s seat. A wide seat base is augmented by a 15mm thick layer of memory foam that makes it remarkably comfortable. The generous length of the Citroen C5 X benefits those sitting in the rear with excellent amounts of leg- and kneeroom. Boot space measures 545 litres on both the petrol models, while the plug-in hybrid gets a little less at 485 litres due to the additional battery and electrical hardware underneath.
Citroen C5 X Performance & Drive
Without question comfort is the overriding feature of the Citroen C5 X and the use of the company’s patented Progressive Hydraulic Cushion technology in the suspension gives the car a soft and bump-absorbing ride quality that is quite unique in the market today. Poor road surfaces appear as if they’ve been magically smoothed over, even with 19-inch wheels fitted. That prioritisation of comfort does mean that the Citroen isn’t quite as sharp when driven that bit harder and a healthy amount of body lean is followed by understeer with continued hard driving.
What sets the plug-in hybrid model apart from those powered by the 1.2- and 1.6-litre petrol engines is that it gains an adaptive suspension setup that is better at controlling the car’s mass through corners and is that bit more honed. The suspension will adapt to the selected drive mode, of which there are four to choose from, and it makes for a more complete package.
The hybrid system itself is made of a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and an 81kW electric motor that is powered by a 12.4kWh lithium-ion battery. With a full charge it can cover up to 55 kilometres electrically and when both motors are working simultaneously the maximum outputs are 225hp and 360Nm. That is sufficient to see it accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7.8 seconds.
Citroen C5 X Pricing
Citroen is still in the process of finalising pricing and specification details for the C5 X. What we do already know is that there will be three trim levels called Feel Pack, Flair and Flair Pack and Citroen has confirmed that all three powertrain options will be available. Buyers in Ireland can also avail of a complementary home charging point thanks to a partnership between Citroen Ireland and Energia.
Carzone Verdict: 4/5
On looks alone the Citroen C5 X stands out as something different in the estate market. The interior is very good and roomy too, while the plug-in hybrid system is capable of delivering both an economical and relaxed driving experience.