- Dynamic design with performance to match
- Practical family all-rounder
- Magic carpet ride comfort levels – even over rougher surfaces
- Options mean it qualifies for higher premium car tax levy
- US accent on the sat nav (alternatives to follow)
- Narrow rear screen
The Citroen C5 X is a worthy successor to the numerous grand tourers the French carmaker has launched through the ages. Boasting a bold crossover design and a wealth of high-end on-board tech, it’s a car for any active family looking for some upmarket quality in their vehicle.
Customers can choose from trim levels called Sense Plus, Shine and Shine Plus and there is also a wide range of powertrains. These include PureTech petrol models powered by a 1.2-litre PureTech 130 or 1.6-litre PureTech 180 engine. Alternatively, buyers can opt for an ultra-efficient plug-in hybrid model. All cars feature an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
A single glance in the direction of the C5 X will leave you in little doubt this is a flagship model featuring design cues from iconic models of the past, along with a taster of what we can expect from the French carmaker.
New Chevron badging and flowing LED headlights help the clamshell bonnet stand out. While from the side, the C5 X has a dynamic profile. There are 19-inch alloys and the test car also featured a black bi-tone roof and opening panoramic sunroof as optional extras.
The interior is high-end in its design with quality fixtures and fittings. Neat little Citroen chevrons can be found in the door panels and leather seats, which are powered and can be heated.
The main focal point is the 12-inch HD touchscreen offering access to the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sat nav, an eight-speaker audio, Bluetooth streaming and much more.
There is a separate panel for the climate control and a head-up display shows data such as speed, safety prompts and navigation directions.
The only downside was the American accent for the sat nav instructions, but options will be available soon and automatically updated to the car.
On The Road
Handling & Performance
With a choice of trims and engines, we selected the all-new Plug-in hybrid C5 X in range-topping Shine Plus grade. This powertrain sees a combination of the 1.6-litre PureTech 180 petrol engine with an 81.2kW electric motor and 1.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
This results in a combined power output of 225bhp and 360Nm of torque. With an all-electric range of up to 37 miles, this model can complete the 0-62mph sprint in 7.9 seconds and tops out at 145mph.
The acceleration out the blocks is instant and the C5 X cruises with ease at 70mph making long motorway journeys a pleasure. The eight-speed automatic transmission is well timed, with paddles for added driver engagement too.
Lounge-like comfort is guaranteed thanks to the Citroen Advanced Comfort Suspension that controls each wheel individually for a balanced ride and it varies according to which of the Comfort, Normal or Sport driving modes are selected.
Hybrid settings called Electric, Hybrid, Comfort and Sport alter the reactions of the car, but it is perfectly balanced fizzing through twisting lanes with great grip and well weighted steering.
A Brake mode increases the amount of energy recouped during braking and the EV range can also be stored.
Space & Practicality
Citroen proudly claims the C5 X combined the status of an SUV, the elegance of a saloon and versatility of an estate and we pretty much agree with that bold statement.
It measures 4,805mm long, is 1,865mm wide, 2,062mm high and has a 2,785mm wheelbase. There is bags of space for three adults in the back with generous amounts of head, leg and elbow room. Comfort levels are aided by the excellent Citroen Advanced Comfort seats that feature 15mm of extra memory foam.
The boot can swallow 485 litres of kit, increasing to 1,580 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rears seats dropped flat (it is slightly larger, at 545 and 1,640 litres, on ICE models). But even so, with a practical low-loading lip, the car can carry a washing machine with ease.
Inside, there is a deep glovebox, door pockets with a non-slip lining, seat back nets, front and rear cup holders, deep covered trays and a central bin. Four USB-C charging ports will help keep occupants connected on the move.
Charging the C5 X PHEV to 100 per cent takes less than two hours via a 7.4kW wallbox home charger.
The Citroen C5 X line-up costs from £27,790 for the PureTech 130 model in entry-level Sense Plus. The PHEV range costs from £36,470 and rises to £39,960 for the high-end Shine Plus version, as tested.
A few optional extras saw the price creep up to £43,560 which means it qualifies for the premium car levy charge for vehicles over £40k. This means an extra £335 would be added to the road tax bill for five years.
However, the low carbon emissions figure of just 30g/km would keep the VED costs low at £10 for the first year, increasing to £155 after 12 months. And the attractive 12 per cent Benefit in Kind rating makes the car a tempting choice for business and fleet drivers.
The official WLTP-tested efficiency figure of 162.2-236.2mpg would only be achievable if the vehicle was driven a lot of the time in EV-only mode and charged regularly, but the range of 37 miles will be well within the average daily commute.
The C5 X, as tested, sits in insurance group 31.
Few cars offer such all-round appeal and leave us flummoxed at what to criticise. The only real irritant was the American accent on the sat nav, but that is being address as we type and over-the-air updates will soon be available. The C5 X is an excellent family car that’s very big on style, performance and comfort.