Incredible comfort, space, design
New Car Review | Citroën C5 X
Good Stuff 👍
Bad Stuff 👎
The user interface, battery size
What is the Citroën C5X?
Excellent alternative to the Diesel SUV
The Citroën C5X is a very comfortable and spacious alternative to the SUV designs that are so popular these days. You would struggle to categorise it. It has a bit of height like an SUV, but also has the form of an Estate or Shooting Brake.
As you can imagine with Citroën, the suspension is incredibly comfortable. The seats have extra padding, and the general feel of the car is very calming. Adaptive Cruise Control and the smoothness of the electric motor all lead to a relaxing drive.
How about the looks of the Citroën C5X?
Avant-garde body shape
The C5X marks a return to form of the famous French brand. It’s now part of a much larger group including brands such as Peugeot and Opel. It is a largely sensible car, but retains some of the eccentricities that you would expect from the company.
Our test car was on 19” rims, which nicely filled out the wheel arches. It is raised up, giving a higher ride position, yet is distinctively not an SUV. The wide bonnet is imposing, and is needed in order to house both petrol and electric drivetrains. As you move around the side, the car begins to resemble an Estate or Shooting Brake. The roofline falls gradually, interrupted only by two spoilers; one coming off the roofline, the other rising from the boot.
It is a big car, coming in at 4.8m long, but it is also bulky. Although the market trend is increasingly toward SUVs, there is still a desire for a bigger vehicle that doesn’t conform to the SUV silhouette.
“It cannot be overstated just how comfortable the Citroën is to drive”
What is the inside of the Citroën C5X like?
Very comfortable materials, but a little busy
The C5X feels quite spacious inside thanks to its overall size. But it’s not just the size that gives the Citroën its level of comfort. The materials employed throughout are very well executed. For some people, the interior is a little busy, with multiple fabrics and materials spread across the dash and centre console. The designers were keen to make a mark, and there is much evidence of the Citroën chevrons across the cabin.
In terms of size, there is plenty of space in the cabin. In testing, we set up the drivers seat in a comfortable position for someone of 6ft 2”, and there was still plenty of space in the back for another person of the same height. The floor is not completely flat in the back row, and thanks to the car’s width, it would still be quite reasonable for another adult to fit in.
Although the screen has decent definition and is quick enough to respond, we didn’t feel that they quite nailed the user interface. It has a few quirks that we just didn’t enjoy. Having said that, we mostly used Android Auto, which worked absolutely fine. The Heads up display is quite good, and it’s a nice touch that you can adjust the display’s height.
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What is the Citroën C5X like to drive?
Solid, quiet and supremely comfortable in Electric Mode
It cannot be overstated just how comfortable the Citroën is to drive. The car proudly supports what they call Advanced Comfort Active Suspension. It features progressive hydraulic cushions which absorb everything you can throw it. On-board software reads the road ahead and sensors detect wheel speed and the suspension’s vertical position. What you are left with is a car that wafts over bumps and ramps, yet remains more rigid in cornering.
The Citroën feature adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, which make it a comfortable motorway cruiser. The adaptive cruise control will slow you down automatically as you come up behind slower moving traffic. Simply indicate, pull out and the car will automatically bring you back up to speed. The land keep assist helps if you’re losing lane discipline.
There are four driving modes for the C5X: Sport, Comfort, Hybrid and Electric. You can toggle between each mode depending on what you need. The Sport mode gives you all the power on tap, but for us, this begins to undermine the real strength of the car, which is comfort. In testing, we found ourselves using Electric mode as much as possible due to its smoothness. When we ran out of battery, it was straight to Comfort mode which does a good job of smoothing out the jerkiness of the combustion engine as it finds a gear.
Which Citroën C5X should I buy?
PHEV is best
There are three powertrain options when considering the C5X: the 1.2litre petrol engine that turns out 130hp, the 1.6litre petrol with 180hp or what we had on test, the Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). The PHEV gives you the 1.6litre petrol engine, but also has an 81kW motor that brings overall power up to 225hp. Although adequate for the vast majority of driving, the 1.2litre is a little timid for a car of this size. Once you jump up to the 1.6litre then the price difference is such that the PHEV is the better option in our opinion due to the benefits of electric driving.
You have 3 main ‘tones’ inside the Citroën, which covers the type of materials and general feel of the car. This comes down to personal preference, and we wouldn’t advise anyone either way.
In terms of colours, there is a blue as standard, which is actually quite nice. However, many people will option another colour at a cost of €735. Although the C5X is not a ‘hey, look at me’ type of car, it would still be nice to get a couple of more exciting colour options.
Is the Citroën C5X safe?
Has all the usual safety features, could do slightly better on tech
The C5X has most of the safety features you would expect, including forward collision warning, lane keep assist, multiple airbags and Rear Traffic Alert.
The C5X received 4 out of 5 stars at the EURO NCAP test results. The Citroën received 82% Adult Occupant, 87% for child occupant, 69% for vulnerable road users and 66% for Safety Assist.
The car is incredibly comfortable, especially in Electric mode. You get around 50km out of a charge, and at that point we were wishing for a bigger battery or even a fully electric model. Having said that, the battery capacity will cover a large portion of people’s daily needs. Some may even find themselves going months on a tank of fuel.
There are a number of people out there that will be weighing up a choice between cars such as the BMW 3-series or Audi A4. We really think that they should stop to consider the Citroën C5X. It marks a real return to form for the brand and we were thoroughly impressed over the week we had it. We’re not saying that it is the best for everyone, but it should at least make the short list and be taken for a test drive before deciding.
Spec Check ⚙️
Citroën C5 X
1.6-litre petrol, 81kW electric motor
55km WLTP from 13.23 kWh battery
Price as tested
From €50,090 incl. grants