We could probably spend the rest of this article trying to answer the question of why anyone would want to do this, but in a world where people seem hell-bent on SUVs by any means, Citroën probably realises a straightforward saloon simply wouldn’t sell. As such, we’ve ended up with the C5 X which – according to the brand – “offers the elegance of a saloon, the versatility of an estate and the commanding presence of an SUV”.
We’ll reserve judgement on whether this concoction is a success or not until we’ve driven it.
Citroën is hoping to ensnare customers from both the large car and SUV segments by offering its interpretation of the best of both worlds in the C5 X. It’s based on the CXperience Concept which was first revealed way back in 2016 at the Paris Motor Show and is now the brand’s flagship model.
It’s essentially a high-riding large estate, measuring 4805mm long, 1865mm wide and 1485mm tall, or a good 50-100mm taller than an equivalent ‘regular’ estate car. A wheelbase of 2785mm means plenty of room for rear seat passengers, whilst 545 litres of boot space with rear sears up, and 1640 litres with them folded is pretty cavernous.
To accentuate the car’s height, the C5 X has a high waistline, carrying rearward from the signature front end. Ground clearance is obviously up slightly on a standard estate car – albeit not by a lot – and the optional 19 inch wheels certainly make the most of this. SUV fans will appreciate the higher driving position which provides “greater visibility and safety” – though we’d argue that the latter point is somewhat subjective.
Citroën is very much dedicated to comfort in its new models and the C5 X gains the distinction of debuting the Citroën Advanced Comfort active suspension system – the latest development in its ‘magic carpet’ ride concept. PHEV variants get an active version which enhances the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions by softening them in certain conditions for a smoother ride.
Citroën’s Advanced Comfort seats, which use multiple cushion layers to improve comfort, are featured here. In addition, a newly designed cockpit area and panoramic glass house with a large sunroof increase the sense of roominess.
Up front is a 12 inch high-definition touchscreen, four USB sockets and wireless smartphone charging. The touchscreen interface is designed to mimic smartphone and tablet control systems with major functions no more than one or two interactions from the home screen. An extended head-up display provides the driver with vital info and offers a level of augmented reality with navigation commands, for example.
Adaptive cruise control gives the Citroën C5 X Level 2 autonomous driving capability including stop and go, and lane keep assist. Blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert and an optional 360-degree camera add to the convenience on offer.
The Citroën C5 X is getting the brand’s 225 PHEV powertrain which sends 221bhp to the front wheels courtesy of a 1.6-litre, 177bhp turbocharged petrol engine and 107bhp electric motor. Using the latter alone, the car can be driven for up to 31 miles while producing no local emissions at speeds of up to 84mph. As per equivalent cars, like the DS 9, the 11.9kWh battery can be charged in around 90 minutes using a 7.4kW wall box.
Citroën will start selling the C5 X in the UK in late 2021. Prices will be announced closer to the on sale date.