The new Citroen C5 X in 5 intriguing questions

See how it differs from other French luxury cars

Why did they bother with the X?

I have a sense this is exactly the question Citroen wanted you to ask about their new C5. Of course, it could relate to the car's crossover inspired ride height sitting lower than most SUVs but considerably higher than every other saloon and estate car. But no. Secondly, and this covers part of the reason behind the letter is Citroen's heritage at making grandly comfortable cars such as the CX launched in 1975 as well as the 1989 XM. Mostly though, the X refers to the 2016 Citroen CXperience concept (see what they did there) which, aside from a letter, helped inspire the brand new C5 in many other ways.

The running lights up front, for instance, follow the same X pattern (what a coincidence) and so do the high beams below. The overall shape of the concept also stands similar to the production car. It doesn't come in full-size estate form because of its sloppier rear-end but ditches the obvious sedan format.

And that brings me on to the next question.

Can the C5 X do it all?

I'll make things clear right from the start, no, it won't water your plants and neither will it send your exhausting (but adorable) children to the moon. However, when it comes to transporting your beloved family and everyone's luggage in great comfort and suitable style, then yes, the C5 X does it all. Aside from its crossover-like ride height which makes getting in and out easier, the car offers sleek proportions and smooth lines throughout the exterior to retain elegant saloon looks. Furthermore, it benefits from a practical tailgate design and offers an estate-sized boot and roomy back seats.

Those rear seats are actually raised compared to the front's so that rear passengers aren't obscured by the back of them and get a clear view of the road ahead.

Is there anything I wasn't expecting about the new C5?

If you've been looking at recent renders previewing the C5's exterior design, the production result may not surprise you as a result.

We expected the high riding position, its new light signature, and the body's overall lines. It's the same unsurprising story with the interior which is very similar to the latest C4 SUV only with more leather and bamboo.

Citroen C4 dashboard

Citroen C4 dashboard

Citroen C5 dashboard, spot the difference(s)

Citroen C5 dashboard, spot the difference(s)

The infotainment screen is bigger in the C5 X but uses the same interface. The panel below the screen containing the air vents and very few physical buttons are also straight out of its SUV cousin and so are the dials below the below the screen part (not a mistake) are also borrowed from the C4. My point is, Citroen promised the C5 to come with truly original aesthetics and features which is why, on a more personal note, I was hoping for a touch more extravagance coming from Citroen's grand revival of their luxury car.

Is the C5 X just like every other French luxury car?

It comes with four wheels, four doors, and one larger door round the back. It uses similar technology to the DS9 flagship and as we expect from French high-end cars, an original take on interior and exterior design. However, where recent French luxury saloons like the 2001 C6, the previous generation Peugeot 508 or the newest DS9, the Citroen C5 X won't be a failure. Not only is it a handsome, practical, well-built, and technologically advanced car, Citroen isn't marketing it against Germany's most refined cars of the segment. The C5 X is seen as a comfortable sedan and roomy estate coupled to the benefits you get from an SUV.

The base price of around £26 000 as predicted is reasonable and the car is seen as a perfect all-rounder, not another French try at capturing the premium saloon segment.

What if I'm driving and questioning the fact that this really is a Citroen?

Then, in this case, the quirky French brand has thought of you. Dotted around the interior, throughout the stitching on the door panels, dashboard, and seat upholstery are hidden a continuity of Citroen logos for when you want to have an in-car easter egg hunt, or when you suddenly forget what you've spent about £30 000 on.

Of course, in that case, you could also have a quick glimpse at the steering wheel but Citroen being a French brand, it offers solutions to a problem you didn't ever think you'd have.

Thanks for reading

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Comments (2)

  • Oh dear, what a shame, what a lost opportunity. Imagine a Citroen dressed up as a Peugeot, and that's what they've ended up with. The prototype, the light blue car halfway down the picture list was FAR more beautiful than the dog's dinner they've ended up with. The interior is a dreary mashup of everyone else's ideas and sod all novel at all. Where is the signature single spoke steering wheel? I'd have put the spoke towards one side or the other and put a scrolling touch sensitive area on it, like a laptop. Tesla has done the single centre screen, so give the driver a fully featured heads-up display instead, and every passenger their own touch screen to watch movies and play games on instead. Dress up the interior with subtle and aesthetically pleasing materials, not bloody Vs all over the place. No centre console and a flat floor? Cup holders in the doors with built in cooler/heaters? Room for rear passengers to slide their feet beneath the front seats, something most other cars do not give you? A return to super soft seats you just sink into. All this is current technology and costs bugger all to feature instead of the boring old norm. Dull, dull, dull. Unimpressed, at all.

      1 month ago
  • It looks nice though (génial) and looks like a modern interpretation of the old CX. Good luck Citroen!

      1 month ago