Why the Citroën C5X is incredibly underwhelming

Arguably the biggest disappointment of the year for me

2w ago
2.9K

A while back, Citroën announced that they were producing a brand new C5. I was overjoyed at this news. I'd had a Mk2 C5 Estate in the family for as long as I could remember, and in my opinion at least, it's one of the most underrated cars of all time. It was great to look at for starters. The interior and the boot were both incredibly capacious, and it was actually pretty luxurious. Even the puniest of the diesels pulled pretty well, but the V6s in particular were awesome engines and it was incredibly fuel efficient (we managed 1000 miles on a full tank once!). Contrary to what you'd believe for a French car too, both of the C5s were incredibly reliable. We drove over 150,000 miles in the first car alone over a relatively short space of time, and it had no faults, apart from us having to replace the windscreen because some stupid VW Touareg flicked a rock into it. But best of all was the suspension. It was the last ever Citroën to feature the iconic hydropneumatic suspension and it is hands down the most comfortable car I have ever ridden in, and it's not as though there's no competition there.

I adored the Mk2 C5

I adored the Mk2 C5

But then the C5X was revealed. Instead of being the elegant, luxurious car topped off with neat engines that any true flagship should be, it was an elongated crossover equipped with incredibly mediocre suspension and the most pathetic engines since the DMC DeLorean.

First off, you've got the bodystyle. It isn't a bodystyle, it's an identity crisis and you know it. But unlike a car such as the Aston Martin Vantage Zagato Shooting Brake, it's not got any redeeming features in doing so. Yes it's got a raised ride height, but the wheels and suspension combined mean it can't offroad any more than an Alfa Romeo Giulia. It also makes it less stable and therefore worse to drive and more likely to roll. And then to whatever the hell the rear is. If you want a practical boot with a bunch of space, have an estate. If you're strange and seem to care about that extra 0.05cd of drag coefficiency, you get a saloon. But either way, make your Goddamn mind up! There's no benefit of compromising here. Sure it's quirky, but quirky isn't always a good thing. Look at the Pontiac Aztek or BMW's current front fascia if you're in want of some proof.

if you’re expecting a softness of ride quality that makes you think time has turned back 40 years, you’ll be disappointed.

Autocar

Then there's that suspension that Citroën claim will be oh so comfortable. They say it'll as much do for Citroën's long lasting image of comfort as the good old hydropneumatic system we all know and love. But it won't. It uses the identical "progressive hydraulic cushion" suspension system identical to that used in the Citroën C5 Aircross. The well renowned Autocar said this about the suspension in that car in their road test: "As on the C4 Cactus, if you’re expecting a softness of ride quality that makes you think time has turned back 40 years, you’ll be disappointed." The C4 Cactus my family has for daily commutes also uses a similar system, and soaks up the bumps about as well as a Lamborghini Huracan. So will it live up to its predecessor in this respect? Not a chance.

And finally the powertrain. I'll give it to you straight: it's the same unit used in the Peugeot 5008, a car hardly appraised for its hybrid engine in terms of range, performance, refinement or anything at all. If you think that this is a powertrain worthy of a flagship luxo barge then you need a psychiatrist.

To conclude, we've confirmed that there is absolutely no reason for you to like the C5X apart from wanting to spite me (which is admittedly understandable), your brain cell count is a negative integer or you just share your first name with the CEO of Citroën.

Feel free to whinge at me in the comments

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Comments (39)

  • I agree, it's awful. And I totally adore my dads mk2 c5 estate. Especially the rear view

      14 days ago
  • Honestly I don't understand this car's design. Is it an Estate/SB/Sedan?! Goddamn it is so confusing!

      14 days ago
    • It's just stupid! They say it caters for all markets, but we all know that's impossible.

        14 days ago
    • Ha nobody will buy a single piece here cuz neither of those 3 bodystyles are in high demand

        14 days ago
  • Agree totally.

      14 days ago
  • All I'm left thinking after looking at the thing is, where is the quirkiness??

      14 days ago
    • Yeah, you'd think that strange bodystyle combination would lead to at least a mildly interesting product, but it really hasn't.

        14 days ago
  • I just like the fact Citroen have lost the plot. They've been making good cars for far too long, they need to go nonsensical again

      13 days ago
    • Their cars have been incredibly mediocre for the last 10 years, and whilst I thouhht this was going to be the start of a new era for them, it wasn't.

        13 days ago
    • Still, its better than what we have had...

      Have you managed to drive it yet? I thought it was unavailable till next year...

        13 days ago
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