Citroen has cultured a reputation for doing things in its own quirky way – and that attitude won’t change anytime soon. Next year, the company will launch a new comfort-focused flagship crossover called the C5 X, which will straddle the gulf between a low-slung estate car and a tall-riding SUV.
To add a further layer of complexity to the mix, Citroen says the C5 X will be the ultimate expression of relaxation and well-being the company has to offer, and it’ll do all of that for £27,000, which is almost £16,000 less than the equivalent Audi A4 allroad.
The C5 nameplate is a tricky one to wrap your head around, though. The C5 X is worlds apart from the more functional character of C5 Aircross SUV and also slightly more premium, thanks to its cleaner surfacing and minimalist classy interior.
However, the C5 X does share its EMP2 platform, as well as its petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrains, with the C5 Aircross (and, indeed, other larger members on the PSA side of the new Stellantis group).
The naming is best explained by Citroen CEO Vincent Cobée, who told us, “We’ve had a lot of touring vehicles in the past called C5. We see this as a well-deserved, hedonist offer, not a luxury offer – it’s a dream you can have.”
That attitude is reflected in the pricing. The C5 X’s £27,000 starting price will only soar as high as £35,000 for the plug-in hybrid version – and for that, you get a car that’s longer than the Peugeot 508 SW at 4,805mm. The wheelbase is a little shorter, though, at 2,785mm.
New 2022 Citroen C5 X: design and interior
Citroen’s focus for the C5 X was roominess, both in the cabin and the 545-litre boot (which, again, is slightly larger than the 508 SW’s). Fold down the rear seats and that figure swells to 1,640 litres, which Citroen says is enough space for a washing machine.
The C5 X takes its styling inspiration from the C-Xperience concept shown at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The low, wide nose features prominent double chevrons in the centre that splay outwards towards a new V-shaped light signature with slim LED daytime running lights sitting above the main headlight units.
The long bonnet gets a distinctive hump in the centre, while tall, narrow wheels fill arches trimmed with subtle SUV-style cladding. Unlike the C5 Aircross, there are no air bumps along the car’s side – just gentle creases at the bottom of the doors. There’s also a prominent kick upwards in the window line above the rear wheels.
Citroen clad the rear bumper in black plastic as a nod to its SUV styling language and, rather oddly for a car so focused on comfort, there are two spoilers – one at the top and one at the bottom of the rear glass. The LED lights also follow the V-shaped design of those at the front. It all adds up to a super-stylish, very modern crossover that’s still very Citroen.
Until we’ve had a chance to sit in the C5 X, we’re unable to verify whether Citroen has managed to make it roomier than we’ve seen so far from a car on EMP2, but the claims are that it will be “a passenger compartment worthy of a lounge area” with “unparalleled roominess”.
The cabin gets Citroen’s advanced comfort seats that feature special padding, like a memory foam mattress topper. The plug-in hybrid model will also be the first Citroen to receive the firm’s new Advanced Comfort active suspension, which promises a smooth ride.
Another first for the C5 X is an all-new 12-inch HD infotainment touchscreen that, like the new C4, has the heating and ventilation controls mounted separately, lower down on the dashboard. The infotainment system also features over-the-air updates, and there’s the option of an equipping and advanced head-up display that’s a sizeable 21 inches wide.
Level 2 autonomous driving technology (which blends adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assistance) will also be available, along with convenience features such as voice recognition, wireless smartphone charging and screen mirroring.
New 2022 Citroen C5 X: engines and drivetrains
Citroen hasn’t yet released all the specifications for the C5 X’s engine range, although the brand has confirmed that the crossover won’t be available with a diesel engine.
The cheapest option will be powered by the company’s turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which develops 128bhp. Above that, there’s a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol unit with 178bhp – and, unlike Citroen’s smaller vehicles, the C5 X will only be available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Above the petrols, there’ll be the same plug-in hybrid system found in the C5 Aircross, which blends the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor and a 13.2kWh battery pack for a combined output of 222bhp and a maximum electric range of 31 miles.
However, according to Cobée, there is the possibility that a larger battery pack could eventually find its way into the C5 X PHEV. “This will evolve,” he told us. “Yes, we will be able to increase zero-emissions range in the life of the vehicle.”
A fully electric version is less likely. Cobée said: “Fully electric is in our minds, but not in our plans. It might be an evolution depending on battery technology and charging infrastructure – in three to four years, it could be more relevant.”
Now click here for our in-depth review of the Citroen C5 Aircross…