The original Citröen C5 was produced at the Rennes Plant back in 2001, wasn’t the prettiest of five-door hatches, but sold in reasonable numbers, and the French loved them.
Move on 20 years and we now have the C5 X, and the only thing it really has in common with the original, is sharing the C5 badges, everything else is completely new.
The C5 X is undoubtedly the most luxurious car that Citröen produce. It is very difficult to ‘categorise’. It mixes Estate car, long low hatch, and a bit of SUV with its raised height thrown in for good looks; yet all of these descriptions do seem to contradict each other. But for some reason, the exterior design seems to work well. The rear end, in my humble opinion is very reminiscent of the C6, a car not that popular back in its day, but quite sought after now.
The C5 X I had on test from Citröen UK Press Department was powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine, coupled to electric motors giving it a total of 222bhp, making it a true hybrid. It goes from 0-100kph in 7.9 seconds. You can plug it in, and this will give you a range of around 40km. It also ‘self-charges’ when you are slowing down, braking or going down hills, and this spare energy goes back into the battery, is used at slow speeds, and reduces petrol used – in turn lowering emissions. But the driver does not have to think about what is going on with any of this as it does everything itself. All this technology and cleverness is coupled to a very smooth and efficient 8-speed auto gearbox.
All models of the C5 X has ‘Progressive Hydraulic Cushion Suspension’ and driving it took me back to the days when Citröen’s just gilded along, you never felt any lumps or bumps in the road, it just drove as though they were not there. The C5 X has got this feeling, only a whole lot better. Added to the superb suspension it also has Advanced Comfort Seats, to provide maximum cushioning. A great in-car sound system keeps you from having a siesta, when you should be driving. The cabin is such a quiet, peaceful place to sit, especially when everyone else has nodded-off. The downside of this ultra-comfy car is it tends to lean a bit on corners, doesn’t feel as sharp at handling as many other cars, but you can’t have it all in one car.
The other difference between the original C5, which was made in France, is the all-new C5 X is manufactured in China. It’s built to a very high standard with high quality materials and great fit & finish throughout.
I really enjoyed the Citröen C5 X for the week I had it, but after seven days, I was still unsure as to what, it was exactly, or where it fitted in in the market, but, does it really matter?