The Citroen C5 X is an intriguing type of automotive, as massive Citroens are usually. It’s fairly arduous to know what to make of it once you first clap eyes on it. For Citroenists, it has a number of styling nods to previous glories, however in up to date phrases it seems very very similar to an enlarged C4, for those who’re accustomed to that one, with its excessive waistline and sloping roof, however the C5 X is moderately longer and actually has a noticeably massive overhanging boot on the again. It is, very a lot as Citroen supposed, a mixture of an government saloon, an SUV, an SUV-coupe crossover and an property automotive.
It’s obtained a little bit of all the pieces about it, and all of it comes collectively moderately nicely. It’s purported to be a “celebration” of the likes of the wonderful CX, XM and C6, for instance (although not the traditional DS, which, presumably, is what their new DS model is all about). Like one of the best of the massive Citroens, it has presence on the highway and a horny type of stance. It’s sleekly aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient of 0.29, and the SUV-like peak provides you a pleasant commanding view of the world. It’s no Range Rover, so that you don’t fairly really feel majestic up there, but it surely feels good all the identical.
Despite the sweeping roof, there’s good headroom too, and it’s obtained 5 separate seats in addition to loads of baggage house within the again – an excellent posh taxi actually (545 litres of room with the again seats in place, 1,640 litres with the seats down, and with helpful ground rails to guard the carpeted boot).
It is undoubtedly one of many finest-looking automobiles Citroen have knocked out in current a long time – much less of a self-conscious pastiche than the C6, and way more distinctive than the C5 Aircross (which continues as a extra typical SUV). There are a number of sinuous curves and swathes extending proper into the scooped-out flanks and clam-shaped bonnet. It seems just like the designers spent a whole lot of time within the clay modelling studio (or on the computer-assisted equivalents). It’s a really good-looking factor.
Even if I didn’t understand it was Chinese-built and really a lot impressed by Chinese tastes – the Citroen model is important over there and rising – I might inform from its sheer size and the best way the design bestows class-leasing rear house for chauffeur-driven occupants. In China, driving automobiles just isn’t what folks aspire to; being within the again with house to stare out and dilate on the world and with a nice view of the highway forward is the goal of enterprise and political leaders. The C5 X is made for them, and, in its personal manner, is a logo of how the steadiness of automotive energy on the planet is shifting eastwards (commerce wars and actual wars allowing).
So, it’s massive, alright, large enough to suit a washer within the again; however is it as “serene” as Citroen declare it to be? Which is moderately the purpose of a full-sized Citroen automotive? Yes and no. That does, greater than ordinary, depend upon which variant you choose. The entry-level mannequin, for instance, is sort of superb worth at £27,790, just because it’s so many automotive for the money, even up in opposition to such robust competitors because the Skoda Superb property or Volkswagen Arteon.
For that, nevertheless, it’s important to put up with the 1.2l engine, which is excellently engineered to maximise gasoline consumption and efficiency (small capability, however injected and turbocharged), however which does should work fairly arduous to maneuver alongside, even with a properly easy eight-speed gearbox. The plug-in hybrid variations appear to experience higher, and are a sensible choice for folks who could make use of the tax break and who make a number of comparatively brief journeys – you get about 20 miles’ vary on electric-only. The choose of the bunch is the middling 1.6 petrol-only variations, which profit from the automotive’s potential for refined cruising. Needless to say lately, however nonetheless outstanding, there’s no diesel choice, but additionally no all-electric model both, which actually can be a serene machine.
As for the journey, the C5 X in all variations has the same old driver help aids, connectivity, mushy however supportive seats, a horny giant touchscreen and simply accessed main controls. The solely let-downs are a bit an excessive amount of highway noise transmitted by the trendy 19in alloy wheels, and the standard of the supplies within the cabin, which aren’t particularly spectacular even in the costliest variations, ranging past £40,000.
It’s not that they don’t look good, with their little Citroen chevron motifs, however they don’t measure as much as a number of the mainstream competitors, such because the Skoda Superb, Genesis G70 Shooting Brake or certainly the in-house Stellantis group rival Peugeot 5008 (not to mention the ever-present menace from the premium manufacturers). Some comparatively modest enhancements might rework the showroom enchantment of the mannequin.
Of course, in addition to being trendy, “different” and cozy, massive Citroens have additionally traditionally suffered from gut-wrenching deprecation – everybody’s nearly-new automotive of selection. Every time they launch a brand new full-size Citroen the model execs clarify the way it gained’t drop like a stone on the used market. Every time it doesn’t fairly work out that manner.
This time, we’re advised, it truly is totally different, and so they’ve produced impartial CAP stats to show the purpose. Maybe, and the present scarcity of recent automobiles due to shortages of pc chips does definitely assist, however maybe the actual change is in how we purchase automobiles these days, by PCP, private leasing and different plans, which blurs and spreads the prices of deprecation, and makes that conventional Citroen bugbear moderately much less related, or at the very least much less seen. This time, the Citroen expertise actually could be totally different…