Citroen returns to its quirky roots in the luxury segment with the unusual C5 X. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Review

If Citroen is to return to its traditionalist roots, it needs a big, plush comfort-orientated quirky flagship model. Which is exactly what we've got with this car, the unusual but potentially rather pleasing C5 X. It's an unusual confection, but the right kind of customer might rather like it.


It's been a long time since we've had a credible large Citroen. Come to think of it, it's been a long time since we've been offered any kind of large Citroen at all, the last one being the quirky C6 and before that the XM, the successor to the CX models of the '70s and '80s. Yet here we are telling you about the C5 X, offered in a single body style delivering that unusual combination of SUV, estate and luxury saloon.

Yes, the same kind of combination characterised by the notably unsuccessful BMW 3, 5 and 6 series Gran Turismo models. On a car sharing a badge with a Mondeo sector model (the C5) deleted a few years back for slow sales. From a brand with no history of success against the German premium makers who dominate the luxury car segment. You've got to cheer for the underdog haven't you? And we rather like this one, a car with an 'X' suffix referencing its market position positioning 'at the crossroads of customers' needs', according to Citroen.

Driving Experience

So many family cars these days seem, to a greater or lesser degree, seem to feel the need to be 'sporty'. The C5 X doesn't, prioritising ride over handling, refinement over driving involvement. If those are your priorities too, you might well like it very much - in either of the two forms Citroen's offering in our market. We tried the conventional variant, which uses a 130hp version of the Stellantis Group's usual 1.2-litre three cylinder PureTech petrol engine, mated to 8-speed EAT8 auto transmission. In this guise, the car gets the passive version of Citroen's clever 'Progressive Hydraulic Cushion' suspension system.

The C5 X alternative is a 225hp 1.6-litre petrol Plug-in Hybrid powertrain in a model which compensates for its extra 304kgs of weight by the extra fitment of that suspension system in more advanced 'Active' form. With that, a system of sensors scan and evaluate the condition of the road surface as you drive, preparing the springs for bumps and undulations before you reach them. Which is just enough to make this Citroen a rather lovely thing to travel in. The PHEV model offers a potential 39 mile EAER-rated EV driving range from its 12.4kWh battery.

Design and Build

Well it looks a bit different doesn't it? Depending on your perspective and what angle you view it from, this is either a Crossover, a big estate or a luxury large hatch. The looks and the interior are inspired by the CXexperience concept car of 2016, but all the engineering underneath is based on the usual Stellantis Group EMP2 chassis underpinnings.

So, a Peugeot 508 in a more unusual set of clothes? Well you won't think so once you take a seat inside because it feels very different, thanks to Citroen's 'Advanced Comfort' design ethos which includes thick lounge-type front chairs you can really sink into. The cabin tech though, is largely a re-packaged version of what we've seen before in other large Peugeots and DS models. So a digital instrument cluster, a colour head-up display and a 12-inch centre touchscreen with voice control and over-the-air updates. Perhaps the biggest difference here is the space you get further back, thanks to the lengthy 2,785mm wheelbase. There's an enormous amount of rear seat space, with the airy feel enhanced by big panoramic roof and large windows. And you get a capacious 545-litre boot.

Market and Model

There's a simple range on offer here and we'll give you the pricing for it that applied at the time of our test in Autumn 2022. You choose either the conventional PureTech 130 petrol engine we tried, priced from around £28,000. Or the petrol Plug-in Hybrid 225 variant, which costs from around £37,000. Either way, you have to have an EAT8 auto gearbox and there's the choice of three trim levels - 'Sense Plus', 'Shine' or 'Shine Plus'.

The C5 X is also at the cutting edge of technology in the field of driving assistance systems, thanks to its use of various advanced devices installed all around the vehicle, including radar and numerous cameras and sensors. With its 'Highway Driver Assist' system, this Citroen offers advanced semi-autonomous level 2 driving. By combining 'Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go' and 'Lane Keeping Assist', the driver no longer needs to manage speed or trajectory as the vehicle takes care of all these functions. Other features that make driving easier and stress-free include long range 'Blind Spot Detection' and 'Rear Cross Traffic Alert', which detects a danger when reversing.

Cost of Ownership

Citroen usually specialises in extremely efficient running cost returns and this C5 X is no different in that regard. Expect the 1.2 PureTech 130 petrol unit with its EAT8 auto transmission to be able to return up to 48.6mpg on the combined cycle and up to 137g/km of CO2.

For really frugal running cost returns though, you'll need the clever Plug-in Hybrid variant, which returns up to 236.2mpg on the combined cycle. This uses a 12.8kWh battery which can be fully charged in under two hours using a standard 7kW Wallbox. Once that's done, an all-electric EAER-rated driving range of up to 39 miles is possible.

Whatever your choice of C5 X, you'll properly want to keep garage costs in check by opting for the affordable 3 year servicing plan that is available at point of purchase. Finally, there's the usual Citroen three year / 60,000 mile warranty.


A C5 X will be a rare sight on British roads, but we can't help liking it. Let almost everyone else in the sector sign on the dotted line for something dull and probably German. Instead, go and try one of these. Be different. Just as Citroen is now once more trying to be.


CAR: Citroen C5 X

PRICES: £28,670 - £40,155



CO2 EMISSIONS: 27-137 g/km

PERFORMANCE: [Hybrid 225] 0-62mph 8s / top speed 140mph

FUEL CONSUMPTION: Electric range - WLTP 38.5 miles / Combined 236.2mpg

BOOT CAPACITY: [litres] 545-1640

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: length/Width/Height 4805/1865/1485 mm