CITROËN is known for its genre-busting car designs — avant garde products that challenge conventions, such as the classic DS and 2CV. That spirit was in evidence when the buddle wrap-clad C4 Cactus rolled of the production line in 2014, and the new C4 continues the ethos by merging traditional hatchback and SUV bodystyles.
The French car maker’s next model is set to be another provocateur. The Citroën C5 X, the company’s new flagship car due to go on sale in the second half of this year, is claimed to blend elements from saloon, estate and SUV (and possibly even fastback) models to “arouse surprise and excitement at first sight in a rather traditional segment.”
Available with both pure-petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrains, the C5 X is characterised by a long bonnet, high waistline and lofty stance, as well as a large boot of 545 litres, or up to 1,640 litres when the rear seat is folded. With the second row down, practicality is aided by a flat floor, wide rear opening, electric hatch with foot operation, low sill and straight internal side walls for easy loading.
But while utility in the new C5 X is a point of which Citroën is clearly proud, it has paid even more attention to comfort, with plush seats and a pliant ride, thanks to suspension that the car maker says can “overcome all obstacles, potholes, kerbs, speed bumps and other road connections.”
The car maker says particular effort has been put into to the acoustics of the cabin, with laminated front and rear windows helping to dampen harsh road and wind noise for less stressful journeys.
The plug-in hybrid model comes with a more advanced active suspension system designed to iron out road imperfections on highways but provide more responsive handling through corners.
Citroën’s press release doesn’t go into detail about the pure-petrol model’s performance and efficiency but says the plug-in hybrid offers the most serene driving experience. Its power output of 222bhp puts it directly between the new Skoda Octavia iV plug-in hybrid and its sportier Octavia vRS PHEV derivative, meaning the C5 X should have decent get-up-and-go.
It can manage up to 31 miles on electric power, officially, at speeds of up to 84mph, before the petrol engine fires up for hybrid running. Citroën claims it is possible to spend a week without using the internal combustion engine while making your usual journeys, recharging at home, work or at a public charging point. The on-board combustion engine means long journeys are convenient, with quick fuel stops rather than lengthy recharges.
The cabin includes a wide-angle 12in touchscreen with wireless Mirror Screen (no need to attach a cable) for smartphones. It’s unclear at the time of writing if Android Auto and Apple Carplay, wireless or otherwise, are also compatible, though they are with other recent cars from parent company Stellantis (formerly PSA Group). In addition, a personal assistant allows the infotainment system to be controlled via voice command.
In front of the driver is a digital instrument panel and the C5 X will include an “extended head-up display” that projects driving information on to the windscreen. Citroën says the system used is a first step towards augmented reality head-up displays — a technology very much in its infancy but already being introduced on a handful of models from rival brands.
The 2021 Citroën C5X is also fitted with all-round sensors in the form of sonar, radar and camera, to enable semi-autonomous driving “in compliance with current legislation”, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist to take the stress out of motorway driving.
The sensors also allow other safety aids, including long range blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert (for reversing out of driveways, for example) and 360-degree parking cameras. In addition. proximity hands-free access and start, automatically locks and unlocks the doors when the driver approaches or leaves the vehicle.
Prices and full specifications of the will be revealed closer to the on-sale date in the second half of 2021.
– After reading about the new 2021 Citroën C5 X, you may like to read our review of the 2021 Citroën C4 and electric e-C4.
– Also take a look at our extended test of another plug-in hybrid for families, the new Skoda Octavia iV Estate.
– And don’t miss these 10 brilliant adverts from Citroën’s first 100 years.