Road test: Citroen C5 X
Crossover is a term usually reserved for cars that combine the practicalities of an SUV with the family-friendliness of a passenger car.
The Citroen C5 X does this and so much more. It has a coupe-like style and has such a large load area it is more akin to an estate coupled with a decent ride height that gives a good view of the road. It is sleek and long and has beautiful lines and bonnet scoops like nothing else around.
There are bits of plastic cladding above the wheel arches which is a nod to its SUV credentials and even a couple of rear spoilers for a sporty touch. It’s not conventionally beautiful as cars go but after a week of admiring it from every angle I decided I really liked it. A lot.
Driving the C5 X is also a pleasant experience, It wafts along and gives a comfortable ride.
A road I take regularly has killer speed bumps but the suspension soaked them up without complaint.Steering is light and the turning circle better than expected which is good news as the C5 X is 4.8m long and 2m wide.
The rear view camera and responsive parking sensors make for confident parking and squeezing through narrow gaps.
The constant beeps, trills and whistles that alert the driver to obstacles and speed camera do get a bit annoying sometimes and I suspect some may turn them off.
We drove the 129bhp 1.2litre three-cylinder petrol-engined model and there’s a more powerful 178bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder model - both are only available with eight-speed automatic transmissions with gears selected by way of a sliding switch that takes a bit of getting used to.
There’s also a plug-in hybrid that uses the 1.6-litre petrol with an added motor to boost it to 228bhp, with Citroen claiming it only takes one hour 40 minutes using a 7.4kw charger which is pretty impressive.
There are only three trim levels but they are so well-equipped there is probably no need for any others.
Entry price is £27,790 and our mid-range Shine comes out at £29,290.
The interior is pretty luxurious for what is really an attractive price. Materials used in the cockpit look and feel of good quality and glossy black plastic trim has been kept to a minimum. Seats have a pleasant stitching detail are very comfortable with memory foam filling.
While many of the controls are accessed via the 12in touchscreen, the climate controls and infotainment volume are dials which is a real plus point.
Connectivity is impressive with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto working wirelessly, four of the newer USB-C ports - including two in the back - and in the top two trims wireless phone charging.
The C5X is comfortable all round.
There is loads of rear leg room and the doors open wide for easy access.
Although boot height is compromised slightly by the sloping roof the length can be extended with the flick of a switch that folds down the rear seats.
Unusually the bumper is black plastic rather than painted and there is no lip so loading is both easy and safe from damage. The C5 X may not prove be a best seller for Citroen but it is distinctive and practical enough to attract buyers who want something a little different.
Citroen C5 X Shine PureTech 130
Price: £29,290 (£31,740 as tested)
Engine: 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, petrol
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Top speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 10.4 seconds
CO 2emissions: 136g/km