As Citroën dealerships get ready to take delivery of the all new C5 X flagship here in Ireland we got the chance to sample a first drive in sunny Barcelona. This car for us is a rather different offering in the sense that Citroën are out to appeal to a different type of buyer. It somehow combines the comfort and style of a saloon whilst giving buyers the space and versatility of an estate or SUV. Available with both plug-in hybrid and petrol powertrains Citroën have built the C5 X with the aim of exceeding the high expectations for customers in both the large car and SUV segments. Did they succeed? Lets find out! First things first, the new C5 X breaks new ground with the introduction of Citroën Advanced Comfort active suspension system. Naturally the brand are known for a comfortable ride in all of their vehicles but here they go one step further to deliver the brand’s famed ‘magic carpet’ ride comfort with a new set up. With a choice of three modes, the suspension control system enhances the effectiveness of the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions by softening the suspension under certain conditions to create the sense that the car is almost floating over the road. If the feeling is a little vague then you can sharpen the set-up for even greater control and precision when cornering on those twisty Irish back roads. With an increased ground clearance compared to a traditional saloon and large 19-inch wheels fitted with distinctive tall & narrow tyres, this new C5 X delivers an SUV-inspired raised driving position that provides a fantastic vantage point when behind the wheel.
As expected the lounge-like interior space is ample up front and the sumptuousness of its Advanced Comfort seats and the premium detailed finish make the C5 X a pleasure to do mileage in. These front seats are possibly the new benchmark for seating comfort thanks to special padding, like a mattress topper that Citroën have decided to use. Tall rear passengers might find the sloping rear roofline a little close for comfort but legroom is more than plentiful. Opening the electronic boot reveals 545 litres of space and the easy load angle will make weekends away or a trip with your furry four-legged friend more than pleasurable.
On the tech side buyers get a new infotainment interface that features a 10-inch screen on the entry model or a large central 12-inch high definition touch screen, which was fitted to our test car. This also has natural voice recognition and a customisable display with widgets, just like your phone or a tablet. When we set off the first thing you notice is the Extended Head Up Display which projects all the key driving information onto the windscreen in full colour! It’s pretty incredible really because even the Nav is clearly visible in the drivers eye line and you really don’t need to glance at the central display or digital dash at all. All of this is of course configurable and can be adjusted using the steering wheel controls. It really is a clever bit of tech!
The entry model comes with a 1.2 litre petrol engine producing 130hp or a 1.6 180hp but it’s the C5 X Plug-in Hybrid that we are going to focus on and we believe this will be the volume seller here in Ireland. This is a modern 1.6 petrol with high-tech electric motor assistance to produce 225hp from the plug-in powertrain that should be ready to suit most of your needs. With the pleasure of silent start-up, operation and zero-emissions motoring at speeds of up to 135km/h, the C5 X Plug-in Hybrid can cover up to 55 kilometers in electric mode, a distance that should meet the majority of users’ daily needs. If you charge nightly at home you could find yourself getting to work or indeed doing the school run without using the internal combustion engine all week! Buyers will also be able to avail of a free home charging point through an existing deal Citroën have in place with Energia. The good thing with hybrid motoring is when you do need to travel further afield, such as for long weekends away or holidays, the economical and efficient petrol engine is able take over giving you total piece of mind!
The new Citroën C5 X offers Active Safety Brake, Collision Risk Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go Function, Stability Control Coupling and a complete array of driving assistance software that includes Long Range Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Traffic Alert and Highway Driver Assist. This last feature allows you to select a speed above 30 km/h and the system will then record the position of C5 X in the lane, meaning the driver no longer needs to manage speed or steering. For the Highway Driver Assist function to remain active, the driver’s hands must be kept on the wheel. A simple touch of the brake disengages the software and you are back in full control.
Irish pricing is to be released in the coming months as the car prepares to go on sale across the Irish network from July.
The D Segment or large saloon car is often overlooked in Ireland. Our obsession with SUV’s or crossovers tends to make us forget or bypass this body shape but by morphing a few styles into one practical large fastback body style, perhaps Citroën have hit the nail on the head. It has somehow added a new dimension to the large car segment with its bold and original design and for this we applaud Citroën. The feeling of serenity on board is particularly addictive thanks to the plug-in hybrid and ë-Comfort element with sublime road compliance. I can see owners looking forward to the journey home after a busy day at work thanks to the relaxing environment that awaits new C5 X owners. It’s stylish on the road also and easily recognisable thanks to the new V-shaped light signature at the front and rear, which are standard across the range. Visible both day and night, this advanced system was first seen on new C4, which we recently reviewed. It allows other road users to immediately identify this new breed of Citroën on Irish roads. Our test drive lasted a few hours but we have been promised a week with the C5 X back home in Ireland where we are keen to get to know the car better. Needless to say initial impressions are good but we look forward to a more detailed review after spending 7 days with the all-new flagship Citroën C5 X.
Head Up Display