New Citroën C5 X 2021 – In 2016, Citroën created the event at the Paris Motor Show in exploring new avenues to reinvent the sedan segment, through the concept-car CXperience. A very sharp model, in terms of style, which left doubt as to the return of the name CX, to replace the C5, missing from the catalog since 2018. Three years later, Citroën is finally back to business, with an original proposal to say the least.
Le bon timing?
Neither C5 nor CX, here is the Citroën C5 X. A name which both refers to the CXperience concept, but which above all legitimizes its penchant for the world of SUVs, in view of its significant ground clearance. If adventurer station wagons have been part of the automotive landscape for many years, as evidenced byAudi A6 Allroad, raised family sedans remain a curiosity. Volvo tried its luck in 2015 with an S60 CrossCountry unloaded from the catalog after only a few months, due to lack of success.
The tide seems to have turned six years later. Ford will take this route, starting next year, to replace its Mondeo, but Citroën grates politeness to him, as well as to all the competition, by landing on the European market with an offbeat architecture which is very successful in Asian markets. This is also the reason why the French will be exclusively assembled in China, in Chengdu.
A bet on the future
Unmistakably, this Citroën C5 X challenges and will not fail to fuel discussions between early Citroënists. But for Citroën, this original proposal was the only way, from his point of view, to return to a segment D in strong loss of speed. So much so that Renault plans not to replace the Talisman, and that Volkswagen could ignore a future Passat. With l’extinction of the “daddy’s sedan”, this C5 X may be announcing the development of a new breed of sedans.
Mixture of genres
Slightly raised sedans, but not too much. Accusing 1.48 m in height, the Citroën C5 X is only 2 cm higher than a Renault Talisman, to compare. We are very far from the 1.60 m that most SUVs easily exceed. From these, the Citroën mainly inherits the raw plastic protectors, all around its body, but in a rather discreet way. It spares us the eternal clogs at the bottom of the shield or even the roof bars. It just exaggerates its wheel arches by imposing flats. But for the rest, we are dealing with the codes of a sedan, or even a station wagon, according to its parents. Clearly, the C5 X assumes its mix of genres, at the risk of moving away from the natural elegance that emanated from the CXperience concept car. It must be recognized that its large rear overhang is far from lightening its silhouette.
Habitability in subdued …
So yes, this new C5 X imposes it. As usual with Citroën, we are promised a very spacious interior where comfort is king. But on paper, although she is 5.5 cm longer compared to the Peugeot 508, its wheelbase is surprisingly shorter than that of the Sochalienne, by a centimeter. We also expected this new Citroën to be much longer. With a height of 4.80 m, it makes 5 to 7 cm compared to a Renault Talisman or a Skoda Superb. We also hoped that the French would equal the Czech, in legroom, in the rear seats. But the Citroën is unfortunately served by a length of wheelbase a little tight, which places its habitability in the category average, without shining. However, we feel good on the bench of this C5 X, well designed to accommodate three passengers who will enjoy the incomparable softness of the Citroën seats, but also a appreciable headroom.
… but a trunk to spare
What makes the strength of this new C5 X is the return to a hatchback, unlike the previous C5 which played it a little too “German sedan” with its classic trunk. Accessibility improves dramatically, as in the heyday of the XM, Xantia and the first generation C5. Side volume, Citroën announces for the moment a rather generous water volume of 545 l for the category.
She knows how to receive
Behind the wheel, rather than dashboard, let’s talk about interior furniture. The interior of the Citroën C5 X plays a calming effect, in a warm atmosphere, if not luxurious. But as a worthy Citroën flag bearer, the sedan pays more attention to details than the rest of the range. Foamed plastics are legion when the finish is very correct. We appreciate the multiple nods to the rafters that dot this environment, both in terms of the stitching pattern as on the perforations of the leather, on the speaker covers or on theelegant bamboo-style headband which bars the cockpit and extends over the door trims.
This C5 X, which does not offer only automatic transmissions, does the cleaning on its central console. In the absence of a lever, replaced by a discreet slider, space is cleared between the front passengers to offer multiple storage spaces. But we regret that this large sedan does the dead end on some tips available on his little sister C4. Here, no drawer above the glove box, even less support for touchscreen tablets.
We expected to be very well installed in this C5 X, and it is the case, for those who benefit from the experience acquired by the C4 and C5 Aircross in terms of seating comfort. Like her little sisters, she promises a first-rate sound insulation with laminated glass. Like her little sisters, she resorts to progressive hydraulic stopper suspensions to filter out irregularities in the road. So, inevitably, it needed a little more to stand out from the rest of the range. To make a difference, it equips itself withan active suspension. But nothing to do with the gas factories that Citroëns historically embarked on. Here, no sphere. The work of the shock absorbers with progressive hydraulic stops is reinforced by the electronics of a conventional controlled suspension. It remains to be seen whether this system will live up to the Citroën myth, during a future test drive, in the coming months.
This new Citroën was developed on the same evolution of EMP2 V3 platform, recently introduced by the new DS4 and Peugeot 308. From these compacts, it inherits the new tactile interface, more efficient and responsive, on a screen even larger than with its cousins, since this extends over 12 ”. Connectivity includes four USB-C sockets, as well as smartphone charging by induction, while the software updates in real time, via the Cloud. We also note the introduction of a natural language speech recognition, like the Mercedes MBUX system.
We didn’t ask for so much on a Citroën. A brand which, for several years, has been promoting an essential, no-frills car philosophy. This C5 X is not lagging behind in terms of technology, although, at first glance, one could blame him for the small size of digital handset housed behind the wheel, inherited from the DS4, which spans only 7 ”diagonal. Yes, but as on the DS4, we havea giant head-up display that projects information through the windshield in augmented reality, in 21 ”format. Another nice surprise.
Driving aids also allow the C5 X to reach the level 2 in terms of autonomous driving. The Highway Driver Assist combines adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function and lane keeping assistance to manage vehicle speed and trajectory. For his part, blind spot monitoring increases its range to 75 m, when the system Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects nearby danger when reversing. A safe arsenal which, however the deadlock on Matrix LED headlights.
Conversely, this new C5 X converts to therechargeable hybridization, dear to the Stellantis group. For the moment, Citroën simply evokes the block accumulating 225 hp, as on the C5 Aircross, which allows around 50 km of 100% electric driving. But, subsequently, we imagine that the 180 hp PHEV engine, which has just been inaugurated in the Peugeot 308, will also be part of the trip. A block that will be essential for him to hope convert, inexpensively, diesel enthusiasts to hybridization. Because, unfortunately for some, the seasoned sedan will skip the diesel. Side 100% thermal, it will only be necessary to rely on a range of gasoline engines which has not yet been unveiled.
Citroën C5 X price
Undoubtedly, Citroën is taking risks to return to the D segment. But let’s recognize that a classic offer would probably have been doomed to failure. This C5 X may be the solution for gradually reduce the number of SUV customers to sedans. The future will tell. Waiting, Orders for this new C5 X will start this fall, before the first expected deliveries at the very end of the year, or even early 2022. On the price side, the base price should be around € 30,000, according to our estimate.
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