Citroen C5 X Review 2024

Citroen C5 X At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Citroen C5 X is a wonderful French oddity that represents a serious return to form for the brand. It won't suit every buyer but, if you like how it looks and want a large car that doesn't fit neatly into a box, the C5 X is a very impressive choice.

+Charismatic and quirky design. Largely spacious and practical. Very comfortable. Best tech yet on a Citroen. Good value in petrol form.

-Not a sharp or fun drive. Styling won't be to all tastes. Hybrid is fairly expensive. Auto gearbox could be slicker. Puretech 130 is a little vocal.

New prices start from £35,180
On average it achieves 0% of the official MPG figure

Citroen is a brand that used to be synonymous with unusual, boundary-pushing car designs. It lost its mojo in the early-00s with a succession of dull and drab cars, but its latest model certainly can't be lumped in with them. Read our full Citroen C5 X review to find out how it compares against the competition.

We say 'competition' but there isn't really anything that's a direct rival for the Citroen C5 X. It's the brand's flagship model (a modern-day Citroen Citroen XM or CX, if you like), part hatchback and part large saloon car with a bit of SUV thrown in for good measure.

You might be considering it alongside workaday rivals like the (now defunct) Ford Mondeo, the popular Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport and the excellent Skoda Superb.

You could cast your net wider than that for rivals to this big Citroen, though, as its sort-of-SUV design means cars such as the Skoda Kodiaq and Kia Sorento are in the same ballpark. The C5 X is a lot cheaper than the latter, though.

You see, Citroen reckons that not everyone wants heavy and inefficient SUVs. What many buyers actually want, it says, is something that blends the raised driving position and easy entry and egress of an SUV without the controversial image, and with the efficiency and svelte shape of a large estate car

So that's what we have here. The 4.8m long Citroen C5 X's distinctive profile houses plenty of space for four adults and a decent sized boot, though it sacrifices some outright practicality for its exterior curviness. It also houses a stylish interior with plenty of nice, high quality materials and (praise be) new touchscreen infotainment technology that's responsive and easy to use. 

You also get Citroen's 'Advanced Comfort®' seats, which have extra layers of padding to make them supremely comfortable and fairly supportive. And comfort is the wider theme here, with the C5 X utilising an advancement of the brand's Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension. 

That results in a ride that smothers all but the very harshest potholes in a fashion that an executive car costing twice the price would do well to manage. It's better even than Citroen's own C5 Aircross SUV, but because it's nowhere near as top-heavy as that car it also handles with a bit more finesse. 

Engines at launch are the familiar Stellantis three- and four-cylinder turbo petrol units, and a plug-in hybrid. Given the C5 X doesn't really do sportiness, that entry-level 130PS petrol is good enough, but the PHEV is also worth considering as the about-town electric serenity suits the car's relaxed gait. 

What's more, unlike previous flagship Citroens which depreciated faster than rocks fall in a landslide, the C5 X looks pretty good value next to its competition. Here is a big, plush, bold Citroen that works for the heart and the head. Excellent. 

Ask Honest John

Is it normal for engine bay to be partially painted?

"I looked under the bonnet of my new Citroen C5 X yesterday, and was surprised that the engine bay is only partially painted in the body colour. It actually looks a mess, like an overspray. So most of the engine bay has what looks like a primer coat, and some of it is in the blue body colour. It looks terrible. Is this normal on a new car these days?"
This is very common these days - we more often than not have new cars in with only partly painted engine bays or just with overspray. Manufacturers do not want to spend time and money (and increase the environmental impact) painting areas of the car that are not normally visible, and with today's galvanised cars there is much less risk of premature rust.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Lack of steering wheel adjustment on Citroen C5 X?

"I test drove the new Citroen C5 X the other week and it was everything I'd hoped it would be. However, I am perplexed on why a car with its prestige aspirations does not have steering wheel reach adjustment, only rake. I am tall and always need the driver's seat at its furthest position but the test model had the electric seats and I guess all the motors limited the seat's travel and I wasn't left noticeably reaching for the wheel. But, I also sat in a version without electric seats and the seat travel was so much greater that my arms were ramrod straight just to touch the steering wheel. My feet reached the pedals just fine and were exactly as I expected a car this length to be. Is this some cost-cutting exercise or a more technical or safety reason for not adding telescopic steering adjustment?"
Are you sure the car you drove didn't have a problem, or you tried to adjust it correctly? A colleague and I have both driven the C5 X and our examples both had telescopic/reach adjustment on them. We'd be double checking with the dealer as we see no reason why it shouldn't be fitted to customer cars.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Long wait times on Citroen C5 X - is this normal?

"I visited a Citroen dealer to ask about the new C5 X and was told build dates were showing around June 2022 followed by at least 14 weeks wait for delivery. Does it really take 14 weeks from factory build to delivery in the UK? The dealer was "embarrassed" to advise this and said "it is what it is" and no firm prices or delivery dates can be given. "
Unfortunately, the global semiconductor chip shortage is continuing to cause long wait times for new cars and this issue isn't specific to Citroen. When we did a straw poll of manufacturers recently to find out current wait times for new cars and vans we were quoted anything from two weeks for vehicles in stock to 12 months for a factory order, dependent on specification.
Answered by Sarah Tooze
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