Citroen C5 X Review & Prices
The Citroen C5 X is a difficult car to pigeonhole – it combines elements of estate cars, SUVs and hatchbacks. It certainly stands out in a crowd, and is well priced
Find out more about the Citroen C5 X
If you can’t make up your mind about what type of car you need, then the Citroen C5 X seems to offer a bit of everything. But that doesn't make it a jack of all trades, master of none – in fact, it was highly commended in the Comfortable Cruiser category at the 2024 Carwow Car of the Year Awards.
You could say it’s a bit like ordering the ‘special’ fried rice from your local Chinese takeaway. There’s a bit of bulky SUV in the mix, as well as a dash of practical estate and sleek hatchback – all of which combine to make a concoction that maybe doesn’t look immediately appetising at first glance, but is actually rather delicious when you tuck in.
Given the weird mash-up, the alternatives you might also consider are pretty varied. Price-wise, everything from a Cupra Formentor to a Volkswagen Tiguan or a Skoda Superb Estate might also be on your shopping list; but the Citroen’s quirkiness certainly does at least help it to stand out from the crowd more than those models.
It looks pretty distinctive on the inside, too. Soft, spongy leather upholstered seats mix with wood-effect trims and soft-touch plastics to lend the C5 X an appealing lounge-like ambience. Meanwhile, the infotainment system looks good and is easy enough to use – but it’s not the most responsive set-up in the world and you’ll possibly just default to using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto anyway.
There’s loads of adjustability in the driving position, and the second row of seats is cavernous – even taller adults will find they’ve got a good amount of space to play with to get comfortable.
There are a number of handy door bins and cubby holes for stashing your various odds and ends away, and the 545-litre boot is easily large enough to carry a couple of bulky suitcases and plenty of other luggage.
As far as engines go, you’ve currently got three different options, although fans of Citroen’s famous diesels will be disappointed, and there’s no manual option either.
Two are petrol motors, developing 130hp and 180hp respectively, and which drive the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Then there’s the 225hp plug-in hybrid model, which combines a petrol engine with a larger battery and a secondary electric motor for an official all-electric range of 34 miles – though you’ll get much less than that out in the real world.
The Citroen C5 X is impressively practical and comfy, but its styling might not be to everyone’s tastes. I’d go for the 180hp petrol model in the mid-level Shine trim
This model makes the most sense if you are a company car driver as there are big tax benefits, although it’s not the most competitive tax rate thanks to the relatively low electric-only mileage. It’s also a bit pricier than the petrol models, so makes less sense as a private car.
Our favourite is the 180hp petrol model. The engine is generally quiet and refined at a cruise, but at lower speeds the transmission can be a bit jerky. The stop-start system that cuts the engine when you’re at a standstill can be a bit over-eager too, occasionally causing you to lurch to a sudden halt as you’re pulling up to the lights.
The C5 X’s ride is however extremely comfortable, bringing back fond memories of classic big Citroens. Around town you sail over lumps and bumps in the road, and on the motorway you feel like you’re wafting on a cloud.
Visibility out the back isn’t great, but there isn’t much wind or road noise, and adaptive cruise control (standard on the range-topping model) helps to make long-distance journeys even less taxing.
It’s even pretty fun on a twisty back road, which is surprising given the car’s spongy, souffle-like suspension set-up. There’s a bit of roll through corners, but this movement feels very controlled, and the lightweight steering is accurate enough.
So if you can get onboard with the slightly marmite styling and quirky convention-busting is-it-an-SUv-or-estate-ness, there’s a huge amount to like about the Citroen C5 X. It’s super comfortable, impressively spacious and usefully practical.
To find out how much you could save when buying through Carwow, check out the latest Citroen C5 X deals. You can also browse used Citroen C5 X models as well as other used Citroen cars. When it's time to sell your current car, Carwow can help with that, too.
The Citroen C5 X has a RRP range of £28,695 to £40,210. However, with carwow you can save on average £2,942. Prices start at £26,485 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £363. The price of a used Citroen C5 X on carwow starts at £20,420.
Our most popular versions of the Citroen C5 X are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.2 PureTech 130 You 5dr EAT8||£26,485||Compare offers|
Both the list price and the monthly finance payments on the C5 X make it seem like remarkably good value, being comparable to smaller and far less interesting rivals. Despite a lower list price, it’s still well equipped. Even the entry-level Sense Plus model has 19in alloy wheels, LED headlights, and a 10.0in touchscreen with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. You’ll also get front and rear parking sensors, and a reversing camera.
The mid-level Shine model gets upgraded leather upholstery inside and some fancy chrome trim elements around the exterior. You also get a heated steering wheel, a larger 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a head-up display and a wireless chargepad for your smartphone.
The range-topping Shine Plus model gets special leather seats with a unique upholstery design, as well as a full 360-degree parking camera. The front seats are electrically operated and heated too, while you also get a powered tailgate to help make loading and unloading a bit easier.
The C5 X soft suspension means it majors on comfort and rolling refinement. Its petrol and hybrid powertrains aren’t perfect, however
Large cars are never ideal in town, but the C5 X makes up for its size with comfort. With its super soft suspension set-up, the big Citroen is generally a supremely comfortable car in urban environments for the driver and passengers.
The C5 X deals with lumpy stretches of road really nicely, with a souffle-like squish to its body movements. More sudden ruts and bumps can send a bit of a jolt through the cabin, however, so it doesn’t have a classic Citroen’s miraculous ability to make speed bumps seemingly disappear. It is certainly a good deal more comfortable than a stiffly-sprung sports saloon from one of the prestige German brands though.
The Citroen’s steering is extremely light too, which can feel a little odd at first. But once you’re used to it, you’ll find it makes navigating the C5 X around tight corners an easy process and driving more relaxing.
Rear visibility isn’t the best thanks to the car’s fat rear pillars, but the standard-fit front and rear parking sensors, as well as a reversing camera, help out here.
On the motorway
Out on the motorway the C5 X really settles down nicely to give an extremely comfortable drive. Very little wind or road noise is allowed to make its way into the cabin at 70mph and the tyre noise is well damped, even on rougher concrete sections of road.
The engines might seem to be remarkably small for a car of this size (1.2- and 1.6-litre), but they purr away very quietly. Turbos and, in the case of the PHEV, an electric motor, assist to boost the power on uphill stretches and slip roads, so even the 131bhp model feels adequate.
Adaptive cruise control (standard fit on range-topping Shine Plus models) makes life easier on long journeys too. All you need to do is select your preferred speed and the car will automatically maintain a set distance between you and whatever vehicle is travelling in front of you.
On a twisty road
Given its soft, spongy suspension setup you might be surprised to find that the C5 X is actually pretty fun on a twisty road. It’s by no means as sporty-feeling as, say, a BMW 5 Series or even a Cupra Formentor; but it controls its roll nicely through corners and grips well. The lightweight steering is completely devoid of feel, but you get used to it eventually.
The plug-in hybrid model gets fancy adaptive dampers that let you soften or firm up the car’s suspension and throttle response as you see fit, too. It’s very good, but not good enough that you’ll find yourself justifying the extra cost of the hybrid just to get it. The normal setup works just fine.
There’s plenty of room in the C5 X’s cabin for all passengers to get comfy, but its boot isn’t quite as large as some more conventional SUVs or estate cars
In the Front
The C5 X comes fitted with Citroen’s ‘Advanced Comfort Seats’ as standard. These are essentially just large, generously cushioned chairs that feel more like your favourite armchair than a regular car seat, and use layers of different foams to give better support.
Over distance they’re extremely comfortable and supportive, and despite their bulky shape and size they don’t eat into valuable cabin space – you’ll still have plenty of room to play with up front.
There’s loads of driving position adjustability too, so it’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel. The entry-level Sense Plus and Shine models have manually-adjustable front seats, while the range-topper gets electrically-operated, heated chairs as standard. Massage and ventilation functions are available optionally to help keep you even comfier when you’re behind the wheel.
Once you are comfortable, you’ll not be left wanting for storage cubbies either. The glovebox is a good size, and there’s a reasonably large compartment nestled away in the centre console too. A wireless charge pad sits just below the controls for the air conditioning and is large enough to hold some of the bigger smartphones you can get these days.
The front cupholders are deep enough to take a medium-sized flask or bottle without it falling over while you’re on the move, and the door bins up-front are spacious too.
Space in the back seats
If you’re sitting in the second row, you won’t feel short-changed on the comfort front either. Besides having the same supportive seats, there’s a huge amount of legroom available, so you can stretch out easily. And headspace is pretty good too. Only the tallest adult passengers will likely find the tops of their heads come into close contact with the roof lining.
The centre seat is obviously not going to be as comfortable as the outer pair, but is still a decent size and wont draw too many complaints from smaller passengers, even on a longer journey. There are ISOFIX points for the two outer seats.
Rear seat occupants get decent practicality too, with cupholders in the fold-down centre armrest, pouches on the backs of the front seats for things like books, maps, iPads and sweet wrappers, and decent size doorbins.
The regular petrol-engined versions of the Citroen C5 X come with a large, estate car-style 545-litre boot that’ll easily swallow a couple of large suitcases without too much fuss or bother. Citroen has even demonstrated that it would take a washing machine without having to fold the seats – handy if you need to do a tip trip.
Based on the figures alone, the C5 X compares well to alternatives such as the Cupra Formentor, but lags behind conventional SUVs such as the Volkswagen Tiguan or full-fat estates such as the Skoda Superb by a fair margin.
Still, the opening is wide and there’s no load lip to speak of, so hauling heavier items in and out of the C5 X will be an easy task. There’s through-loading for longer items, and you can of course fold the rear seats down to open up even more storage space.
That said, it’s worth mentioning that the plug-in hybrid model has a considerably smaller boot. With the need to house a big battery, outright space drops to 485 litres with the rear seats in place.
The stylish interior design is nowhere near as divisive as the exterior, but the infotainment system could be a bit sharper
Where the C5 X’s exterior will possibly lose it as many fans as it wins, the design of its interior is much more universally appealing. A choice selection of materials includes everything from wood-effect trim inserts and soft-touch plastics to plush-feeling leather and fabric upholsteries depending on which model you opt for.
A large infotainment system and a digital instrument display help to make the C5 X look impressively high-tech, too. Thankfully, however, Citroen has resisted the urge to incorporate the controls for the air conditioning into the touchscreen itself. So you still get good, old-fashioned dials and buttons below the central screen – all of which help to make it far easier to adjust the temperature while you’re driving.
In the entry-level Sense Plus model, you’re greeted by a distinctly monotone colour theme that Citroen calls ‘Urban Grey’. This includes grey fabric and leather upholstery for the seats, and similarly coloured trim inserts for the doors and dash. While that might all sound a bit dull and boring, the end result is actually pretty swish.
Move into the mid-range Shine model and that fabric seat upholstery is swapped out for leather, and the dash and door inserts are a deeper shade of grey. It makes the cabin look and feel considerably darker, but not in a bad way.
The range-topping Shine Plus car adds the lighter-coloured wood-effect dash trim, and some trendy leather seats with a perforated Citroen chevron design worked in.
But regardless of the model you opt for, when you drop down into its large, comfortable seats, you likely feel as though you’ve just sat down in the living room of some trendy, modernist house – complete with the latest in tech.
There are two different infotainment systems available. The entry-level Sense Plus model gets a 10.0-inch set-up that includes features such as satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth and DAB radio. Even at this most basic level it’s a well-equipped system.
The pricier Shine and Shine Plus models swap the 10.0-inch screen out for a larger 12.0-inch unit, and you’ll also gain a head-up display to go along with the digital instrument binnacle that’s fitted as standard to all C5 X models.
Superficially, the infotainment software looks sharp enough. Mapping information is clearly displayed, and it doesn’t take too long to figure out how everything works. That said, when you begin to interact with the screen, it can be a bit slow and laggy in its response times – and certain menus and home screens can look a shade cluttered.
Although, given that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both included as standard, you’ll likely find that you’ll just default to using them instead of Citroen’s own set-up.
You get a choice of three different engines with the new C5 X. The most affordable option is a 1.2-litre petrol engine, which develops a modest 130hp. Next comes the larger 1.6-litre petrol that churns out 180hp.
Then, at the top of the range sits the 225hp plug-in hybrid. This adds an electric motor and a 12kWh battery into the mix, which allows for an official electric-only range of up to 34 miles. All of these engines drive the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission – there’s no option of a manual here.
For most private buyers, the two regular petrol engines will do the trick. The 180bhp engine is generally pretty smooth and quiet when you’re up and running, and we saw an economy figure of about 37mpg – which isn’t too bad.
At low speeds the eight-speed gearbox can feel a bit lumpy and will occasionally give you a soft kick in the back as it swaps gears. Try and bring the car to a gentle standstill, and you’ll find the stop-start system that automatically cuts the engine to reduce emissions to be a bit overly keen too. This results in you lurching to a halt at times, which is a bit undignifying.
The plug-in hybrid model has a bit more punch when you put your foot down, thanks to the instant surge provided by its electric motor. It’s obviously also extremely good at silently wafting around town when you’re running on electric power alone. Citroen says you should be able to get up to 34 miles of range from the battery, but we saw somewhere around 20 on our test route.
Given the hybrid’s higher price, you’ll probably only want to go for this model if you’re going to be running it as a company car, as you’ll be able to make the most of its far lower tax rating, although the 12% benefit-in-kind rate is not the most competitive.
You’ll want to make sure you have access to a home charger too – otherwise you won’t benefit from the lower running costs that plug-in hybrids can bring.
Speaking of charge times, it’ll take you just over 1.5 hours to top the battery up when plugged into a 7kW home wallbox. Use a regular household socket, and that time increases to 5.5 hours.
The independent testers from the Euro NCAP organisation have not yet tested a Citroen C5 X, but they did put a similar (but more SUV-shaped) C5 Aircross through the trials and it came out with a full five star rating. The C5 X uses the same basic structure and technology, so it’s fair to assume that it too will be a safe car.
There is a full suite of crash prevention tech which works well and could stop you needing the airbags and pop-up pedestrian protection active bonnet.
You’ll also get front and rear parking sensors, and a reversing camera on all models. The range-topping Shine Plus model also gets upgraded to a full 360-degree parking camera to prevent knocks.
The C5 X is too new to be featured in any reliability surveys just yet, but other Citroen models which use the same powertrains have done surprisingly well in owners’ polls.
If anything should go wrong, Citroen offers a three-year warranty, made up of two years with unlimited mileage and a third year that brings in a mileage limit, so you are only covered up to 60,000 miles. This level of cover is the bare minimum in the market these days and is soundly beaten by brands such as Kia, Renault and Toyota.
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