Citroen keeps it weird with segment-defying C5 X flagship model

Ronan Glon
·2 min read


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Paris-based Citroën unveiled a flagship model named C5 X that's positioned at the intersection of sedans, station wagons and crossovers. Developed with comfort in mind, it illustrates how carmakers can move away from traditional sedans without exiting the large car segment, or ending up with a range made up only of crossovers.

The C5 X stretches 189 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 58 inches tall, dimensions that make it about as big as a Toyota Camry. Viewed from the front, it's unmistakably a member of the Citroën portfolio. It shares distinctive styling cues like low-mounted headlights and ultra-thin LED daytime running lights with other recent additions to the company's range, like the funky C4 fastback. Its roofline is markedly lower than an SUV's, more rakish than a wagon's, yet more upright than a fastback's. It's a little bit like a Honda Crosstour prepared in béchamel sauce.

Citroën didn't blur the lines separating these three segments just for the enfer of it. Pegging the C5 X in the middle of this Venn diagram allowed it to replace the sedan and wagon variants of the last C5 with a single model without creating internal competition for the C5 Aircross, which is unequivocally positioned in the SUV category.

Stepping inside the C5 X reveals how far Citroën's interiors have come over the past decade. It lives up to its flagship positioning with wood trim, leather upholstery, a head-up display, and a 12-inch touchscreen that displays a new infotainment system. The unusual body style clears up a generous amount of space, especially for the passengers sitting in the back, and the company notes designers gave the cabin lounge-like flair.

Full technical specifications haven't been released yet, but the powertrain palette will be fairly straightforward. We expect entry-level models will come with four-cylinder engines, and more expensive variants will gain hybrid technology, including a 225-horsepower system with an electric-only range of approximately 31 miles.

All of the C5 X's predecessors were available with an innovative hydropneumatic suspension system. It's no longer in production, so the new flagship inaugurates a technology named Advanced Comfort that offers users three modes. It's extra-soft at higher speeds to make the occupants feel like they're flying over the road.

Citroën dealers across Europe will begin receiving the C5 X in the second half of 2021. Nothing suggests the model will be sold in the United States, where the firm stopped importing cars in 1974, but the approach to design that it showcases could permeate other Stellantis brands with a strong sedan heritage; Chrysler comes to mind.

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