Citroen C5 X Hybrid 225 (2022) review
The Citroen C5 X is a refreshing alternative to the abundance of SUVs flooding the market.
Dave Humphreys
Dave Humphreys

Published on March 28, 2022

The surge in popularity of SUVs has seen a reduction in demand for more traditional mainstream saloon cars, and many brands are now dropping them from their ranges altogether. However, Citroen is taking a different approach and its new C5 X breaks the mould by with an estate body style featuring raised ground clearance and a particular emphasis on comfort.

In the metal

The Citroen C5 X is labelled as a flagship model by its maker and at first glance it appears deserving of the title. This jacked-up estate is very different from others in this diminishing segment of the market on account of its appearance and also by the lack of a saloon body style.

There's no doubting its estate credentials even if the design of the C5 X puts it at the sleeker end of the segment. The boot capacity is 545 litres, though in the case of this plug-in hybrid model that shrinks to 485 litres on account of the packaging of the lithium-ion battery. A wide aperture and practical load height should make loading bulky items less of a struggle and there are quick release pulls to drop the rear seats within easy reach of the boot opening. The dual spoiler arrangement on the tailgate enhances the stretched appearance of the rear although the lack of a wiper for the back window may prove to be an annoyance for some owners.

Measuring just over 4.8 metres long, the Citroen matches many seven-seat SUVs in terms of how much parking space it will occupy, though it is less imposing to pedestrians. The overall proportions mark the Citroen out as one of the more attractive cars among its rivals. The styling has evolved from the look that Citroen applied to the C4 crossover and the V-shaped daytime running lights are an extension of the chrome grille, which itself is formed from the brand's double chevron motif. Creative takes on the brand's logo feature throughout the car.

Form and function are in equal supply inside the C5 X and the front seats continue the French brand's commendable campaign for prioritising comfort. Generously sized and lined with a 15mm memory foam layer for added comfort, the front seats are positively lounge-like and come with heating, ventilation and massage functionality alongside electrical adjustment.

It's an all-digital affair for the dashboard, consisting of an instrument display that is smaller than we typically see these days and nicely incorporates some ambient lighting behind it. Making up for the information real estate is a 12-inch full-colour head-up display that can show route guidance, road sign info and other driving-related data.

A short but wide touchscreen is positioned high on the dashboard and runs Citroen's latest operating system that is more akin to what you would expect to find on a smartphone or tablet. There are swipe functions and multi-finger gestures to perform various shortcuts, for example. The usual Android and Apple smartphone mirroring functions are also present along with the option of a wireless charging pad.

Citroen's decision to only offer automatic transmissions in the C5 X means there is a reasonable amount of storage space around the centre console and also throughout the cabin, which will satisfy most buyers. Passengers in the rear will have little to complain about thanks to a decent level of headroom and what seems like acres of legroom thanks to the car's long wheelbase.

Driving it

If the design of the Citroen C5 X is meant to be like nothing else in its class, then so too is the way in which it drives. Driver and passenger comfort take priority from the outset and complementing the plush seats is a patented suspension setup that is specifically designed not only to be better at bump absorbency but also damped in a way that is softer. The plug-in hybrid is the only version of the C5 X that gets the more advanced adaptive dampers whereas the two purely petrol models get a passive suspension setup. The adaptive system helps to offset the additional weight of the hybrid powertrain and the result is an exceptionally comfortable ride.

At low speeds, the Citroen can make speed bumps seemingly disappear. There's a fluidity and suppleness to the suspension that belies the 19-inch wheels and, when the car is in either Electric, Hybrid or Normal modes, the ride is pleasantly comfortable. That softness does allow for some increased body lean in tighter, faster corners and toggling to the Sport setting is advisable if you're keen to use the full 225hp that the combustion engine and electric motor can muster when working together. Here the car hunkers down a little and the change in firmness brings more composure, although even in this more dynamic setting the overall sense of comfort isn't lost.

With both motors active the C5 X makes good progress. The 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is eager and while it doesn't produce an abundance of torque by itself, the additional fill-in from the electric motor provides nice, linear acceleration. A more emotive soundtrack would be nice although the lack of any sound when driving in electric mode is welcome, too.

Citroen fits acoustically optimised glass to the C5 X to help keep noise levels to a minimum inside and when travelling under solely battery power the C5 X is at its best. Instantaneous pickup from the electric motor and the ability to travel at motorway speeds without the combustion engine doubles down on that aforementioned comfort. Fully charged it will cover as much as 55 kilometres before the petrol engine kicks in, and even then it reverts to behaving like a conventional hybrid, maximising any charge that it can recover back into the battery. In this mode the Citroen retains plenty of refinement and so long as you don't hurry it along too much it remains rather sublime.

What you get for your money

Pricing and specification details for the Citroen C5 X in Ireland are still in the process of being finalised, so once these details are confirmed this section of the review will be updated. What we do know is that there will be three specification grades called Feel Pack, Flair and Flair Pack, and Citroen will offer three powertrain options. These include the plug-in hybrid model tested here, a 1.2-litre petrol option and a more powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine. Buyers will be able to avail of a free home charging point through an existing partnership between Citroen Ireland and Energia.


The Citroen C5 X is a striking creation and is a car that blurs the lines between segments. The steadfast approach to maximising passenger comfort, especially in a world where so many other manufacturers are focused on stiff suspension in the quest for greater driving dynamics, is a breath of fresh air. Of the trio of C5 X models, it is this plug-in hybrid that pulls this trick off most successfully, primarily due to the fitment of that adaptive suspension.


Tech Specs

Model testedCitroen C5 X Hybrid 225
Hybrid system1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, 81kW electric motor and 12.4kWh battery
Transmissioneight-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door, five-seat estate
CO2 emissions30-34g/km
Irish motor tax€140 per year
Combined economy236.2-186.2mpg (1.2-1.5 litres/100km)
Top speed233km/h
0-100km/h7.8 seconds
Max power225hp
Max torque360Nm
Boot space485-1,580 litres
Rivals to the Citroen C5 X