RAY MASSEY stays cool driving Citroen’s new C5X crossover


RAY MASSEY manages to stay cool on the hottest day of the year driving Citroen’s new C5X crossover – and it wasn’t just down to the air conditioning

  • The C5X has the practicality of an estate and sweeping lines of a saloon 
  • The C5X Plus Plug-in Hybrid 225 8-speed automatic costs from £39,960 

On the hottest day of the year I managed to stay cool driving Citroen’s new C5X crossover. And it wasn’t just down to the air conditioning. 

My first drive of this stylish new car coincided with tarmac melting in some areas. But I reckon I still looked and felt the business in a car that has distinctive, bold looks. 

The C5X combines three elements: the practicality of an estate, the sweeping lines of a saloon and the versatility of an SUV. 

Versatile: The new C5X is the perfect blend of estate, saloon and SUV

Mine was the C5X Plus Plug-in Hybrid 225 8-speed automatic, which costs from £39,960 rising to £42,710 due to extras including metallic paint (£650), upgraded interior trim including advanced comfort seats with massaging (£800) and a panoramic roof and sun-blind (£1,300). 

Combining a turbocharged direct fuel injection PureTech 180 1.6-litre petrol engine with an 81.2kWh electric motor and 12.4kWh lithium ion battery combination, my PHEV produced a total of 225 horsepower and accelerated from rest to 62mph in a decent 7.9 seconds. It has a top speed (where legal) of 145mph. 

Yet with judicious driving the PHEV delivers fuel economy of up to 236 miles, and an electric-only zero-emissions range of up to 38 miles. CO2 emissions are a mere 30g/km.

There are also two pure petrol options — a frugal three cylinder 1.2-litre 130 and a 1.6-litre 180 — but significantly, and deliberately, no diesels. All powertrains are linked t o a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox. 

Packed with kit, the C5X is built for comfort, not high-performance antics, and performs admirably. There are four driving modes: electric (provided you still have charge); hybrid; comfort; and sport. I found it an engaging and relaxing drive. Sport mode is great, while hybrid will save on fuel economy — especially welcome at this time of soaring pump prices. 

There are three trim levels: Sense Plus, Shine and Shine Plus — with prices starting at £27,790 for the petrol 130 in Sense Plus trim.

I took it for a delightfully relaxed spin around the leafy country lanes of Worcestershire and Herefordshire, as well as though the towns and hills of the Malverns. I even took a diversion for a sneaky peek at the Shelsley Walsh hill-climb, but decided against a cheeky ascent up the track while no-one was looking.

And being a plug-in hybrid it should prove light on the pocket to own and run, with a first year tax rate of just £10 and a standard annual rate after that of £165.

Another benefit is that you can generate electric charge as you drive, increasing your fuel economy even more.

Being a plug-in hybrid it should prove light on the pocket to own and run, with a first year tax rate of just £10 and a standard annual rate after that of £165

Being a plug-in hybrid it should prove light on the pocket to own and run, with a first year tax rate of just £10 and a standard annual rate after that of £165

The lounge-like interior is comfortable and cossetting with smart soft-touch surfaces and fabrics

The lounge-like interior is comfortable and cossetting with smart soft-touch surfaces and fabrics

Packed with kit, the C5X is built for comfort, not high-performance antics, and performs admirably

Packed with kit, the C5X is built for comfort, not high-performance antics, and performs admirably

There are four driving modes: electric (provided you still have charge); hybrid; comfort; and sport

There are four driving modes: electric (provided you still have charge); hybrid; comfort; and sport

Plenty of room in the back too and a useful 485 litre boot for load-lugging- stretching to 1,580 litres with the rear seats down

The lounge-like interior is comfortable and cossetting with smart soft-touch surfaces and fabrics. Plenty of room in the back too and a useful 485 litre boot for load-lugging- stretching to 1,580 litres with the rear seats down.

Citroen say sales will be ‘customer driven’ which means they will be built to order – there won’t be lots piling up in showrooms: ‘No car will be built without a customer behind it.’

And the UK is a big market for Citroen – representing around 10 per cent of its global sales.

Citroën UK managing director Eurig Druce said: ‘We’re proud to offer customers a completely unique model. There’s nothing like New C5 X on the market today, not only in terms of its looks and dimensions, but also the way it combines the most advanced comfort features with the latest technologies to deliver unrivalled comfort and serenity.’

Will it fit in my garage?: Citroen C5X Shine Plus Plug-in Hybrid 225

Built: China

Price from: £39,960

Price as driven: £42,710

Range price from: £27,790 (for petrol 130 in Sense Plus trim)

Length: 4805mm

Width: 1865mm

Width (with mirrors): 2062mm

Height: 1485mm

Wheelbase: 2785mm

Wheels: 19-inch Aero X diamond cut alloys with Onyx Black paint

Kerb weight: 1826kg

Gross weight: 2185kg

Drive: Front-wheel drive

Petrol power: Turbocharged direct fuel injection PureTech 180 1.6 litre petrol engine

Electric power: 81.2kWh electric motor

Battery: 12.4kWh lithium ion

Total power: 225 horse-power

PHEV charging time: under 2 hours

Gears: 8-speed automatic

Driving modes: electric; hybrid; comfort; and sport

0-62mph: 7.9 seconds

Top speed: 145mph.

Hybrid fuel economy: up to 236 miles

Electric-only/zero emissions range: up to 38 miles

Average CO2 emissions: 30g/km

Fuel tank capacity: 40 litres

Luggage capacity: Rear seats up – 485 litres; Rear seats down – 1580 litres

Insurance group: 31E

Annual VED: £10 (first year)/ £165 (standard rate)

Benefit-in-kind band: 12%

Extras fitted: metallic paint (£650), upgraded interior trim including advanced comfort seats with massage and ventilation (£800) and an opening panoramic roof and sun-blind (£1,300)

Range includes: Two pure-petrol options: a three-cylinder 1.2 litre 130 and a 1.6 litre 180. No diesels

Trim levels: Sense Plus, Shine and Shine Plus

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk