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Model update: Citroen C5 X Shine Plus Hybrid

Date: 28 September 2023   |   Author: Martyn Collins

The C5 X remains an unconventional option in the dwindling D-segment,
but if you're after an SUV alternative, it's worth a look.
What's new:
We try the Citroën C5 X, in plug-in hybrid form
Standard equipment:
19in alloy wheels, LED headlights, part leather-effect Advanced Comfort seats, 10in central touchscreen, Connected 3D Navigation, wireless smartphone mirroring functionality, Hi-Fi speaker system, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera
Petrol: 130hp 1.2, 180hp 1.2
Plug-in hybrid: 225hp 1.6
Equipment grades:
Sense Plus, Shine, Shine Plus
Eight-speed automatic

Citroën has history in producing interesting big cars, which goes back to the Traction Avant of the 1930s. However, its last, the C6, was discontinued in 2016 and it would seem the Double Chevron manufacturer is coming back to a class that's being swallowed up by SUVs. 

Well, in Citroën tradition, the C5 X is different. Unlike the few rivals left in the market, the French manufacturer is calling this car a crossover. The C5 X, it claims, offers the elegance of a saloon, the versatility of an estate and the presence of an SUV. 

Outside, after just over a year on sale, rather than looking like a stretched C4, despite following the same family design cues, the C5 X has its own sense of style. Key design cues are the distinctive 'Y-shaped' front lights, the sweeping roof line, the twin rear spoilers and large 'Y-shaped' rear lights that stretch across the boot. 

The C5 X is a big car, with a spacious and high-quality feel to the interior - so it's quite surprising that it shares the same EMP2 platform as other Stellantis models, such as the DS 9, Peugeot 308 and 408 and Vauxhall Astra. 

We like the textured and faux wood trimmed dashboard, the chevrons in the cloth/leather interior trim and the 12in infotainment touchscreen. Plus, the C5 X's interior feels more special than its other models. Talking of the infotainment, it's a definite step up over the system in other Citroën models, as the graphics are clearer, and it's much easier to use and more responsive. The seats themselves are wide and comfortable, the driving position multi-adjustable, the steering wheel is good to hold and there are physical controls for the ventilation. 

As you would expect, considering its size, space in the back is also excellent. However, the tallest might find their head brushing the roof line, thanks to that fastback roof.  However, don't think that just because the C5 X has a curvy roof line that it's not practical. Open the tailgate and there's a useful 545 litres of boot space - plus a split/fold rear seat to extend it to a huge 1,640 litres.

The C5 X is available with 130hp or 180 hpPuretech petrol engines, or of particular interest to fleet buyers, the plug-in hybrid version we have here, badged the PHEV 225. All mated with 8-speed automatic transmission. 

The key reason fleets will choose this plug-in hybrid version of the C5 X is because of the 27g/km CO2 and 12% BIK figures. Yet, considering its rivals, the not insubstantial £40,155 P11D price seems good value. You can run in electric mode around town, which suits the C5 X. However, like all the other Stellantis hybrid models, you need to put this Citroën into 'Hybrid' mode to make the most of the 34 miles of extra electric range (this was more like 30 miles during our test). We also wished for quicker DC charging, as two hours seems a long time considering the range. 

The C5 X is at its best on long drives, where the ride, refinement, bump absorption and comfort are appreciated. At the same time, the dynamics are still decent. In fact, the hybrid also gets electronically controlled dampers on top of the standard Progessive Hydraulic Cushions, which does make more of a noticeable difference to the driving modes (Sport, Hybrid, Eco). Just don't expect much sportiness in 'Sport' mode. 

We salute Citroën for offering the C5 X -  in hybrid form with its low running costs, it provides another option to what seems like a default SUV choice. A great long-distance driver, the C5 X also has attractive and distinctive styling, has impressive levels of comfort in the well-made, spacious, and practical interior, all at a price that seems good value. 

Citroën C5 X Shine Plus Hybrid 

P11D: £40,155

Residual value: 34.4%

Depreciation: £26,339

Fuel: £5,995

Service, maintenance and repair: £2,059

Cost per mile: 57.32p

Fuel consumption: 44mpg

CO2 (BIK %): 27g/km (12%)  

BIK 20/40% a month: £80/£160

Luggage capacity: 545 litres

Engine size/power: 1,598cc with 81.2kW electric motor/225hp


  • Comfortable and spacious interior
  • Easy to drive
  • Seems good value
  • Charging times should be shorter considering the EV range
  • Comfortable rather than dynamic drive