The Germans may be dominating the midsize segment, but the European part of Stellantis is not willing to give up without a fight.
Following the Peugeot 508 and posh DS9, Citroën has a new flagship to take on the likes of Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6. But while these three models born in Deutschland come in separate saloon and estate flavours, the new C5 X is a mashup of the two body styles, with some SUV ingredients sprinkled for good measure.
In keeping with Citroën's funky designs, the C5 X is an unconventional range-topping model with a bold appearance, even more so than other models carrying the double chevron badge due to the three-in-one body configuration. The relatively flat roofline says sedan for the most part, but the elongated rear brings that estate effect while the tall ride height is reminiscent of the C5 Aircross, the French automaker's other C5-badged model serving as a fully fledged SUV.
Gallery: Photos live - Citroën C5 X (2021)
At 4,805 millimetres (189.1 inches) long, 1,865 mm (73.4 in) wide, and 1,485 mm (58.4 in) tall, the new C5 X is smaller than its German rivals. It offers 545 litres (19.2 cubic feet) of cargo volume behind the rear seats, which can be expanded to 1,640 litres (57.9 cu ft) after folding the rear seats to enable a flat floor.
The quirky exterior styling takes after the 2016 Cxperience concept while interior crams all the tech Citroën has to offer at the moment. There's a 12-inch touchscreen for the infotainment and a generously sized head-up display with support for augmented reality. A fully digital instrument cluster is also onboard, and you still have separate physical controls for the climate settings.
Gallery: 2021 Citroen C5 X
A variety of petrol engines are planned, but Citroën highlights the plug-in hybrid powertrain with 225 bhp and more than 31 miles (50 kilometers) of electric range. With the combustion engine turned off, the PHEV model can travel at speeds of up to 84 mph (135 km/h), which is more than what most of us will ever need.
Fitting for a flagship, the new C5 X comes with the proprietary Citroën Advanced Comfort suspension, with the plug-in hybrid version taking things further by featuring an active suspension. It boasts what the French automaker refers to as Progressive Hydraulic Cushions, which corroborated with those comfy seats, it should enable a silky-smooth ride even on bumpy surfaces.
The Citroën C5 X will go on sale in the UK in late 2021.