In America, if you want to buy a big bland crossover, you have lots of options, from the Toyota Highlander to the Chevy Blazer. In Europe, your options are slightly more limited, as until fairly recently Europeans liked cars to be smaller. Sadly, this has been changing.
For example, take a look at Citroën’s new flagship, the C5 X, which was unveiled Monday. It is perfectly fine, and it is also an admission that the European market is almost as SUV-mad as we are. This is what they deserve, if everyone is going to keep buying every SUV in sight, as depressing as that is.
There is a gas version of this car and there is also a plug-in hybrid version of this car, the latter probably not as good as it is made out to be. Citroën is going for a one-size-fits-all kind of approach, combining elements of a station wagon, sedan and SUV. The result is a car that certainly looks unique:
Citroën can be applauded for knowing what it is good at, which is not power or looks but comfort and usability. It compares the ride of the C5 X to that of riding a “magic carpet.”
The Advanced Comfort seats in C5 X are the benchmark for seating comfort, making you feel like you’re at home in your living room. They offer a unique welcome and visual comfort thanks to special padding, like a mattress topper. The dynamic and postural comfort is produced by a high-density layer and thickened structured foam, allowing you to feel relaxed even after the longest journeys.
A genuine Citroën exclusive designed to recreate the magic carpet effect of iconic Citroën cars and to overcome all obstacles, potholes, kerbs, speed bumps and other road connections, the Citroën Advanced Comfort® suspension is naturally fitted to C5 X. On the plug-in hybrid version, C5 X takes control a step further with Citroën Advanced Comfort® active suspension. With a choice of three modes, the suspension control system enhances the effectiveness of the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® by relaxing the suspension even more during driving phases to fly over the road and offer greater efficiency, particularly in corners.
With the PHEV version, Citroën says you can go up to 31 miles on battery power, and both gas and PHEV versions have all the features (standard or optional) you would expect on a modern car: Level 2 driver-assist system, a big screen on the dash, a head-up display, a tailgate that will open hands-free, four USB-C ports for charging and various sensors to help avoid collisions.
Citroën did not give pricing, but I’m guessing the C5 X will be around the equivalent of $US35,000 ($45,896) given Citroën’s current lineup, available later this year, only for Europe. And, to be fair, when it comes to encouraging the world to go SUV mad, Citroën is not the worst offender.
Here is its lineup in the UK, for example:
There is not a single American automaker with a lineup as sensible as that.
Anyway, the C5 X: