Shropshire Star

Long-term report: Finding the positives and negatives in the Citroen C5 X

The C5 X has presented a largely positive experience, but Nigel Swan has found issue with a few of its quirks.

Citroen C5 X

It’s been a busy start to the year for our long-term Citroen C5 X, and one thing’s for sure, it has settled into life as the video support car pretty well.

Normally, when a long-termer arrives you learn pretty quickly what elements you’re really going to get on with and what you’re going to find frustrating, and so far, it’s mainly only positive with the French hybrid.

As we mentioned in the first report, having the flexibility of a petrol engine and power from a battery too means that I’m spending less time at the petrol pumps. A lot of my shorter journeys in the C5 X are around town, a mix of taking pooch to the beach, running to the gym and football or popping to the shop for supplies.

Citroen C5 X
The C5 X has proven very comfortable over long distances

I’ve now got into a routine of pulling the car into an outdoor three-pin plug when I get back from a drive, which tops the battery up overnight, meaning petrol-free driving when pottering around town. Not only is that good for the wallet, but it also makes me feel like I’m doing my bit for the environment. Now obviously the costs are passed onto my electricity bill, but I’ve been keeping tabs on my monthly bill and I haven’t really noticed any big changes.

On average I’m getting around 30 miles of petrol-free driving which is more than enough for my everyday uses. The only thing I’ve found though is that when I go on trips a little further afield, I haven’t really been anywhere when I can plug the car in, so essentially the petrol engine is working that little bit harder carrying those heavy batteries around.

Citroen C5 X
The C5 X is one of the quirkier cars in Citroen’s range

The benefits of having the ability to plug-in to a charger as well as having a petrol engine became evident when I caught up with a friend pretty recently, we both met about an hour away from our respective houses. They have a Renault Zoe, and while I was able to drive to and from our meeting place with relatively little planning, they had to completely plan out their journey and it took twice as long to factor in charging times.

I’ll be honest – I’m not taking full advantage of the charging infrastructure just yet. Recently on a shoot at Nissan’s R&D center in the Midlands, however, I was able to plug it into their charging stations which gave it a bit of a boost.

Citroen C5 X
The lack of rear wiper means driving in winter can be a bit of a pain

So it’s pretty clear that if you’re in the market for a car where there’s going to be a balance of town driving and some motorway work, then the C5 X should definitely be worth considering. If you’re mainly going to be using it on longer journeys then the 1.6-litre petrol would make the most sense.

I think there are only two things that have really frustrated me, but nothing I would consider damning. The first thing is the boot, which is a good size and shape offering 485 litres of room for luggage – 60 litres less than the non-hybrid version, however as wide and long as it is, it’s quite shallow because of that sloping boot.

The other mild frustration is the infotainment screen, which is a bit slow to respond, and some of the commands and controls aren’t as intuitive as you’d find in some of the best systems in this class. Oh, and one more thing which is more of an annoyance to my neighbours than myself, every time I walk past the car with the keys in my pockets, it unlocks the car then beeps before locking. It is not ideal at 4 am when I’m leaving early for a shoot and have to take the bins out and walk past it a few times.gla

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