SIR Alec Issigonis, designer of the original Austin Mini, always wanted to do things his own way.
He hated the compromises that come from working in a team.
A camel,” he said, “is a horse designed by a committee.” Gangly, lumpy, awkward.
Wonder what he’d have made of the Citroen C5 X. It smells of committee design.
It looks like the chairperson wanted a big hatchback. But then the secretary argued for an estate.
And finally the treasurer chipped in and said it had to have some crossover about it.
The way Citroen tells it, you’ve got a combination of virtues.
The fastback style and driving refinement of a hatchback, the space and easy loading of an estate.
And the rugged looks and rough-track ground clearance of a crossover.
Citroen also says there are no direct rivals.
But of course people will look at other cars. They’re not going to buy it as an alternative to a canal boat.
They’ll be comparing to a Nissan Qashqai-sized crossover or a bigger estate like the Skoda Superb.
The C5 X is value alongside those. It’s also a very decent car.
At least if you get the right engine.
Luckily, that’s the cheapest one, starting at £26,490.
It’s a little 130hp petrol job, with an eight-speed automatic.
Provided you don’t tow heavy trailers up steep hills, it’s enough power.
Because this isn’t a car that needs a sports engine. It’s blissfully comfortable and relaxed.
Everyone gets room to stretch, front or back. The seats are squishy and welcoming.
The suspension is soft like a double-thick mattress. It’s quiet.
The navigation and screen systems are clear and simple to use. So they won’t be fraying your nerves.
Although the suspension is soft and smooth, it’s still pretty composed in bends.
The steering is both accurate and progressive.
Body roll isn’t an issue. It’s a surprisingly neat mover.
I mentioned there’s a more expensive engine. It’s a plug-in hybrid system.
Charge it up and you should be able to do 30-odd suburban miles in all-electric mode.
Longer than that and you’ll be using the petrol engine too.
With the engine and electric motor combined, flat-out performance is better than the basic 130hp pure petrol.
But the acceleration is unpredictable as it switches between power sources and flails up and down the gearbox.
And the braking is uneven too.
The PHEV is nearly nine grand more to buy than the 130hp petrol.
Unless you really can make use of regular electric driving, or you need to save company car tax, avoid it.
But the simple petrol-engined version shows the C5 X committee actually passed a clever motion.
CITROEN C5 X SHINE PLUS
- Price: £29,980
- Engine: 1.2 liter 3cyl turbo
- Power: 130hp, 230Nm
- 0-62mph: 10.4secs
- Top speed: 130mph
- Economy: 41mpg
- CO2: 154g/km
- Out: Now
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8551168/citreon-c5-x-shine-plus-review/ Citreon C5 X Shine Plus review: A comfortable car with enough power