PARIS -- Citroen is returning to the midsize segment after an absence of two years with the CX 5, a car that the brand says combines the best attributes of a sedan, a station wagon and an SUV.
The C5 X, the brand’s new flagship model, will debut at the Shanghai auto show, which opens with a press day on April 19.
The car will go on sale in the second half of the year in China and Europe. It will be built in a Stellantis-Dongfeng joint venture plant in Chengdu and will be available in gasoline and plug-in hybrid versions. Citroen has not released prices.
The C5 X could help Citroen end six years of declining sales in China.
The C5 X rides on the same EMP2 architecture as the Peugeot 508 L, a China-only version of the midsize fastback with an extended wheelbase to give more room for rear-seat passengers.
Like the 508 and another sibling model, the DS 9 (also assembled in China), the C5 X will be offered with an optional plug-in hybrid powertrain, as well as gasoline and diesel models for Europe.
The C5 X’s styling cues include an extended, sloping rear roof line with two small spoilers, similar to that of the recently launched Citroen C4 compact, which also has some crossover appeal. SUV-like elements include black plastic wheel arch trim and bumpers that hint at skid plates. Tall and narrow tires ride on 19-inch wheels to provide an elevated driving position.
“It’s aimed at people who are used to a higher driving position and ease of entry and exit but don’t want SUV styling,” Citroen CEO Vincent Cobee said. “It has the space and functionality of a station wagon.”