IT’S a hatchback… an estate… an SUV – well the latest offering from Citroen is all three and more as they unveil the new C5 X.

With more than a hint of iconic large Citroen’s of the past (think DS, CX and XM) their new flagship motor is, says the French manufacturer, both “a celebration of Citroën’s past, and a look into the future for the brand.”

In addition to its striking looks, the C5 X offers unrivalled comfort thanks to its ‘lounge like’ interior and Citroën’s ‘Advanced Comfort Programme’ with active suspension and ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats, aided by a multitude of driver safety aids and new 12-inch HD touchscreen with voice recognition.

This has a new enhanced infotainment system with ambient backlighting, optimum ergonomic efficiency and ultimate smartphone compatibility. Users can customise their preferred shortcuts as key functions, whilst setting their own user profile and a new head-up display system helps to improve safety and driver comfort.

I got to try out the new large Citroen at a recent UK drive event in beautiful Warwickshire countryside on the hottest day of the year – so the car’s excellent aircon got a big tick straight away.

Comfort is the priority here and it is, like those great Citroens of the past, a case of wafting along as the superb suspension and extra comfort seats soak up all road imperfections.

However, as this was the 225bhp plug in hybrid (PHEV) version this C5 X can also pick up its skirts and get a move on when in sport mode – 0 to 60 in a very respectable 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 145mph.

This comes from a combination of a front wheel drive 1.6 petrol engine and an electric motor that is capable of up to 31 miles on a full charge without a drop of petrol being used plus an eight speed silky smooth auto box.

Also like its forebears the C5 X is striking to look at and has lots of road presence as it is 4.8 metres long and 1.8 metres wide. There are three trim levels ‘Sense Plus’, ‘Shine’ and ‘Shine Plus’, each as a Plug-in Hybrid or petrol and it was the latter, range topper, which I got to try.

Build quality and materials on the interior are good and kit levels high with adaptive cruise, power tailgate, heads up display and heated power front seats being the highlights for me. There are also a raft of safety systems which put the C5 X up with the best in its D segment class.

So this PHEV is refined and quiet, especially in electric only mode, comfy and quite fast and Citroen expect it to sell well, even though they are only being made to order with the first ones to hit UK Roads this summer.

Apparently the Chinese are also quite keen on big Citroens so many C5 X’s are likely to find homes there too.

Here there is also a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol with 129bhp (badged 130 and expected to be the biggest UK seller) and a 1.6-litre petrol with 178bhp, both non hybrid.

Prices go from £27,790 to £33,810 for the non-hybrids and from £36,470 to £39,960 for the hybrid versions.

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By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth