The Citroen C5 X is a rather unique hybrid vehicle. It’s a cross between an estate, an SUV and a saloon. It offers a supremely comfortable driving experience, excellent fuel efficiency, a stylish exterior and interior design, clever use of technology within the cabin and features a range of standardized driver assistance systems – it’s arguably the most complete hybrid on the market, where it not only received our Best Buy award but also achieved the highest score we’ve ever given to a part-electrified vehicle.
When it comes to audio, the C5 X houses an eight-speaker configuration. Should you opt for the Shine Plus model, you’ll have the option to upgrade to a ten-speaker system for £500. The former stock system is on review.
Citroen C5 X audio setup
To tinker with the vehicle’s audio settings, you’ll have to navigate to the appropriate menu on the 12″ (10″ on the entry-level Sense Plus trim) infotainment system – here are our optimal settings:
- Treble: +1
- Mid: +1
- Bass: +3
- Ambiance Sound: Neutral*
- Balance & Fader: Centre
*We found that Neutral provided the most accurate, reference sound at the expense of a bit of emphasis on the lows and highs, which were attained via the only other sound profile, ‘Dynamic’.
In order to connect to the vehicle’s system, you can use a wired or wireless connection over Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Bluetooth is also an option, however, the C5 X is limited to the lowest-quality SBC codec only, which degrades audio performance over a wireless connection due to limited bandwidth capabilities.
Moving onto media controls, they can be accessed through the display, via the volume knob found by the infotainment system and the physical buttons located on the steering wheel.
Citroen C5 X audio performance
For a demo of the Citroen C5 X’s audio system head on over to our YouTube channel.
In terms of its audio configuration, there are four audio drivers at the front, and four at the rear. Speakers can be found within each of the four doors, with the rear two also having tweeters. At the front, the tweeters are located within the A-pillars. Unfortunately, we don’t have details on the driver sizes or the total wattage. As for the upgraded ten-speaker system, there’s a centre speaker within the dashboard and a subwoofer in the boot.
Due to an omission of a subwoofer in the standard configuration, that pronounced low-end extension is missing in ‘Check’ by Kojo Funds Ft Raye. The speakers positioned within each of the doors try their best to reproduce that sub-bass rumble but alas are cut short in the lower echelons of the frequency range. Thankfully, however, the system’s mid-bass presence is hearty and provides plenty of energy in bass-orientated tracks, especially with three notches added onto the ‘Bass’ EQ.
Unsurprisingly with that low-end presence, there’s a notable dip in the lower mids. The result is slightly recessed vocals and a V-shaped sound signature. With that said, the upper mids are accurately portrayed and bolster the system’s mid-range capabilities. We’d suggest not adding any more than one notch to the ‘Mid’ EQ as doing so hinders the system’s overall accuracy.
As for the highs, they extend well throughout the cabin due to the inclusion of dedicated tweeters both at the front and rear. With one notch added onto the ‘Treble’ EQ, cymbals have that sparkle, with classical songs benefitting from an exciting top-end.
Moving onto the soundstage, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, the system’s instrument separation is good while on the other, the overall width and depth are a tad closed, which results in a slightly uninspiring, uni-directional sound. A song that helps portray the C5 X’s strengths and weaknesses in this department is ‘Dimension’ by JAE5 Ft Skepta & Rema – instruments can be clearly differentiated, but when the vocals come to the foreground, they get a bit lost. The addition of a centre speaker in the upgraded audio system would help elevate the front cabin’s soundstage reproduction.
Finally, onto cabin noise, the Citroen C5 X provides excellent isolation from the exterior environment. The Shine Plus model on review has front and rear glazing, while all trim levels have an acoustically-glazed windscreen. With a sound meter, we recorded 35-36 dBA while in EV mode, and 49 dBa at a standstill with the front-mounted engine fired up; driving at 20mph, 54-56 dBA; driving at 30-40mph, 56-61 dBA; and at 70mph, 66-71 dBA. The latter result is the most impressive of the bunch, as it’s at higher speeds where most of its rivals fall short.
TotallyEV’s verdict on the Citroen C5 X’s audio system
On the whole, the Citroen C5 X’s stock audio configuration will suffice for most consumers and as such, receives our Approved audio award. However, audiophiles might want to consider the Shine Plus trim and opting for the £500 audio upgrade, as it adds a centre speaker that will bolster the soundstage reproduction and a subwoofer, which adds that extra oomph in the low-end.