The bodyshell is sufficiently different to stand out, with Citroën's design cues of the beaky bonnet, thin, stacked headlamps, huge organically shaped lower air intakes and those weird deep sills with red finishers. It's different, but I wouldn't call it good looking. There are three trim variants, Feel, Flair and Flair Plus, though the basic spec isn't bad with blind-spot monitoring, radar and camera-based emergency braking, lane-departure warning, climate control, auto headlamps and wipers, and powered and heated door mirrors. By the time you get to Flair Plus the C5 is running on 19-inch rims, with a huge sun roof, parking sensors all round, a rear camera and active cruise control.
Citroën claims there are no less than 20 separate driver aid and safety systems although what that actually means is that the C5 is equipped almost exactly the same as its rivals. So it can drive itself in a very limited fashion with your hands on the steering wheel, it monitors the sides of the coachwork for traffic and will display enhanced 360° views round the car on the centre screen. It will also gently nudge you back into lane if you veer out, autonomously brake for obstacles, warn you if it thinks you are losing attention and park itself as long as you work the pedals.
There are two petrol and three turbo diesel options, with predictions for the UK market split half diesel and half petrol. Prices start at £22,225 for the 131PS/230Nm (129bhp/170lb ft) three-cylinder turbo petrol manual in Feel trim. The two most popular models will be in mid-range Flair trim with the same three-pot petrol at £25,325, or the 131PS/300Nm (221lb ft) 1.5-litre four-pot turbodiesel for £26,605.
We were given the two top models to drive, neither of which will account for a hill of beans in the UK. The 174bhp/295lb ft two-litre turbodiesel automatic costs £32,725 and will take just one per cent of UK orders, and the £30,825 176PS/250Nm (178bhp/184lb ft) 1.6-litre turbo petrol (also an automatic), which we've driven here will take 19 per cent of sales in all trim options. It delivers a top speed of 134mph, 0-62mph in 8.2sec, 49.6mpg (we got 30mpg) and CO2 emissions of 129g/km. And in 2020, C5 will get a plug-in hybrid driveline.