Citroen C5 Aircross review
The Citroen C5 Aircross SUV brings distinctive design and cushioned comfort to a hotly contested market segment
The Citroen C5 Aircross has the ingredients to be a hit, and Citroen certainly deserves praise for offering SUV buyers something that’s different and innovative, especially in such a competitive and crowded part of the market. So it’s a great shame that it doesn’t all come together better.
An unwavering focus on comfort and practicality is to be commended, as is the generous level of standard equipment on offer, but the C5 Aircross doesn’t quite have what it takes to beat the best and match the smaller C3 Aircross as a truly capable all-rounder.
About the Citroen C5 Aircross
Aircross is Citroen speak for SUV, and was first used on the C-Aircross concept shown at the Shanghai Motor Show back in 2015. The distinctive looks of the C5 Aircross are a real attribute, as the car must compete in a particularly hotly contested mid-size SUV market segment.
Its rivals are the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq and SEAT Ateca, but also larger five-seat models like the Nissan X-Trail, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Kuga. Then there’s the Peugeot 3008 and 5008 which are important here, as they are the sister cars of the C5 Aircross - built on the same PSA Group platform, and sharing elements like engines, gearboxes and some of the technology under the skin. The C5 is closer in size to the 5008 but, like the 3008, doesn’t offer seven seats.
Car group tests
- New Citroen C5 Aircross Hybrid 136 review
- New Citroen C5 Aircross 2022 review
- New Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV 2022 review
- New Citroen C5 Aircross hybrid 2020 review
- New Citroen C5 Aircross PureTech 130 2020 review
Used car tests
With the demise of the Citroen C5 saloon and estate, the C5 Aircross is perhaps the default family choice, although there is the option of the C5 X model which offers a quirky hatchback-cum-estate style. Both major on comfort and feature Citroen's Advanced Comfort programme, which includes suspension with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions and Advanced Comfort seats. The latter means that the rear features three individual, sliding, incline-adjustable and folding rear seats. While there’s no seven-seat option, it does mean that rear-seat space in the Aircross is generous.
A facelift in 2022 included some exterior cosmetic tweaks; a revised front end now features new headlights in a raised position, split LED running lights, a revised front bumper with new air intakes and reprofiled rear taillights. The interior includes a reworked dash with a larger infotainment screen.
Citroen has introduced a new trim level lineup, with Sense Plus, Shine and C-Series Edition replacing the previous Feel, Flair and Flair Plus. Sense Plus versions can be paired with either the 1.2 PureTech 130 petrol or a 1.5 BlueHDi 130 diesel, while Shine and C-Series Edition variants also coming with the option of the PureTech 180 plug-in hybrid. Petrol and diesel models are offered with the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic transmission (auto 'box is standard for the PHEV).
Although Citroen claims a healthy 230mm ground clearance for the C5 Aircross, four-wheel drive isn’t even on the options list. However, all models include the same Grip Control system as offered by the Peugeot 3008 and 5008, which is effectively a traction control system that can be adjusted to suit different terrain.
For an alternative review of the latest Citroen C5 Aircross, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Citroen C5 Aircross SUV brings distinctive design and cushioned comfort to a hotly contested market segment
- 2Engines, performance and drivePetrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines are frugal yet powerful, although the C5 Aircross is slightly let down by the softly-sprung suspension
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsSmaller petrol and diesel engines offer a competitive blend of fuel efficiency and performance, while the plug-in hybrid model could tempt company car drivers
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe C5 Aircross features interesting design cues, but onboard tech is only average
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceSeven seats for the C5 Aircross aren’t an option, but space for passengers and luggage is boosted as a result
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe C5 Aircross is built on an established platform which bodes well for reliability