In-depth reviews

Citroen C5 Aircross review

The Citroen C5 Aircross SUV brings distinctive design and cushioned comfort to a hotly contested market segment

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£23,645 to £33,455
  • Concept-car design
  • Generous equipment
  • Efficient engines
  • Not an engaging drive
  • Average infotainment set-up
  • Automatic option not the best
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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.

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 hybridPetrol 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.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Plus 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,605

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Plus 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,605

Fastest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Plus 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,605

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