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In-depth reviews

Citroen C5 Aircross review - Interior, design and technology

Unique design backed up by decent tech included as standard, although some quality issues persist

As you’d expect, the larger C5 Aircross follows the design themes established by the smaller C3 Aircross, with slim LED daytime running lights that run into the familiar Citroen grille, with its oversized double chevrons. The headlamps sit below, while the chunky apron beneath gets a choice of white, red or silver-ringed anodised sections – all refreshingly individual in this market area.

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Airbumps make a reappearance along the side – again with coloured sections to match the front – and the cladding helps to avoid the slab-sided look of some mid-sized SUVs. The deep windows promise good visibility, while the back is a little more conventional but still manages to feature smart-looking 3D LED tail-lights.

For the full concept-car effect, Volcano Red paint is a £545 option, giving the exterior a similar hue to the 2015 show car. Do this, and the C5 Aircross looks like nothing else – other than perhaps the C3 Aircross – and that’s how a Citroen should be, shouldn’t it?

Swing open the front door and you’re greeted by an equally interesting interior. The Airbump theme is carried over on the door panels. However, some of the plastics used here feel a bit cheap – as does the finish around the chrome door handle and window switches. It’s a strange mix inside, with some really nice, expensive-looking elements and places where you can clearly see that money has been saved.

As with the suspension, Citroen’s focus on comfort extends to the big, squishy Advanced Comfort chairs that come as standard from Flair trim upwards and are nicely finished in leather. Kids will love the three rear seats, which are the same size as those in the front, and move and slide individually. The floor’s flat, too, so the middle seat isn’t the short straw it is in some of the C5 Aircross’s rivals. Knee space in the back isn’t overly generous; nor is the amount of headroom if you opt for a panoramic sunroof.

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The kit count is generous, featuring lots of safety gear; some of it you would expect (autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist) and some of it you wouldn’t (adaptive cruise control and a built-in dash cam).

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment 

Every model gets a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, which replaces conventional analogue dials, and allows extra information to be shown right in the driver’s direct line of sight, such as navigation maps.

All models also include an eight-inch central infotainment touchscreen with the latest smartphone connectivity, including MirrorLink, which lets you use your phone’s navigation through the screen. DAB and Bluetooth is standard, and the system also has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A six-speaker stereo is the only option, which seems like a missed opportunity given the lounge-like interior.

The screen also includes controls for core functions like the air conditioning, although we always prefer these to be operated by physical knobs or dials as they’re less distracting to use when driving. The screen’s graphics are quite pleasing to behold, but perhaps not as clear as those used on rival VW Group cars, for example. 

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech 130 Feel 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,015

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 Plug-in Hybrid 225 Flair 5dr e-EAT8
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £34,575

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6 PureTech 180 Flair 5dr EAT8
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £30,170
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