April 21, 2019

Citroën C5 Aircross First Drive Review

Exciting new family SUV from Citroën!

The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland!
The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland!

The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland with pricing starting from €26,495. This is an exciting new car for Citroën, competing in the ‘sweet spot of the market’ where family SUVs reside. Caroline went along to the Irish press launch in Kildare to test drive the new C5 Aircross.

Styling

Citroën has rolled out some very individual and stylish cars in recent years like the C3 and C4 Cactus. The C5 Aircross brings the same sort of distinct look to the larger five seat SUV segment. It is very much a Citroën to look at and it’s unlikely to get lost in a crowd, especially if you go for a funky two tone look. Details include a two-tier light signature, wheel arch extensions and Airbump® panels available with personalised coloured inserts.

Interior

The cabin of the C5 Aircross combines the latest technology features with soft furnishings for an airy, lounge feel. The dashboard has a nice mix of materials with some soft touch parts, though there are plenty of harder plastics too. Aesthetically it all looks fine. There is a standard 8” touchscreen for the infotainment and it also houses the ventilation controls. A 12.3-inch driver information panel is also included as standard. There are plenty of storage spaces with the central armrest housing more practical storage compartments.The C5 Aircross adopts the sofa-inspired seating of the C4 Cactus with thick, wide seats.

Practicality

The Citroën C5 Aircross is one of the longest and tallest vehicles in its segment and feels very spacious inside. It has the largest boot of its competitors at 580 litres. Modularity is a key feature with three individual seats in the rear that can slide, fold and recline. There is also a flat floor in the rear making it more comfortable for carrying three people.

The interior of the new Citroën C5 Aircross
The interior of the new Citroën C5 Aircross

Engines

The C5 Aircross comes with two petrol and two diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid on the way in 2020. Petrol engines include the 1.2-litre 130hp Puretech engine paired with a 6-speed manual transmission and a 1.6-litre 180hp unit, which comes with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. On the diesel side there is a 1.5-litre Blue HDI 130hp engine with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission, and a 2.0-litre 180hp unit, which comes as standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Motor tax ranges from €190 to €280 depending on model.

On the road

The Citroën C5 Aircross has laminated double glazed windows and an insulation layer to reduce road and wind noise. There has also been an emphasis on sound insulation in the engine compartment. This contributes to a refined cabin ambience. The new C5 Aircross also has Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension for a smoother and more comfortable ride. Whereas a conventional suspension system is made up of dampers, springs and mechanical bump-stops, the new Citroën system adds two hydraulic stops to each suspension unit – one for rebound and one for compression. It translates well to the road, with the C5 Aircross being very soft and smooth over the road. It’s not the sharpest handling SUV, so if you hustle it on through corners there is more feeling of roll. At the launch I tested the 1.5 diesel and 1.2 petrol. Both are good engines with some of the best in class running costs and CO2 values.

The Citroën C5 Aircross goes on sale priced from €26,495
The Citroën C5 Aircross goes on sale priced from €26,495

Equipment

In Ireland there are four trim levels: Start, Touch, Feel and Flair.

The entry ‘Start’ trim level includes 8” touchscreen display, cruise control, active safety brake and air conditioning.

The ‘Touch’ trim adds items such as 17” alloys, rear parking sensors, folding mirrors, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.

The ‘Feel’ model has 18” alloys, front parking sensor, privacy glass, wireless phone charging and active blind spot detection.

‘Flair’ is the top specification level and includes 19” alloys, Citroën connect navigation, keyless entry and keyless start, a Panoramic Sunroof with interior LED ambient lighting and various driver assistance systems such as park assist, active lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

ConnectedCAM, a factory fitted dashboard camera from Citroën, is also standard across the range.

Pricing

Pricing for the C5 Aircross range starts from a competitive €26,495. Touch starts from €27,995, Feel from €29,995, Flair from €33,695.

The C5 Aircross has three individual seats in the rear
The C5 Aircross has three individual seats in the rear

Rivals

The Citroën C5 Aircross goes up against the Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tuscon, Peugeot 3008, among others.

Verdict

The Citroën C5 Aircross is a quirky new entrant into the highly competitive and lucrative compact SUV segment. The C5 Aircross makes a promising case for itself on price and spec. It’s also a generously sized vehicle with engines that score well on emissions and running costs. I look forward to bringing you a full road test of the new C5 Aircross later in the year!

Caroline Kidd

The C5 Aircross is Citroen's take on the compact family SUV
The C5 Aircross is Citroën’s take on the compact family SUV