Citroen C5 Aircross
By Bill McCarthy
You will have read this before elsewhere no doubt, but Citroen produce some striking looking motors.
It should be no surprise, therefore, that C5 Aircross SUV is no different.
Well, it is a bit different, with a number of innovations including its modular design which includes three sliding, adjustable rear seats which incline and fold to offer a multitude of cargo carrying and stowage options. Capacity ranges from 580 to 720 litres and a huge 1,630 to the roof with the seats folded.
In fact it mirrors the looks of many of the brand, with its muscular profile, high ground clearance, striking light clusters to front and rear and the now familiar airbump protectors to doors and wheel arch guards.
It also has what appear to be two slim grilles and equally slim lights and subtle integrated roofers. Large air scoops and genuinely striking two-tone alloy wheels further distinguish it from the crowd.
The interior is high quality, if not quite up to the sibling DS standard, it is nevertheless stylish, functional and incredibly practical. It seems logically designed with eight inch touchscreen and a 12.3 inch customisable TFT instrument display with multi-function trip computer.
The touchscreen controls navigation, infotainment and connectivity via voice recognition for radio, nav and phone and Mirror screen-Mirrorlink, Apple carplay, Android auto. It also has two USB sockets, six speaker sound system,
The darkness of the dash and upholstery is only really offset by chrome trim to air vents, steering wheel and the binnacle and large glass areas letting the light in. There is a large centre console accommodating, in this case, the auto gearshift, a large oddment container and two large cupholders. Practicality rules and addition there is an illuminated glove box fixed centre storage box with sliding lid, door pockets front and rear, hinged parcel shelf and map pockets on front seat backs
It is a spacious vehicle and the large, raked windscreen allows plenty of light into the cabin. The five individual seats are large and comfortable and there is plenty of leg and headroom to front and rear thanks to the squarish shape
It is powered by a lively but frugal two litre engine, mated to a seamless eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Acceleration is brisk for the type of car, although SUV buyers are unlikely to be looking for hot hatch type performance – although the 0-60mph figure of 8.5 seconds is rapid enough. Economy is good for a big car, delivering a real world combined figure of between 43 and 47 mpg.
On the road, the two litre diesel unit has plenty of punch and a good amount of torque, so it pulls well in all gears is refined and occupants are well shielded from road, engine and wind noise.
Handling as you would expect is more oil tanker than racing car, but unless you think you’re a boy racer, it never really comes into the equation.
It is built for comfort and there is plenty of it with a softish ride aided by the Progressive Hydraulic suspension soaking up all but the very worst lump and potholes.
It is also packed with equipment including high levels of safety kit including, assisted braking, stability an traction control, hill start, full complement of airbags, ice warning and coffee break alert.
Parking camera, parking sensors, electric, heated door mirrors, sensing wipers and two position boot floor are also available on this model in addition to a raft of standard kit.
The C5 is an innovative SUV, with clever design, five full size seats, large cargo space and hi-tech bells and whistles and with a starting price of between £24 and £25k it offers plenty for the money
Citroen C5 Aircross Flair Blue HDi 180 EAT8
Mechanical: 174bhp, 1,997cc, four cylinder turbo diesel engine driving front wheels via eight-speed auto gearbox
Max speed: 131mph
0-62mph: 8.6 seconds
Combined mpg: 43-47 mpg
Insurance group: 25
CO2 emissions: 125g/km