By Ian Strachan
Of all car manufacturers, Citroen has probably advanced the most in terms of design and innovation. The new Citroen C5 Aircross is a case in point.
Following on from the success of the smaller Citroen C3 Aircross, the French manufacturer has loaded this SUV with lots of big car extras. Not so long ago it would have been unheard of to get all-round parking aids and rear view camera, lane assist, hill start assist and 19 inch alloys on a car of this size. But the C5 Aircross gives you all of that and much more.
The C5 Aircross has somewhat quirky but distinctive looks, with a high front end, full-length roof rails and black “Airbump” side protection first seen on the Cactus. It’s rugged and distinctive, and has a surprisingly spacious interior. The overall appearance on the Flair specification which I tested was helped by smart anodised 19 inch alloy wheels (an extra £1,030 as part of an exterior pack that includes a fully opening panoramic roof.)
I drove the four cylinder 1.5 litre turbo diesel-powered C5 Aircross. The turbocharged direct injection 130 horsepower engine is willing, smooth and quiet. Married to an impressively smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox it gives effortless performance. Citroen’s automatic gearboxes have certainly moved on from the lumpy gearboxes of the past.
The interior is pleasant to look at and pleasant to be inside. Styling is attractive and has lots of personality to match its rugged exterior.
The seats are more comfortable and supportive than many cars in this class. The centrally mounted eight-inch touch-screen for controlling air conditioning, radio and media and the satnav system is slick and easy to use.
Storage space is generous, with big door bins front and back and a large central illuminated glovebox. Leg and headroom is more than adequate and boot space is generous. The driver’s seat is powered and three full-size rear seats have an adjustable recline feature.
There are some clever touches around this Citroen and I Iike it a lot. Fuel economy is respectable, returning up to 56.3 miles to the gallon in mixed driving.
On the road, the C5 Aircross behaves extremely well. The power assisted steering is sensible – always giving you good contact with the road. Cornering is positive and effortless.
Automatic dual zone air conditioning with rear ventilation, keyless entry with remote central locking, six-speaker DAB radio/MP3 player with Bluetooth compatibility, Apple CarPlay and media streaming, Citroen Connect wifi and USB socket, gear efficiency indicator, all-round parking sensors with rear camera, electric windows, automatic wipers and headlights and electric, heated door mirrors are all standard as are front fog lights with cornering function, two-position boot floor and LED daytime running lights.
This is a good, eye-catching and roomy package which is well worth the £28,430 on the road price. Extras on my test car included metallic paint (£545) and the extrior pack (£1,030).