Citroën is introducing a big brother to the C3 Aircross writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? The rise of the SUV family car means you can steer past that looming midlife crisis, no longer forced to face the grim reality of a people carrier, instead family transport has never been so chic. The latest to join the fray is Citroën’s C5 Aircross. First revealed at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show, Citroën’s new flagship shares a platform with the Peugeot 3008, the Opel Grandland X and the new DS7. It is Citroën’s answer to the Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga and Renault Kadjar.
First impressions of the new Citroën’s C5 Aircross? Overall it looks robust and feels like it will withstand any manner of punishment that kids and dogs might hurl at it while still unmistakably a Citroën. The imposing grille and discrete air bumps have a look that blends nicely with the C3, C3 Aircross and C4 Cactus.
What about the interior? Slip behind the driver seat and instantly you will appreciate the comfortable seats with added padding. Comfort is Citroën’s new focus, inspired by customers the French car maker believes that this is their unique selling point. The new SUV benefits from “Citroën Advanced Comfort” a system that combines comfortable seats with a progressive hydraulic suspension to give all round ride comfort.
Inside it looks good and the large panoramic sunroof gives the cabin an airy spacious feel but it lacks the wow factor of the Peugeot 3008. It is well equipped and comes with an 8″ touchscreen and a 12.3″ digital instrument panel. Space and storage throughout is good with a “Best in Class” boot capacity of 580 litres.
Under the bonnet? When deliveries of the new Citroën SUV begin in January customers will be offered the choice of five engines – a PureTech 130 6spd manual, PureTech 180 EAT8 petrols and BlueHDi 130 6spd manual, BlueHDi 130 EAT8 and BlueHDi 180 EAT8 diesels. In 2019, the Citroën C5 Aircross will be the first vehicle in the line-up to be equipped with a petrol plug-in hybrid engine, with a claimed range of 60 km in 100% electric mode.
Interestingly, Citroën are unlikely to follow the lead of Toyota or Nissan in phasing out diesel. Although the demand in Europe is significantly reduced, Citroën boss Linda Jackson told wheelsforwomen that it will be down to customer demand to determine how long diesel will be offered as part of their range.
How does it drive? We had an opportunity to very briefly test drive the car and try out the new comfort system at a reveal event at the Domaine de Saint-Cloud in Paris. The cobbled roads we drove on confirmed Citroën’ s qualities as a cruiser as opposed to a tyre-shredding sports car.
What about safety? Safety and technology highlights will include 20 driver assistance systems including Highway Driver Assist, a level-two autonomous driving system, and Grip Control with Hill Assist Descent, for adventures off the beaten track. It also comes with six connectivity technologies, including wireless smartphone charging.
First Impressions? The C5 Aircross is certainly a promising offering from Citroën. For me the secret to Citroën’s considerable charm is as much about quirky design as it is cushioned suspension and the new flagship has just the right mix of both. Plus it comes with good build quality and innovative use of space. So maybe the secret to this Citroën’s success may well be that it not trying to be all things to everyone and if priced well it might just pull it off.
What it says about you? You’ve got high standards, you want to look good and be comfortable – all at the same time
3 words to describe the Citroën C5 Aircross? Comfortable; Chic; Quirky
18th June, 2018