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First Driving Impressions Citroen C5 Aircross

in Motoring Insight

The C5 Badge has been around for quite a while now, the first one was introduced in 2000, and replaced the Xantia and was in production until 2007. The second generation, and a much improved, and less French, and more German looking was launched in 2007 and ran until 2017.

Now Citroen have decided to make the new C5 into a SUV, put Aircross on the end of it, and hey presto, they now have a car that is so much more ‘today’ – and offers customers a handsome looking machine, with practicality and flexibility.

The car we had on test was the C5 Aircross Flair+ powered by a 1,199cc 3-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine. Looking at the size of the car, and then looking at the size of the engine, you would think, no-way would this work. This 3-pot engine produces 129hp, goes from 0-62mph in a respectable 10.5 seconds, and a top speed, where permitted of 117mph. This engine was coupled to a 6-speed manual gearbox, and has Stop-Start as standard. 

Other engines available are a 1.6-litre petrol 178hp and a 2,0-litre diesel 178hp and a 1.5 diesel that produces 128hp.

The C5 Aircross measures 4,500mm long, 1,859mm wide and 1,670mm tall, but looks bigger than it actually is.

Big Citroens, going back as long as I can remember have always had the impression of large luxurious, and very comfortable motors. I can remember sitting in the rear of a DS19, and thinking then just how fantastic it was, so unlike the British cars my Dad drove. The DS was more comfortable than our old, worn out settee in the lounge. This new large Citroen has all the characteristics and comfort I remember from all those years ago, it really is quite luxurious, and remember – it is a SUV as well. 

Despite ‘comfy’ seats, the C5 is also helped in the comfort department by having Progressive Hydraulic Cushions on each shock absorber to help keep the suspension controlled and give this SUV a very soft ride, yet its handling is not compromised. There are however other cars in the market that do have a firmer ride, better handling, but at the cost of a more choppy ride.

I’m not entirely sure where the Aircross name comes from, and not sure how it translates into other languages. But Aircross is used by Citroen on other cars, and it is their name for SUV’s or Crossovers. Citroen have always been a bit quirky, and the C5 Aircross is no different, but if you want to stand out in a crowd, then your designers need to think ‘outside-the-box’ – and I hate that phrase, but it does work in this instance.

The car we had had keyless-start, and to start and stop the engine, you have to press a button on the dash. Unlike many other push-buttons that you just have to lightly touch to fire up the motor, and again lightly touch it to shut it down. This C5 took quite a good push to start the car, not a problem but you have to get used to it.

Many of the cars controls, including the heating and cooling are operated through the 8-inch touchscreen, and the icons on the screen are difficult to operated while driving and you do have to try and rest your hand on the dash to ensure you hit the right button.

The interior quality is up to a high standard with plenty of soft-touch materials used, so the interior is very acceptable.

The C5 Aircross is competitively priced, with prices starting from £24,435 and going up to £32,000. The car we had on test was priced at £28,935.

If you want a very comfortable, good looking and practical SUV, then the C5 AIRCROSS could be for you. If you want a more dynamic drive, a car you can throw round corners, and possibly make the kids ill, then look elsewhere.. 

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