The C5 Aircross is a mid-size SUV that competes with countless rivals including (but not limited to) the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, Ford Edge and Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s eye-catching, practical and comfortable, and that means it’ll rightly appeal to a wide range of buyers.
The C5 Aircross costs a roughly similar amount to the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson – both very popular cars - but costs a wee bit less than the Volkswagen Tiguan. The Citroen also sits on a par with the Nissan and Hyundai on the strength of its resale values, and a little way behind the VW, which serves to even up the long-term running costs between the three. Choose your version wisely, though, and the Citroen’s figures for fuel consumption and emissions are markedly better than those of its rivals, giving it a very slight edge in overall running costs. Overall, then, the C5 Aircross should prove to be a sound financial bet.
Expert rating: 4/5
Reliability of a Citroen C5 Aircross
As the C5 Aircross is a new model, there’s no specific historical data to look at yet. In recent years, Citroen has figured in the lower half of the table in the manufacturer standings of the JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study, but there have been small glimpses of improvement to be observed periodically. Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index, which also ranks manufacturers, paints a slightly rosier picture with Citroen in a solid mid-table position, but this uses data from older cars that are out of the factory warranty. If something does go wrong with your C5 Aircross, Citroen offers a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty, with a third year added by the dealer, limited to 60,000 miles.
Expert rating: 3/5
Safety for a Citroen C5 Aircross
The C5 Aircross comes with a huge list of safety features as standard. This includes automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, a lane departure warning system and blind spot monitoring system, while Flair and Flair Plus models come with Citroen’s ConnectedCam, which is an inbuilt dash-cam. It’s an option on the Feel model. All cars have front, side and curtain airbags and three Isofix child-seat mounting points (two in the back and one in the front passenger seat).
Expert rating: 4/5
How comfortable is the Citroen C5 Aircross
The interior design of the C5 Aircross is as eye-catching as the bodywork, and available with a range of cloth and leather finishes on the seats. However, the quality of some of the materials used, and the finish on them, doesn’t feel as lustrous as in many rivals. On the plus side, the standard 12.5-inch colour screen that replaces traditional dials is suitably funky, and configurable in a number of different ways. It ties in with the infotainment system, operated through an 8.0-inch touchscreen and aided by an array of touch-sensitive buttons underneath. They’re not sensitive enough, unfortunately, so you find yourself jabbing a finger at them repeatedly in order to get your commands to register, and the on-screen menus are rather convoluted and confusing, too. However, you can get around the iffy operating system by using the Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink smartphone connectivity that comes as standard. The upgraded seats, which are standard on Flair and Flair Plus models, are very comfortable.
Practicality is a strong point. For starters, the boot is huge, 580 litres in normal circumstances, but that can be boosted to 720 litres just by sliding the rear seats forward. What’s more, these three rear seats slide – not to mention recline and fold – independently of each other, giving you bags of choice about how you use the space available. It also helps make the Aircross a car that will seat five people in comfort, rather than the normal situation where you have four comfy folk and one slightly squashed unfortunate in the middle. Fold all your rear seats down, and you cargo capacity jumps up to 1630 litres.
There’s also plenty of storage in the cabin, with good-sized cupholders in the centre console and a huge cubbyhole under the armrest that’s also cooled by the air-conditioning system, making it ideal for drinks and snacks. The glovebox is big, too, and there are storage pockets in all four doors. All-in-all, this is one of the roomiest and most practical cars of its type.
The C5 Aircross is a car that focuses unashamedly on comfort over handling, and it’s all the better for it. All versions feature the same suspension system that uses hydraulics to smooth off the effects of bumps and potholes, and while Citroen’s claims of a ‘magic carpet’ ride are pushing things a little, this is still a car that stays smooth and serene over all but the scruffiest of surfaces. And even when dealing with particularly nasty road imperfections, the car does a good job of minimising their effects. What’s more, despite the focus on comfort, the C5 Aircross doesn’t disgrace itself when it arrives at a set of bends, either. Sure, it doesn’t feel as sharp or as pointy as many rival SUVs, but the body still manages to stay pretty controlled and stable, and grip levels are reasonably strong, too. The light steering could inspire a bit more confidence, but it least it makes the car easier to park.
Expert rating: 4/5
Features of the Citroen C5 Aircross
All models of the C5 Aircross come well equipped as standard, with features such as cruise control, DAB digital radio, two USB chargers and Bluetooth included. Dual zone climate control is also included, as are automatic windscreen wipers and rear parking sensors. Upgrade from the Feel model to the Flair and you’ll get grey leather upholstery (or cloth if you’d prefer), front parking sensors and a reversing camera, as well as automatic parking and satellite navigation, as well as electric driver’s seat. Go for the Flair Plus model and it’ll come with keyless entry and start, a hands-free boot lid that you can open by waving your foot under the rear bumper, and some mood lighting inside. A smartphone wireless charging plate is also included.
Expert rating: 4/5
Power for a Citroen C5 Aircross
There are four engines available in the C5 Aircross, two diesels and two petrols. Both have the same output figures, either 130 horsepower or 180 horsepower. We’ve tried both the 180 horsepower engines so far, and both are pretty good. The diesel has more pulling power than the petrol, so feels slightly more effortless in its acceleration, but the petrol still does a commendable job of hauling the C5 around with a minimum of fuss. We’d suggest that if you’re likely to be doing lots of longer journeys, then the better fuel economy of the diesel would make it worthwhile, but for those that do shorter trips, the petrol should be more than sufficient. We’ve also tried the 130 horsepower petrol, and although it has appreciably less urge than the more powerful engines, it should be sufficient for those who don’t often venture too far outside of the city limits. The 130 horsepower engines come with a manual gearbox if you want them, but the more powerful ones are automatic-only, and the eight-speed gearbox does a decent job of selecting the right gear for the situation at hand. That means you won’t often need – or want, frankly - to use the manual paddles that allow you to shift gears yourself.