2020 Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid: specs, prices and range

Want a comfy high-riding SUV with plug-in hybrid power for emission-free driving around town? The Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV could be for you

James Wilson
Jan 30, 2020

If you're itching to get behind the wheel of a comfort-oriented, high-riding plug-in hybrid SUV, the new Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid could hit the spot – offering a claimed electric range of 31 miles and the kind of seats you'd expect in DFS rather than in a car. Tempted? You can register your interest now, with prices starting at £35,340 and the first UK deliveries due in the middle of 2020.

Non-hybrid Citroen C5 Aircross models started appearing on UK roads at the beginning of 2019, following the smaller C3 Aircross. Unlike many other cars of this sort, Citroen has engineered these models to be particularly comfy, with funky styling and practical cabins – and the C5 Aircross offers more space than the C3 Aircross.

Mid-sized SUVs don’t tend to be the lightest cars on the market and a knock-on effect is that fuel consumption can be higher compared to smaller, lighter hatchbacks with similarly sized engines. In a world where drivers are more and more conscious about their environmental impact and where diesel is becoming less popular, plug-in hybrid cars are an alternative way for motorists to cut their fuel bills - provided they remember to charge the car regularly.

It is for this reason that the Citroen C5 Aircross and rivals such as the Kia Niro and Mini Countryman are available as plug-in hybrids (alternatively known as PHEVs). So what does the C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid offer to set it apart from its rivals? Read on below to find out.

Quick facts

  • First UK deliveries due mid-2020
  • Prices starting from £35,340
  • Two trims on offer: Flair and Flair Plus
  • Total power output of 225hp
  • Claimed fuel economy of up to 166mpg
  • Carbon dioxide emissions as low as 39g/km

2020 Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid specs

Citroen will offer the plug-in C5 Aircross in two trims – Flair and Flair Plus. While the French manufacturer is yet to confirm what each individual spec includes, Flair and Flair Plus petrol and diesel models can be used as an indication of what will feature.

Starting with Flair, standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch digital drivers’ display, tinted rear windows, eight-inch central touchscreen media system, sat-nav, Bluetooth, digital radio, electric heated wing mirrors, front fog lights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Flair Plus builds upon Flair spec by adding parking sensors and a reversing camera, an electric tailgate, a panoramic sunroof and 19-inch alloy wheels. Citroen has confirmed that all PHEV models will include a blue light underneath the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

This illuminates when the C5 Aircross PHEV is running on battery power alone. Citroen’s thought process is that it will allow on-lookers to know when no tailpipe emissions are being produced, which could become very important when driving in city centres of the future.

2020 Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid prices

Drivers who are desperate to place an order for a C5 Aircross can register their interest with Citroen now. That said, the first UK deliveries are not expected until the middle of 2020, so there will be a bit of a wait.

On top of this, Citroen has only confirmed pricing for Flair spec, which is set to start at £35,340. As a guide, the step up from a petrol or diesel Flair model to a petrol or diesel Flair Plus model is around £2,200, so expect around £37,500 to get you the keys to a Flair Plus model.

If you want to get your hands on a hybrid SUV sooner, check out the cars available for sale now on BuyaCar by clicking on the link below.

2020 Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid economy and performance

All plug-in Citroen C5 Aircross models come with a petrol engine and an automatic gearbox paired with an electric motor. Total power output is a reasonably strong 225hp, however when driving under petrol power alone this figure drops to nearer 180hp.

Meanwhile, when driving using electricity alone, power sits at 107hp - meaning that the C5 Aircross is not the quickest plug-in car. How and when the C5 Aircross uses electric and petrol power largely depends on its state of charge and which driving mode it is in (see the technology section below for more information).

Under the latest fuel economy tests the C5 Aircross returns CO2 emissions as low as 39g/km and economy as high as 166mpg. Be aware that economy and emission figures for plug-in hybrids are highly dependent on how often they are plugged in; the more you charge, the lower your emissions and fuel consumption.

If you only drive on short journeys and plug in the car after every trip, the C5 Aircross shoud consume no petrol at all, cutting its tailpipe emissions to zero. Meanwhile, if you regularly blast up and down the motorway and rarely charge the car, you may see no economy benefit for choosing a plug-in hybrid model compared with a petrol or diesel.

2020 Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid electricals

Citroen is claiming that its plug-in C5 Aircross is capable of travelling 31 miles on a full charge. This electric range is made possible thanks to a 13.2kWh (kilowatt-hour) lithium-ion battery pack, which, Citroen provides with an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty that guarantees capacity won’t drop below 70% during the warranty period.

As with all electric cars, charge times vary depending on the output of the charge point being used. Plug into a regular UK household socket and going from 0-100% will take six hours. Use a 7kW charger (a common power output for domestic electric vehicle wall boxes) and this time drops to under two hours.

As standard, the Citroen C5 Aircross comes with a 7.4kW onboard charger. This means plugged into an AC power supply it can handle up to 7.4kW. Citroen is yet to confirm the maximum DC power supply a C5 Aircross PHEV can be charged with.

If the world of electric terminology has you lost, that a read of our electric car glossary.

2020 Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid rivals

One thing non-hybrid Citroen C5 Aircross models are not short on is rivals. Kia, Ford, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, MG, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Peugeot, Mini, Nissan, Toyota, Lexus - to name a few - all offer a mid-sized SUV in their model line-up. They don’t, however, all offer a plug-in version.

When it comes to plug-in mid-sized SUVs things look a little better for Citroen’s flagship PHEV. Kia offers its Niro as a plug-in hybrid which is more affordable (and smaller) than the C5 but performs well with regards to build quality and levels of equipment.

Furthermore, Mitsubishi sells a plug-in hybrid version of its Outlander, which is one of the most popular plug-in cars in the whole of Europe. Prices start around the same money as the Citroen and the Outlander is a similar size, too. The two models differ more in styling terms, with the Citroen looking significantly more modern inside and out and the Outlander being more boxy, making it feel like a more traditional off-roader.

One of the biggest rivals the C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid is from Citroen's sister company, Peugeot. Just recently it revealed a plug-in version of the 3008 SUV – and with the 3008 being one of the best SUVs currently on sale, this is strong competition for the C5 Aircross. There are also a number of more expensive alternatives, including the BMW X3 xDrive30e (which starts at around £48,000) and Volvo’s XC60 PHEV (which starts at around £55,000), although these look and feel much more upmarket to suit their higher prices.

2020 Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid technology

As the C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid is Citroen’s flagship SUV, the French carmaker hasn’t skimped on the technology available. Furthermore, Citroen has focused on boosting comfort levels in the C5 Aircross to help it stand out from rival SUVs.

As a result, trick suspension has been used to shield passengers from the many bumps UK roads have to offer. That said, petrol and diesel models have been criticised for not being as comfy and refined as they should be for a car that focuses on a relaxed drive rather than a sporty one. As a result, if you're after a comfy hybrid SUV, it may be better for you to get a nearly-new Lexus RX, Toyota RAV4 hybrid or Mitsubishi Outlander now and skip the wait for a brand new Aircross altogether.

The C5 Aircross comes with a range of driving modes - much like many other modern cars - allowing you to choose from 100% electric (only available when the batteries have sufficient charge), hybrid and sport modes. As you might expect, 100% electric means the battery alone powers the wheels, hybrid uses both the battery pack and petrol engine for efficient motoring and sport prioritises power from engine and motor rather than economy.

Citroen also includes a feature it calls e-Save. This allows drivers to save a set amount of battery charge for a specific part of their trip. Such a feature is ideal for those who will be finishing their journey in densely populated areas where there may be restrictions on the use of petrol and diesel engines.

In line with European law, the new C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid makes a sound when driving under battery power only below 19mph, although Citroen claims that the noise is inaudible in the cabin. Such a rule has been brought into effect to help pedestrians to hear approaching electric cars.

Citroen has also included autonomous driving technology. Part of this is something it calls Highway Driver Assist, which is claimed to bring 'level 2' autonomy by helping with steering, acceleration and/or braking.

Furthermore, 'Citroen Connect Box' is offered, which is a service that can assist in calling the emergency services or even control a car remotely. This is complemented by Connect Nav, which brings three years of free real-time traffic updates for the sat-nav system. Citroen has reportedly added hybrid-specific features to the navigation software, such as being able to show a graphic representing the range drivers can travel on battery power.

As smartphones appear to be the lifeblood of modern-day society, Citroen offers both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. At the same time, there is a My Citroen App, which allows owners to pre-heat/pre-cool their car’s cabin, schedule charging (enabling less expensive electricity to be used) and also check key information such as remaining range and vehicle location from their smartphone.

2020 Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid design

Aside from some hybrid-specific graphics, the inside of the C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid is the same cabin as found in the standard C5 Aircross. This does mean, though, that the practical individually folding and sliding rear seats feature.

To help set hybrid C5 Aircross models apart from their internal combustion counterparts, Citroen now offers an 'Anodised Blue' colour pack. This brings coloured inserts on the plastic trims which run along the bottoms of the doors – which Citroen calls Airbumps – and also on the front bumper. In addition to this, a handful of hybrid-specific badges have been added to the exterior, along with a charging port flap.

2020 Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid dimensions

Non-hybrid C5 Aircross models measure in at 4,500mm long, 1,859mm wide (2,099mm including wing mirrors) and 1,670mm high – Citroen is yet to release any information to suggest the PHEV model will be any bigger.

As for boot space, with the rear seats up luggage capacity sits between 460 and 600 litres (depending on how far forward the rear seats are slid) which is roughly 120 litres down on non-hybrid models. Citroen is yet to announce what cargo space increases to when the rear seats are folded down, however a decrease on the non-hybrid figure of 1,630 litres should be expected.

 

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