Citroen C5 Aircross (2019-present)

The Citroen C5 Aircross is a a comfortable and funky-looking family-friendly SUV that's worthy of your considerations

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Very comfortable
Funky design
Simple range choices

Weaknesses 

Not interesting to drive
Relatively small dashboard screen
Interior materials could be better

The latest SUV to bid for buyers’ cash is the Citroën C5 Aircross, a car that is built to rival to the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Renault Kadjar.

The design is the first thing that strikes you. Citroën has adopted a very distinct look of late, with large bubbles adorned down the side of the car. This C5 Aircross continues this design - it’s fun and funky with lots of rounded, soft lines. It also uses colourful inserts and graphic features to create a modern, but friendly character. There are seven colours to choose from, with a contrast-colour black roof also possible on some trim lines, plus colour packs for those inserts.

The same theme continues inside, with a choice of what Citroën calls three ‘ambiances’, toning combinations of colours (two different greys and a brown) and materials (cloth, grained leather or nappa leather and Alcantara depending on the choice of pack). The seats are well upholstered and supportive, so long journeys should prove no problems.

Inside, it’s spacious and airy, with more than enough head-and legroom in the rear for adults (there are three individual sliding and reclining seats), plus a capacious 720-litre boot, too.

Indeed, the C5 Aircross feels a very comfortable place in which to spend time, a feeling that is encouraged by the suspension system that uses a system Citroen calls Progressive Hydraulic Cushions. This soaks up a great deal of the problems caused by broken road surfaces and potholes. We tested it over some very poor-quality tarmac and gravel tracks and there was nothing that it couldn’t cope with.

That said, there’s no real sense of driver involvement with the car. It handles well enough, with enough grip and accurate-enough steering, but it’s all very anodyne. To be fair, none of its rivals really offer much more. You'd have to spend a bit more and get a Volkswagen Tiguan or BMW X3  to get some engagement.

The engine range is simple and covers off all the bases, with a pair of petrol engines and a pair of diesels – one low-power, one with a bit more performance in each case – offering something for every buyers. A plug-in hybrid is set to be added to the range at the end of 2019, with a 37-mile electric-only range, which should increase the car’s appeal to urban buyers.

Citroën also includes lots of safety technology on the car, including a neat built-in dash-cam, but much of it is only accessible on higher trim levels (there are three of these – Feel, Flair and Flair Plus). The same goes for connectivity features that are on offer, which include wireless smartphone charging and emergency assistance.

The C5 Aircross is the most comfortable SUV in its class, so for buyers who prioritise that quality over all others, it’s in pole position. Those looking for scintillating performance or cast-iron warranties, best look elsewhere.

Last Updated 

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 17:00

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
720/1,630 litres
Width: 
1,859mm
Length: 
4,510mm
Height: 
1,670mm
Tax: 
£165-205 in first year and £140 thereafter

Best Citroen C5 Aircross for... 

Citroën C5 Aircross PureTech 180
For families who don’t run up enough miles to warrant a diesel, a petrol PureTech 180 will offer relatively economical running costs and a little performance when required.
Citroën C5 Aircross BlueHDi 130
With the lowest CO2 emissions, the BlueHDi 130 variant of the C5 Aircross will be the economy champion of the range.

Citroen C5 Aircross History 

April 2017 The C5 Aircross is first shown to the public at the Shanghai Auto Show.
March 2018 The first European sighting of the C5 Aircross was at the Geneva Motor Show.
February 2019 First UK deliveries.

Understanding Citroen C5 Aircross car names 

  • C5 Aircross
  • Engine
    PureTech 180
  • Trim
    Feel
  • Gearbox
    EAT8
  • Engine
    There are four engines to choose from. The two petrol engines are designated PureTech and come with 130 or 180hp. The diesels are called BlueHDi and also come in 130 or 180hp alternatives.
  • Trim
    The three trim versions are called Feel (with the most basic set of standard equipment), Flair (which adds a little more for an additional £2,100) and Flair Plus (more equipment again, but £2,400 more expensive than Flair cars).
  • Gearbox
    There are two available gearbox options. A six-speed manual is the only option on the PureTech 130 and also on the BlueHDi 130, which is also available with the EAT8 eight-speed automatic transmission. The EAT8 is the only gearbox with the PureTech 180 and BlueHDi 180.

Citroen C5 Aircross Engines 

PureTech 130, PureTech 180, Blue HDi 130, Blue HDi 180

There are just four engines for buyers to choose from, with two petrol and two diesel options.

The pair of petrol variants begins with the 1.2-litre PureTech 130 engine that has a 130hp output. The only information that Citroën has released to date on performance and efficiency is that CO2 emissions are 121g/m. This comes with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Buyers looking for a little more power from their petrol engine can opt for a 1.6-litre PureTech with 180hp, and CO2 emissions of 131g/km, which works in harness with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s a good combination, with plenty of performance for most buyers and a smooth, easy-to-use character.

A 1.5-litre BlueHDi 130 is the base diesel alternative, producing 130hp and emitting 107g/km with a six-speed manual gearbox or 107g/km with the auto ’box.

Adding more power to the diesel range is the 2.0-litre BlueHDi, with a 180PS output and 124-126g/km CO2 emissions. It's a relaxed and usable diesel, with none of the noisy rattling that used to come with diesels intruding into the interior.

 

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

PureTech 130

petrol

TBC

130hp

TBC

TBC

PureTech 180

petrol

TBC

180hp

TBC

TBC

Blue HDi 130

diesel

TBC

130hp

TBC

TBC

Blue HDi 180

diesel

TBC

180hp

TBC

TBC

Citroen C5 Aircross Trims 

Feel, Flair, Flair Plus

Keeping it simple, Citroën is offering the C5 Aircross in just three trim levels.

Feel cars are equipped with safety equipment that includes Advanced Active Safety Brake, Active Lane Departure Warning and Active Blind Spot Monitoring, plus Collision Risk Warning; connectivity features that include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; Citroën Connect Box emergency and assistance system; and an 8-inch touchscreen display.

Flair versions add a reversing camera, satellite navigation and a built-in dash camera, called ConnectedCAM.

Among the extra equipment in cars with the Flair Plus trim is wireless phone charging and Highway Driver Assist, which includes Extended Traffic Sign Recognition and Speed Recommendation, and Intelligent Beam Headlights.


Citroen C5 Aircross Reliability and warranty 

The C5 Aircross goes on sale just as the 2019 Auto Express Driver Power survey is being collated, so the earliest that it could appear is in the 2020 edition. Other Citroën models only appear in the lower reaches of the most recent survey, however, which doesn’t augur well – and neither does the brand’s 25th out of 26 places in the list of most reliable manufacturers.

The standard warranty of three years and 60,000 miles isn’t particularly impressive, either, especially when compared to the likes of the Kia Sportage’s seven-year warranty or Hyundai Tucson’s five-year package.

Used Citroen C5 Aircross 

The C5 Aircross is yet to appear in showrooms, at time of writing, so there are no used cars yet on the market.

Citroën does have a reputation for discounting new cars, so it’s possible that second-hand values could reflect that, with resale values after three years not faring well in comparison to rivals. By the same token, the competitive pricing of the car could lead to a lot of new cars being sold, flooding the market and giving used buyers lots of choice – and more negotiating power.

It will certainly be an interesting model to track in the used market.