Citroen C5 Aircross 1.2 PureTech 130 Flair 5dr EAT8

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 154 g/km CO2

Ten Second Review

The C5 Aircross is, according to its maker, 'the most comfortable SUV on the market'. Quite a claim, given that this isn't a large, luxury crossover but is targeted at family buyers currently considering volume mid-sized models in this class like Nissan's Qashqai and SEAT's Ateca. Citroen may be rather late to this party but at least it's trying to bring something new.

Background

The legendary Citroen 2CV had a reputation for being able to comfortably traverse a ploughed field. That apart though, this French brand can't call on much customer recognition when it comes to vehicles cable of functioning off the beaten track. That has to change, given the current European obsession with SUVs and the company is depending on its Aircross range of models to convince customers of its crossover credibility. The first signs in this regard have been promising for the Gallic maker. The little C3 Aircross, launched in Summer 2017, has sold well in the small supermini-derived SUV sector. This family hatch-based C5 Aircross will be equally important. Citroen's Head of Product Xavier Peugeot says it brings 'an all-new level of overall comfort' to the segment and there's now a plug-in Hybrid version too.

Driving Experience

This car's key differentiating point is the way it glides over bumps. That ability comes courtesy of its Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension system. This two-stage set-up features a couple of hydraulic stops on each side of the car, one for compression, the other for rebound. For major uneven ground impacts, the hydraulic stops work with the springs and shock absorbers to avoid jerky movements and unpleasant bouncing. Thicker softer seat padding also embellishes the impression of comfort. And double-laminated front windows and engine bay soundproofing play their part in reducing cabin noise Engine-wise, C5 Aircross are offered a choice of three quite different engines. The two conventional ones - a 1.2-litre PureTech petrol unit and a 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel - both develop 130hp and both can be had with the alternative of the brand's smooth-shifting EAT8 8-speed autogearbox. The alternative is a petrol/electric Hybrid version, which combines the PureTech 180 engine and EAT8 auto gearbox with an 80kW electric motor, delivering 225hp of accumulated power and instantly available torque of 320Nm, plus an electrified WLTP-rated driving range of up to 31 miles. Across the range, there's no 4WD system offered, but buyers do get 'Grip Control with Hill Descent Assist', for extra front-driven traction in slippery conditions. There's also Hill Start Assist, to help you starting off up steep slopes. And Trailer Stability Control, to reduce trailer sway if you're towing. That's about as much as most likely buyers will ever need.

Design and Build

Citroen's Head of Styling Alexandre Malval describes this as an 'assertive design'. It certainly makes more of a visual statement than the last mid-sized SUV that Citroen sold, the Mitsubishi Outlander-derived C-Crosser model. The C5 Aircross is far more of an in-house effort, sharing the same EMP2 platform as the PSA Group's other mid-sized SUVs, the Peugeot 3008 and the DS 7 Crossback. It's 4.5m long and 1.84m wide with a 2.73m wheelbase, so is a touch bigger than cheaper cars in this class like Nissan's Qasqai and SEAT's Ateca. The brand's signature 'Air Bumps' make an appearance just above the lower side sills, but they're toned down here, just as they are in the latest C4 Cactus. Inside, that lengthy wheelbase translates into a cabin that feels significantly larger than that of most models in this class. Few competitors can match this C5 Aircross model's luggage capacity either, rated at 580-720-litres, depending on the position of the sliding second row bench. With that bench folded, there's 1,630-litres of luggage room. Noise touches include an active air quality system that uses an air-purifying carbon filter. Up-front, Citroen fans will note a retro touch in the form of the rolling speedometer, similar to that used on the old 1980's-era Citroen BX, incorporated as part of the instrumentation's 12.3-inch digital display.

Market and Model

Expect pricing fractionally above this car's cousin, the Peugeot 3008. Which means a £24,500-£36,000 bracket, spread across 'Sense', 'Shine', 'C-Series' and 'Shine Plus' trim levels. The interior can be personalised with three ambiance packs - 'Standard', 'Metropolitan Grey' and 'Hype Brown'. There are also seven body colours, all of which can be combined with a black roof. There are three Colour Packs too, adding contrast-colour elements around the bodywork and subtly underlining the Airbump panels on the lower part of the front doors, the front bumper and the roof bars. Buyers choose between four alloy wheel designs too. Buyers can specify 'big car' features like a 360-degree camera system and a 'Park assist' set-up, plus you can of course add in things like keyless entry and a reversing camera. Camera-driven safety kit includes 'Active Safety Brake' autonomous braking, an 'Active Lane Departure Warning System', 'Active Lane-Keeping assist', 'Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go', 'Collision Risk Alert', 'Coffee Break Alert', 'Driver Attention Alert', 'Traffic Sign Recognition', 'Highway Driver Assist' and 'Intelligent Beam Headlights'.

Cost of Ownership

Citroen's BlueHDi diesel engines have already proved themselves to be efficient and frugal in the brand's other models and that's carried forward here. The PureTech 130 petrol unit puts out 139g/km of CO2 in base or mid-spec trim (149g/km in top 'Shine Plus'-spec). the alternative BlueHDi 130 diesel manages 130g/km of CO2 in base or mid-spec trim (131g/km in top 'Shine Plus'-spec) Fuel economy-wise, the BlueHDi 130 manual variant that'll probably be the most popular choice manages around 65mpg on the combined cycle. Even if you go for the PureTech 130 petrol variant, you'll still be getting well over 55mpg. To do better, you'll need the plug-in petrol/electric Hybrid version. This is WLTP-rated at 168mpg, with a WLTP emissions figure of up to 32g/km; and there's up to 31 miles of WLTP rated electrified driving range if you keep it fully charged. Impressive engine technology also plays its part in this strong efficiency showing. The PureTech petrol model benefits from a 30% reduction in mechanical losses that are due to friction. While the PSA Group's BlueHDi diesel technology is based around a clever three-step after-treatment system designed to better eliminate the four nasty pollutants that diesel units usually put out - namely unburnt hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates. Another thing that could help you keep garage costs in check is the affordable three year servicing plan that's available at point of purchase. Finally, there's the usual Citroen three year / 60,000 mile warranty.

Summary

In an SUV market as crowded as this one, any mainstream product simply has to bring something different to the table. Fortunately, this C5 Aircross can, its progressive hydraulic cushion suspension delivering a noticeable ride quality advantage over obvious rivals. Some of these handle better, but we think the way that this Citroen cruises over bumps and tarmac tears will be of more interest to likely family buyers. It'll still remain quite a rare sight on our roads, though the addition of plug-in technology may get this car back on to the radar of likely buyers in the mid-sized family crossover segment. Anyway, it's refreshing to see this Gallic brand getting back to what it does best. This car stands out as a result. As it very much needs to.

  • Central front armrest with butterfly wing opening and illuminated storage compartment
  • Open central storage area below touch screen
  • Leather steering wheel with satin chrome inserts and radio controls
  • 12V socket in boot
  • Smooth opening flocked glove box with lighting
  • Hinged rear parcel shelf
  • Front door pockets store up to 1.5L bottle and A4 note pad
  • Leather effect interior door handles
  • Rear door pockets store up to 0.5L bottle
  • Open storage area next to gear selector
  • Height and reach adjustable leather steering wheel with 2 control zones
  • Satin chrome gear lever
  • Fixing rings 4 in load compartment
  • 2 Position boot floor
  • 2x Rear coat hooks
  • Multi function steering wheel
  • Satin chrome interior door handles
  • 2 cup holders in the front and rear centre console
  • 12V socket in cabin
  • Dashboard open central storage compartment
  • Satin chrome digital instrument panel and touchscreen trim
  • Dashboard closed glove box with lid and illumination
  • 3x Grab handles retractable with damping
  • Matte black side sill with anodised silver colour touch
  • Gloss black finish on A and B pillar and aerodynamic trim
  • Matte black rear bumper facia
  • Satin chrome C signature
  • Citroen logo and monogram on rear
  • Matte black wheel arch extensions
  • Matte black lower rear skirt
  • Twin exhaust effect trim
  • Painted rear bumper
  • Matte black upper and lower grille
  • Roof coloured rear spoiler
  • C5 Aircross monogram on boot rear
  • Satin chrome window surround
  • Airbump panels with colour insert on lower portion of the doors
  • Painted front bumper
  • Longitudinal roof bars
  • Body colour door handles
  • Automatic hazard light activation upon heavy brake application
  • Electronic code immobiliser
  • Alarm - perimetric and volumetric alarm with anti-lifting mechanism
  • Automatic door locking
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Remote central locking + deadlocks
  • 3x Front optimised safety headrests and rear retractable headrests with height adjustable
  • Front three point retractable seatbelts height adjustable with pre tensioners and force limiters
  • Two tone horn
  • Tyre under inflation indicator
  • 2x Isofix child seat fitting on outer rear seats
  • Electric child locking functionality on rear windows and doors
  • Driver and front passenger side airbag
  • 3x Rear three point retractable seatbelts with pretensioners and force limiters in the outer rear seats
  • Adaptive driver and front passenger airbags with passenger airbag deactivation function
  • Front and rear curtain airbags
  • Safety plus pack - C5 Aircross
  • City camera pack - C5 Aircross
  • DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), AM/FM and MP3 compatible radio with two tweeters and four speakers
  • Auxiliary input socket
  • 2 USB sockets
  • Voice recognition for radio, navigation and telephony features
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 5.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 7.9
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 34.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 8.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 6.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 45
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 6.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 43.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 8.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 31.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 6.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 45.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 37.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 52.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 38.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 35.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 7.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 7.3
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/55 R18
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Alloys: True
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/55 R18
  • Wheel Style: SWIRL
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheelbase: 2730
  • Height: 1670
  • Width: 1859
  • Width (including mirrors): 2099
  • Length: 4500
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): 11.3
  • Engine Power - BHP: 131
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1750
  • Engine Power - KW: 96
  • Top Speed: 122
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 170
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5500
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 23.5
  • Engine Torque - NM: 230
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.2
  • Special Edition: False
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Coin Series: Flair
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 4
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 75
  • Special Order: False
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 87
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 58
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Based On ID: N
  • Badge Power: 130
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 86
  • Coin Description: PureTech 130
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • HC+NOx: N
  • CO: 0.443
  • HC: 0.02
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 180
  • CO2 (g/km): 109
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 142
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 202
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 187
  • Particles: 0.0008
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 145
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 165
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 146
  • NOx: 0.022
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 154
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 121
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 154
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 172
  • Noise Level dB(A): 71
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 75
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 90.5
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Code: EB2ADTS
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • CC: 1199
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1630
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 720
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 739
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1960
  • Max. Loading Weight: 530
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1430
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1300
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 53
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.4