CITROEN is making a play for a piece of the action in the booming medium SUV market with its new C5 Aircross flagship.
Competitively priced and complete with exclusive features, Citroen says its new model is all about comfort.
The C5 Aircross is fitted with Citroen's latest suspension system, specially designed seats and has plenty of room throughout the cabin.
The result brings a ‘magic carpet' ride to the mainstream SUV sector and in this league the French car maker is out on its own.
On some shocking road surfaces in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco the new C5 Aircross proved itself a champion, protecting all on board from jolts and jarring.
Only vehicles with air suspension - and costing thousands of pounds more - could have acquitted themselves is such capable fashion as the C5 Aircross.
The SUV will be on the road in the UK early next year and priced from £23,255 most models will come in cheaper than its sister ship, the Peugeot 3008.
The 13 model C5 Aircross range tops out at £30,725 for a petrol powered 1.6-litre PureTech engined version or £32,725 for a 2.0-litre diesel.
Both of the range toppers have 180bhp on tap giving the car more than enough performance and both are fitted with eight speed automatic transmissions.
Officially there's less than half a second between the two when it comes to 0 to 60 times with the PureTech model marginally quicker at 8.2 seconds and the BlueHDi diesel 8.6.
Top speeds are 134mph for the petrol and 131 for the diesel but the real difference comes with fuel economy which is rated at 60.1 to the gallon for the oil burner with the PureTech version coming in at 49.6.
Emissions are 129 and 124g/km and that's on 19-inch wheels in top grade Flair Plus trim.
Entry level Feel models feature 130bhp engines with a 1.6-litre diesel rated at 68.9mpg and a 1.2-litre PureTech petrol model - both with manual gearboxes - at 54.3.
Those are commendable figures for a car that tips the scales at some 1.5 tonnes and on our runs in the two higher powered versions of the C5 Aircross we saw averages of 39mpg for the PureTech and 43 for the diesel - both impressive given the conditions.
The C5 Aircross is a hugely important vehicle for Citroen - its first model in this class of SUV since 2013 - and not only is it dressed to impress but comes kitted out with no less than 20 safety and driver aids.
Those include Citroen's first semi-autonomous driving set up that will hold the vehicle's position on the road automatically and - on the auto transmission models - an adaptive cruise control system which can stop the vehicle and move off without driver intervention.
Other features include lane departure and blind spot warnings, automatic parking and a surround-view camera system while Citroen's ConnectedCAM dash cam is standard fit on mid-grade Flair trim models and on top specification Flair Plus cars and a Â£200 option on Feel versions.
Connectivity is fully smartphone compatible and there's a MirrorLink function to show your phone's contents on the car's eight-inch display screen.
Sat nav is standard on all but the entry level version and the C5 Aircross also sees the introduction of a multi-mode instrument panel which can be configured in a variety of ways to show everything from conventional dials to navigation information.
Onboard storage is above average and includes a double-top opening centre console, a fair sized glovebox and a wireless phone charging pad.
Where the C5 Aircross scores is with its ride and handling which in this class of car is top notch thanks to Citroen's Progressive Hydraulic Cushion shock absorbers which iron out all but the most severe bumps as if they weren't there.
Couple the advanced ride to extra padding in the seats and the C5 Aircross is one of the most comfortable cars around - and that goes for off-road use too.
The C5 Aircross can be fitted with the PSA group's Grip Control electronic traction system - another option at Â£400 and on automatics only - which enables it to conquer severe conditions including mud, sand and snowy roads with little trouble. There's also a hill descent control for additional help.
And with a sliding rear seating arrangement made up of three individual seats, boot space ranges from a minimum of between 580 and a class leading 720 litres to a maximum of 1,630 with a load length of some 1.9 metres.
All in all, the C5 Aircross is quite a package and its ride quality is second to none in this class of SUV.