Citroen launches new

SUV flagship

Citroen C5 Aircross, front action
Citroen C5 Aircross, front action 3
Citroen C5 Aircross, side static
Citroen C5 Aircross, rear action
Citroen C5 Aircross, dashboard
Citroen C5 Aircross, boot
Citroen C5 Aircross, sunroof

CITROEN'S new flagship the C5 Aircross is a latecomer to the SUV party but it arrives with lots of style and feel good comfort.

The handsome newcomer goes on sale in the UK priced from £23,225 all the way up to £32,725 for the top of the range model.

Available in a choice of three trim levels, Feel, Flair and Flair Plus it also offers a large choice of familiar PSA group turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.

The C5 Aircross has been designed for comfort and practicality rather than SUV toughness and as a result it is very family friendly.

All versions get lots of equipment and there is stacks of space for five to travel stress free along with a huge amount of luggage.

With the rear shelf in place you can have 580 litres, remove it and you can have up to 720 litres and a staggering 1,630 litres is available if you collapse the fold flat three rear seats.

The interior space is truly impressive and also features lots of storage areas. Sat Nav is standard on all versions except the entry level model and the Aircross also features a multi-mode instrument panel which can be figured in a variety of ways to suit driver tastes or needs.

Progressive Hydraulic Cushion shock absorbers means that the Aircross handles the worst of our roads with ease and the ride can only be bettered by cars costing thousands more and fitted with air suspension systems.

Citroen has also spent money producing really comfortable seats to make things even better and the cabin is also very quiet thanks to a number of other measures.

Safety is another area that is impressive with 20 safety and driver aids taking care of you.

These include Citroen's first semi-autonomous driving set up which holds the vehicle's position on the road automatically and on automatic models an adaptive cruise control system allows the car to stop and move off without the driver having to do anything. Other goodies include land departure and blind spot warnings, automatic parking and a surround view camera system.

Citroen's ConnectedCAM dash cam is fitted to the two top trim levels and is a worthwhile £200 option on Feel versions. As you would expect all models are fully smartphone compatible and a MirrorLink function enables you to see your phone's contents on the car's eight-inch colour display screen.

I sampled petrol and diesel powered cars and was impressed by both.

My first drive was in the expected best seller - the 1,200cc three-cylinder petrol model in the middle Flair trim.

It was very smooth and featured stop/start with brake energy recapture and a six-speed manual gearbox. It costs £25,325 and is good for a top speed of 117mph with a 0-62mph time of 10.5 seconds. With emissions of 119-121g/km it claims a combined fuel figure of 44.2mpg.

The diesel version delivers the same 129bhp from its 1.5-litre unit with 108g/km emissions.

It costs £28,425 and has the same top speed with a sprint time of 11.8 seconds. It scores on the economy front with a claimed combined figure of 56.3mpg.

It had bags of grunt for overtaking and featured an eight-speed fully automatic gearbox. A motorised handsfree tailgate added £790 to the price and larger alloys and an opening panoramic roof added an additional £1,030.

The C5 Aircross may be an SUV but it is not an off-roader and does not have an all-wheel-drive option. For £400 owners of automatic versions can add the PSA group's Grip Control electronic traction system which gives assistance on mud, sand and snow but if you need to tackle the rough stuff this is not the car for you.

The C5 Aircross deserves praise for its plush interior and comfortable ride as well as its space and style but it is up against some very tough competition in a crowded sector and pricing will hold the key to its success.


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