Citroen C5 Aircross

Flair Plus PureTech

180

Citroen C5 Aircross, front action 3
Citroen C5 Aircross, front action 2
Citroen C5 Aircross, front action
Citroen C5 Aircross, dynamic
Citroen C5 Aircross, front
Citroen C5 Aircross, side static
Citroen C5 Aircross, profile
Citroen C5 Aircross, rear static
Citroen C5 Aircross, interior
Citroen C5 Aircross, front seats
Citroen C5 Aircross, dashboard
Citroen C5 Aircross, boot

I'VE always wanted to own a flying carpet - and Citroen's new C5 may be the answer.

Back in the day the French manufacturer was renowned for producing cars gave the feeling of floating on air.

The C5 Aircross - Citroen-speak for a medium-sized SUV - revives this through its Advanced Comfort Programme which includes a hi-tech hydraulic suspension.

Whereas a conventional system uses shock absorbers with springs and various mechanics that can allow unwanted bumps to make it to the cabin, the C5 uses hydraulic stops to reduce the rebound and compression transmitted to the chassis from the many humps and hollows littering our roads these days.

The Progressive Hydraulic Cushion in turn improves comfort levels for passengers as well as the ride and handling balance of the car.

This theme of cosseting occupants is picked up by the C5's Advanced Comfort Seats which feature lots of high density foam - topped with an additional 15mm layer of padding - to give that ‘sinking into the sofa' feeling.

On the top-of-the-range Flair Plus model tried here a sliding panoramic glass roof is fitted which floods the cabin with light while the air conditioning ensures the atmosphere is never less than idyllic.

A decent driving position is easy to obtain and there are three independent rear seats that can be individually adjusted with 150mm of sliding travel allowing the perfect balance to be found between comfort and boot space.

There's a two-position boot floor giving flexibility and practicality to the C5 Aircorss while load securing rings in the corners are a handy addition.

There are plenty of cubby holes available for your odds and sods as well as a double-top opening centre console, a roomy glovebox and a wireless phone charging pad.

It all adds up to the 13-model C5 being one of the most comfortable and family-friendly SUVs around to travel in.

It is also keenly priced starting at £23,255 so most models will come in cheaper than its sibling, the Peugeot 3008. The range tops out at £30,725 for the petrol powered 1.6-litre PureTech powered version or £32,275 for a 2.0-litre oil burner.

I found the four-cylinder petrol-driven PureTech to be a willing beast powering the C5 Aircross from a standing start to 62mph in a shade over eight seconds on its way to a top speed of 134mph.

Economy is acceptable at 37.7mpg under the new WLTP fuel testing regime while emissions are 129g/km on the 19-inch ‘Art' two-tone diamond cut alloy wheels.

This brings us neatly on to the eye-catching exterior of the C5 Aircross which boasts plenty of French flair for Citroen's first model in this class of SUV since 2013.

It is a hotly contested sector with many rivals seeking to stand out from the crowd - but Citroen do a nice job with slim LED daytime running lights leaving the face looking like Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man.

They link up to the usual Citroen grille while natty airbumps make an appearance along the side of the car with coloured sections to match the front which helps the sides to avoid looking slabby. The rear features 3D LED tail-lights and the whole effect leaves you with the feeling you're looking at a concept car usually the preserve of some fancy motor show.

There is plenty of kit included with a plethora of aids to help the driver and improve safety.

So there are lane departure and blind spot warnings as well as Citroen's semi-autonomous driving system that holds the car's position on the road. The automatic transmission version also gets adaptive cruise control.

It's easy to hook up your smartphone to the Aircross with MirrorLink showing the mobile's functions on an eight-inch touchscreen. The Flair Plus specification also gets Citroen's ConnectedCAM dash cam as standard while all cars bar the entry level model are fitted with sat nav. A neat multi-mode instrument panel can be altered to show a range of information.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C5 Aircross Flair Plus PureTech 180

Price:£30,725

Mechanical:178hp, 1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:134mph

0-62mph:8.2 seconds

Combined MPG:37.7

Insurance Group:24

C02 emissions:129g/km

Bik rating:29%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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