IF you spot a few similarities between the handsome Citroen C5 Aircross and the Peugeot 3008 and the Vauxhall Grandland X, other than purely the generic SUV architecture, then take a pat on the back.
Each is built on the same platform, and all three are owned by the same company the PSA Group. But the differences are multiple, and all three are designed to appeal to their respective customers.
The C5 Aircross effectively replaced the oh-so-traditional C5 saloon, the last of a generation of regular shaped notchbacks that these days have little place in the family garage.
Five doors, tall styling, bags of versatility and a wide choice of power units put it on a fast route for fashion conscious buyers and now the range has been broadened to include a plug-in hybrid - very much a model-of-the-moment in view upcoming electrification regs.
A 1.6-litre, 178bhp four cylinder, turbo petrol engine is mated with an 80kW electric motor to deal out an impressive 222bhp and considerable torque. This is coupled to an eight speed auto gearbox delivering an appealing blend of punchy performance allied to easy mile-eating potential.
Despite its robust appearance and high stance, it is available just with front drive so there are no off-road pretentions.
The electric motor drives the car for about 30 miles before the petrol engine takes over. A home charge on 7kw charger is completed in less than two and half hours. With CO2 output of a mere 32g/km, the Hybrid is both mean and clean.
But don't expect to get anywhere near the official mileage of 157-222mpg. Our average proved to be around 35mpg in real world conditions.
Acceleration is brisk and unflustered with 62mph coming up in less than nine seconds and ample mid-range punch for hasty overtaking.
It's an easy and comfortable car to drive and live with, a bit softer ride than the Peugeot and the front seats are large and absorbing, if a little flat and lacking in side support.
In fact comfort and ease of driving are two of the C5's big selling points. The ride is smooth and cosseting although steering is somewhat numb. A payback for the compliant ride is more than average cornering roll when bends are taken quickly but this is unlikely to concern most owners of this sort of car.
The windscreen is double laminated to reduce cabin noise and the engine bay gets extra sound proofing to further enhance the refinement.
Space in the rear is generous enough with ample head and legroom. Boot space is adequate rather than cavernous and the platform is relatively high limiting the height of bulky items. Load space at 460litres is 120litres down on the non-hybrid models to make space for some of the workings of the system. The rear seat can slide forward to accommodate more cargo.
The cabin is roomy and a bit wackier than the average SUV, in typical Citroen fashion, with a retro style speedometer. Sat nav is standard as is subscription to TomTom Live Traffic.
1,598cc, 178bhp 4 cyl petrol engine with 80kW electric motor driving front wheels via automatic gearbox