Citroen C5 Aircross

- Used Car Review

Citroen C5 Aircross, front
Citroen C5 Aircross, dynamic
Citroen C5 Aircross, rear
Citroen C5 Aircross, interior
Citroen C5 Aircross, boot

IT'S hard to believe that the excellent Citroen C5 Aircross has been on the market only for four years.

And what a superb and distinctive car it is. When I drove it new, it went right to the top of the two wheel drive SUV class as far as I was concerned.

It does almost everything brilliantly but the quality of the ride puts most other urban soft roaders to shame.

I think that Citroen has really found a setup that the majority of owners will like, because people want their car to be comfortable as well as capable and safe around the corners. Too many makers miss that trick.

The comfort puts cars two classes up to shame. The C5 simply rolls over everything in its path, giving the best ride you can get for the money.

The worst of surfaces with ripples, potholes and undulations are despatched as if they were snooker table smooth.

And it treats the ubiquitous speed hump with complete disdain, aided by beautifully shaped seats that also have the right side support, leaving occupants totally unruffled.

With such supple suspension, I was expecting more lean in the corners, but not so. It tracks through them with consummate ease and holds the road brilliantly.

On a switchback section I drive occasionally, with a number of right-left-right bends and very little traffic, the roadholding was marvellous and very, very safe.

But the steering is a little lacking in feel at times - the only thing to let it down.

Some might say that there is not much choice of engines, but I think five is enough for most people and they all come with start/stop.

Petrol power starts with the already well-known 1.2-litre three cylinder turbo driving the front wheels - as they all do - through a six speed manual or eight speed automatic gearbox.

It boasts an excellent 130bhp and the manual dispatches the zero to 60 miles an hour sprint in 11.3 seconds while being capable of 51 miles per gallon.

Next comes a 1.6-litre 180bhp turbo that has the automatic gearbox as standard. It gets to the benchmark in 8.2 seconds and is only slightly less economical at 49mpg

Finally on the petrol list comes a petrol/electric plug-in hybrid. This has the 1.6 petrol unit plus an electric motor, giving a total of 221bhp.

It reaches 60 in 8.7 seconds, and can cover around 30 miles at up to 70 miles an hour on electric power alone. Economy is rated at 222mpg, but in general use it's likely to be a lot less, and the battery takes about two hours to charge at home on a fast charger.

Diesel offerings are a 1.5 BlueHDi with 130bhp and a 2.0-litre with standard auto ‘box that has 177.

The 1.5 reaches 60 from rest in 11.4 seconds and can do 66mpg, while the 2.0-litre takes the sprint in 9.4 and can do 56mpg.

The C5 is very relaxing to drive, partly because of that brilliant ride, but also because there is little wind noise, and no road noise to speak of even on tar and chipping surfaces.

There are no cheaper entry models in the range and mid-range Flair spec comes with an alarm, sat nav, traction control, part leather upholstery and loads of airbags.

Seat adjustment is excellent and also standard are heated electric mirrors, parking sensors, cruise control and audio remote on the steering wheel.

Flair Plus has a driver adjustable digital instrument binnacle, parking camera, sat nav, DAB radio with Bluetooth, leather upholstery, LED headlights, Grip Control for best traction in slippery conditions, hill descent assist, hill-start assist, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and wireless smartphone charging.

Pay about £14,350 for an '18 18-reg Feel 1.2 PureTech manual, or £19,650 for a '20 20-reg Flair 1.5 BlueHDi.

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