Citroen C5 Aircross

Shine Plug-in-Hybrid

Citroen C5 Aircross Black Edition, 2021, front
Citroen C5 Aircross Black Edition, 2021, charging
Citroen C5 Aircross Black Edition, 2021, rear
Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV, 2021, interior
Citroen C5 Aircross Shine Plus Plug-in Hybrid, 2021, rear seats
Citroen C5 Aircross Shine Plus Plug-in Hybrid, 2021, boot

JUST three months after launch Citroen's new C5 Aircross Plug-in-Hybrid has been revamped to give a better electric-only range - with dramatic financial add-on benefits for some owners.

The extended range doesn't jump by much. In fact just three miles, from 38 to 41, which on the face of it probably doesn't seem worth shouting about.

But if you happen to be a company car driver it's great news because it means more money in your pocket as the change means a drop from the current 12 per cent Benefit-in-Kind tax bracket to eight per cent.

That ensures a 40 per cent taxpayer driving one of these large SUVs will be a whopping £47 per month better off.

It's all based on how cleanly the car runs, and by boosting the electric-only range the Aircross's emissions drop from 32 g/km of CO2 to just 29 g/km, ensuring owners can pocket extra cash rather than paying it to the taxman.

Power comes from a combination of a 221bhp, 1.6-litre engine and an electric motor ensuring that the C5 Aircross is a quick mover despite being a rather large SUV.

In fact it will hit 62 miles per hour in a very respectable 8.7 seconds on its way to its top speed of 140 mph.

And it's an imposing looking car, with a tall stance and muscular lines and has been dramatically updated with a new look front end with a more upright grille sitting below the clamshell bonnet and a new interpretation of the brand's V-shaped LED light signature.

The doors have plastic cladding at the lower levels - called air bumps by Citroen - to protect them from minor knocks such as in supermarket car parks.

Inside there's generous space for five people and a lot of useful on-board storage space including a huge front centre armrest box,

The rear seats can be slid backwards or forwards to give either more legroom for backseat passengers or more luggage space beneath the powered tailgate.

The faux leather interior is more functional than fancy but Alcantara centre panels on the seats ensure they are warm to sit on during the winter months.

And on the subject of seats this model comes with the French car maker's Advanced Comfort Seats which have an extra 15mm top layer of memory foam ensuring maximum comfort and support for all on board.

These are designed to work in conjunction with the C5's "Advanced Comfort" suspension system to ensure a soft and compliant ride like some of the big Citroen's of yesteryear.

And in the main it works well. The ride is super comfortable and ideal for long distance journeys, but the downside is that soft suspension tends to make the car lean more in corners if you take them at speed.

On the positive side the turning circle is superbly small for such a large vehicle - in fact one of the best I have come across - making manoeuvring and parking simple, aided by a reversing screen with a view of what's behind as well as birds eye view from above.

And when it comes to carrying capacity you can pack in some 460 litres of luggage with the seats in their upright position and 1,510 with them folded down.

The Aircross comes with a 12.3-inch digital driver's display which replaces the usual analogue dials and makes space for extra information to be shown in the driver's line of sight.

It's particularly good when using the satellite navigation system because the extra details combined with the excellent graphics on the centre-set, 10-inch high-definition screen make following any route much simpler and far less stressful.

A switch near the gearshift offers the choice of three driving modes; pure electric - for towns and cities; hybrid - combining the best mix of electric and engine power; and sport, where engine and electric motor work to give the liveliest performance.

At the same time paddles behind the steering wheel allow you to use the 8-speed automatic gearbox manually for an even sportier ride.

And when it comes to charging at home a 7kw wall box will do the job in under two hours.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C5 Aircross Shine Plug-in-Hybrid

Price: £35,835

Mechanical:221 bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine plus electric motor driving front wheels via eight speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 140mph

0-62mph: 8.7 secs

Combined MPG: 204, electric-only range 41 miles

Insurance Group: 28

C02 emissions: 29 g/km

Bik rating: 8%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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