Citroen C5 Aircross

citroen c5 aircross 001
The relaxed big Citroen family car turns SUV. A smart move or copycat compromise?

Citroën took longer than most of its European-market rivals to jump into the popular family SUV market and came via a wandering, indirect route, considering its various experiments with platform-shared Mitsubishi models and the like. The company’s first fully committed attempt at a mid-sized offering, the Citroën C5 Aircross, finally arrived in the UK in 2018 – and it has barely stood still since.Coming to market initially with a choice of three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, it started life with more powerful pure-combustion options, only to quickly move beyond them. We tested an early car with 2.0-litre BlueHDI 180 diesel power but, as customer preferences changed, that engine was withdrawn in 2020 along with Citroën’s conventional 177bhp 1.6-litre petrol.In their place, to complement the C5 Aircross’s smaller engines, came a 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid the same year. And towards the end of 2023, the French marque launched another electrified variant of the car powered by a modified version of the 1.2-litre Puretech petrol engine, which is paired with a new six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Integrated into the gearbox is an electric motor, with power drawn from a 48V battery located under the front passenger seat. The new mild-hybrid engine is an important addition: parent firm Stellantis has been developing it for several years and is set to roll out the new powertrain across its entire brand portfolio. Plainly, and not only in respect of the engines that power it, the C5 Aircross is a car that plays a little fast and loose with SUV convention. As we’ll go on to explore, it’s a car with proper five-seat, adult-appropriate practicality that converts well as a voluminous cargo tender when required, but it does not offer widely articulating independent suspension, nor four-wheel drive – and neither has it ever.Read on, then, to find out what this peculiarly modern family car brings to the mid-sized SUV class, and exactly what kind of dynamic tribute it pays, if any, to the classic big Citroëns of old.The range at a glanceVeRSIonPowerPRicePureTech 130 manual 129bhp £24,280BlueHDi 130 automatic 129bhp£26,880Plug-In Hybrid PureTech 180 222bhp£36,495Hybrid PureTech 136 134BHP£31,490The C5 Aircross is offered in a choice of three trim levels and four engines. The entry point to the Aircross range is the Plus, available with either a 1.2-litre petrol or a 1.5-litre diesel engine. It comes as standard with 18in alloy wheels, LED headlights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and automatic climate control.Mid-level Max trim, which can be had with the 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid, or 1.2-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine, gains black roof rails and a driver assistance pack that features a suite of additional safety features.Topping the C5 range is the newly launched ë-series trim. It comes with larger, 19in wheels, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control and a panoramic sunroof. You can have the ë-series model with either the plug-in or mild-hybrid powertrain.
Source: Autocar

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