Can the Citroen C5 Aircross inject a little fun into the crossover segment? Find out in our in-depth review.
Citroen C5 Aircross – read before buying your next car
When Citroen launched the first C5 in 2001, it did little to affect the dominance of German executive saloons in Europe. So, Citroen chose to take a different path, evolving its saloon into a comfortable, practical and increasingly design-focused crossover that tends to the needs of families and commuters alike.
Citroen C5 Aircross design and looks
Over the course of its century-long history, Citroen has earned itself a reputation for producing stylish models with plenty of character. The latest C5 Aircross might not be up there with the best of them by either measure, but its mix of straight and curved lines do make it stand out from the crowd.
Are used Citroen C5 Aircrosses good to drive?
Along with a reputation for style, Citroen has always been known for comfort, so to discover that the C5 delivers on both fronts ensures fans of the brand will find much to love.
Yes, this cushioned crossover leans a little more through corners than some sportier rivals, and the steering’s not quite as sharp as it could be, but it’s a very comfortable car as a result. Higher-spec models even have clever ‘progressive’ suspension technology that makes for an even smoother ride.
With a strong range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines to choose from, the C5 Aircross is as capable as a cityslicker as it is cruising at 70mph on the motorway, with good refinement and a long list of driving assistance features to lower your effort level.
Higher-spec models even have clever ‘progressive’ suspension technology that makes for an even smoother ride
Citroen C5 Aircross interior space, storage and style
The C5 Aircross interior is a clear strong point for the car. You’re surrounded by high-quality materials and a funky design that continues the theme set by the exterior.
The seats are supremely comfortable and highly adjustable, which all ties in with this being a great car to put in those long motorway miles and still feel like you’ve only had a trip to the shops by the end of the journey.
The instruments are all laid out clearly in front of the driver, and there are many features that can be controlled by buttons on the steering wheel.
In the back, there's plenty of room for three adults, both in width and leg space. The back seats can slide forwards and back independently too, which is handy if you’ve got a brimmed boot and one tall rear passenger.
Citroen C5 Aircross practicality and boot space
There are acres of space in the boot for luggage, shopping bags, buggies or golf bags. You can fold each of the rear seats down individually, so you needn’t hold back on the flat-pack furniture shopping. Bicycles can be laid in without removing a wheel.
Citroen has also thoughtfully put quite a few cubby holes in the car’s cabin for all those odds and ends that you just can’t leave home without, and the glove box is a pretty generous size.
Citroen C5 Aircross running costs and reliability
The C5 Aircross’s range of petrol and diesel engines each have their own merits, with the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol well suited to urban work, but the higher-rank 2.0-litre diesel the clear winner for high-mile motorway drivers.
Expect to see north of 60mpg in the latter engine if you settle into a cruise.
Citroen’s reliability has been a bit like England’s penalty shoot-out record in the past, but both have improved considerably in recent years so it shouldn’t be an issue. Insurance costs are also pretty low compared with some other cars in the class.
What we love
The C5 is proof that all crossovers don’t need to look the same and that there’s room for an alternative to the German makes. It's also distinctively a Citroen and many of the wrinkles that have affected the make in the past have been ironed out in the most recent models.
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Comfort and practicality counts for a lot in a family crossover, and the C5 Aircross comes offering both by the bag load. With an added injection of French quirkiness, it's a smart offering that easily gets under your skin.
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