Citroën C5 Aircross review

Category: Large SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:diesel, hybrid, petrol
Available colours:
Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 infotainment
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RRP from£24,335
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The C5 Aircross is cheap by large SUV standards, undercutting even keenly priced class rivals such as the Mazda CX-5 and Skoda Kodiaq. In fact, compared with the Honda CR-V and Peugeot 5008, it’s quite a bargain. Not only are list prices low, you can still save a significant sum on the brochure price (check out our New Car Buying service for more info). The Hybrid models are competitively priced amongst plug-ins, if not a bargain like other versions.

With predicted depreciation that’s roughly in line with the 5008, Kodiaq and MG HS, the C5 Aircross won’t break the bank when it comes time to sell, but a Mazda CX-5 will likely retain even more of its value. But the C5 Aircross is usually a bargain if you’re taking out a monthly PCP finance deal, thanks to sizable deposit contributions from Citroën. With these taken into account, we found the C5 Aircross to be more affordable than rivals including the CX-5 and HS.

Our favoured Puretech 130 engine emits a relatively low 149g/km with a manual gearbox or 154g/km with an automatic. That puts it in a lower Benefit-in-Kind tax bracket than the entry-level petrol CX-5, 5008 or Kodiaq. However, the Hybrid is the most tempting pick for company car users; its 32g/km emissions and 31 mile electric-only range put it in a low BIK bracket. Plug the Hybrid into a 7kW wallbox and it’ll charge from flat in less than two hours, or six hours if you buy the optional three-pin plug-equipped lead.

Equipment, options and extras

There are just three trim levels in the C5 Aircross range. Entry-level Feel is our pick because it plays to the car’s value-for-money family motoring ethos while still coming decently equipped. Along with the long list of infotainment gadgety we talked about earlier, you also get electric windows front and rear, an acoustic laminated windscreen, which contributes to the quiet cruising manners, dual-zone climate control and 17in alloy wheels.

Mid-range Flair is the lowliest trim that’s available as a Hybrid and adds some useful extras, including tinted rear windows, leather seats, roof rails and 18in wheels, but avoid the top Flair Plus trim, which is too pricey to justify. If toys are a big draw, then the exceedingly well equipped MG HS is worth a look instead.

Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 infotainment

Reliability

Although the C5 Aircross didn’t feature in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, we can tell you how Citroën fared against other manufacturers. Sadly, it wasn’t brilliantly, with the French brand lurking in joint 16th place (out of 31 manufacturers), below rivals such as Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Mazda, Skoda, but above sister brand Peugeot.

You do get a two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty from Citroën, at least, and an additional year’s cover provided by the dealer, but both Kia’s and Hyundai’s cover soundly beats that. Thankfully Citroën does allow you to extend your warranty for a fee.

Safety and security

All versions of C5 Aircross get an alarm and an immobiliser, while Flair models and up also have a camera in the windscreen that records and stores footage of the road ahead. You can switch it off if you prefer, though.

In terms of safety, the C5 Aircross is also on the ball. Active safety features include a driver attention alert system, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking. And if you do end up involved in an accident, there’s an SOS call function that can contact the emergency services.

If you’re looking at Feel and Flair trim, we’d recommend adding the Safety Plus pack (standard on Flair Plus) to get improved automatic emergency braking and a blindspot warning system. It’s one of the cheapest options available and lifts the C5 Aircross’s Euro NCAP crash safety rating from a so-so four stars, to the maximum of five stars. Looking at the results a little closer, it was slightly worse than the Peugeot 5008 at protecting adults in a crash, and marginally worse at keeping kids safe from harm, too.

Overview

The C5 Aircross is a great value large SUV that majors on comfort and refinement, but also offers punchy yet frugal engines, and a big boot. Its handling is rather roly poly and there’s no seven seat option, though.

  • Mostly a super-smooth ride
  • Quiet inside at speed
  • Frugal engines
  • Wallowy handling
  • No seven-seat option
  • Rear leg room tight for the class

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