The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The chances are that most people will love the driving position in the Citroën C5 Aircross. The pedals, steering wheel and seat line up well, so you're not sitting skewed while driving, and the armrests (there's one on the door and a large one in the centre) are generous and perfectly placed.
Our most diminutive tester, who's just over five feet tall, felt perched over the pedals as though he was playing the pipe organ. If it's the same for you, the Kia Sorento's driving position, which won universal acclaim from the team, might suit you better.
The driver's seat doesn't have a lot of bolstering to hold you through bends but it's fabulous to sit on for a long motorway jaunt. It's soft like a favourite armchair while still offering support in all the key places, and can be adjusted for height and lumbar support in every trim. The steering wheel has loads of height and reach adjustment too.
Customisable digital instruments are fitted as standard and, with the exception of climate settings, most controls fall easily to hand. Like the Peugeot 5008, the C5 Aircross doesn’t have physical controls to adjust the temperature. You have to dip into the infotainment touchscreen to make adjustments, which is fine when you’re stationary but more distracting than a proper button if you’re driving.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
You sit high up in the Citroën C5 Aircross and this, combined with the fairly thin windscreen pillars, means you get a good view of the road ahead. Unfortunately, the car's quirky styling means there are small side windows and thick pillars at the back, making it trickier to reverse than in the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq.
Thankfully, all versions of the C5 Aircross get rear parking sensors as standard, while front sensors and a rear-view camera are standard from mid-range Shine trim. All models get automatic lights and wipers, and bright modern LED headlights.
Sat nav and infotainment
You get all the connectivity you really need with entry-level Sense trim on the Citroën C5 Aircross, including a DAB radio, Bluetooth and two USB sockets.
It also has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring, so you can control certain apps from your phone through the 8.0in touchscreen. If you move up to Sense trim, you also get a built-in sat-nav with voice recognition, while Shine Plus adds wireless phone charging.
The touchscreen's graphics look a little old hat these days and it isn't as high definition as most of the competition, which includes the Seat Tarraco and Skoda Kodiaq. Their systems are easier to use too.
The C5 has a lot of sub-menus with lots of small icons that are tricky to hit with any confidence when you’re driving. The software is not the most responsive either, so you have to wait a second for anything to happen.
Its standard stereo has six speakers and the sound quality is decent but there's no premium upgrade if you want something even better.
If we judged the interior of the Citroën C5 Aircross on its looks, it might score quite well, but we don’t because that's your prerogative and something we prefer to steer clear of. We’re all about form and function on an objective level.
Step inside and you’ll find a few soft materials. The dashboard has a leather-look finish with matching accents on the steering wheel and gear lever gaiter. Gloss black trims around the air vents and centre console lift things further, but elsewhere the car is let down by scratchy plastics on the doors and around the base of the gearstick. Generally, though, it feels solidly put together.
Most rivals have classier materials inside, giving them more of a premium feel. The Peugeot 5008 combines modern interior looks with smarter trims while the Mazda CX-5 is about the best there is at this end of the market. Even the cheaper MG HS beats the C5 Aircross when it comes to the use of swish ingredients.
Coarse engine and laggy infotainment, but a classy interi...
The Nissan X-Trail is okay in isolation, but there are rivals...
Plus points include sporty dynamics and generous spe...
A fine SUV, particularly in plug-in hybrid (PHEV) form