Citroën C5 Aircross review

Category: Large SUV

Section: Performance & drive

Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 rear cornering
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 front tracking
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 rear cornering
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 dashboard
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 rear seats
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 front seats
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 infotainment
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 left tracking
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 rear tracking
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 front seats
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 boot open
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 front tracking
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 rear cornering
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 dashboard
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 rear seats
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 front seats
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 infotainment
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 left tracking
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 rear tracking
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 front seats
  • Citroën C5 Aircross 2020 boot open
What Car?’s C5 AIRCROSS deals
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In this section:
  • Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
  • Suspension and ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Noise and vibration

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

Our pick of the petrol engine range is the 129bhp 1.2 Puretech 130. It uses its modest power to good effect, getting from 0-62mph in a little over 10 seconds.

The Skoda Kodiaq 1.5 TSI 150 is slightly quicker, but the C5 Aircross is a smidge brisker than a Peugeot 5008 fitted with the same engine. The important bit is that, while it’s no rocket ship, it will get to 70mph in a sprightly fashion and pulls harder from low revs than the Mazda CX-5 Skayactiv petrol. That added flexibility means fewer gear changes to get up hills. 

Suspension and ride comfort

As we mentioned in the intro, Citroën makes some bold claims about the comfort of the C5 Aircross – and, in many respects, those claims stack up.

This is a pillowy soft SUV that wafts over most surfaces without the near-constant fidget you'll experience in the Mazda CX-5 and other sportier-feeling rivals. It is at its best on A-roads and motorways, where the C5 Aircross is one of the calmest and most cosseting SUVs you can buy, certainly for the money.

There are two things to be aware of, though. It will thud if you drive over a very sharp imperfection or ridge (especially if you go for any trim fitted with larger alloy wheels) and you need to be the type of person who enjoys reclining in a comfy hammock.

The BlueHDi 130 diesel is rowdier but perfectly acceptable too, while the Hybrid is near-silent in electric mode. It's pretty muted when the engine kicks in but does have a slightly coarse edge at higher revs, with vibrations you can feel through the steering wheel thrown in for good measure. 

One of the best bits about the C5 Aircross is how peaceful it is on long motorway journeys. Any engine noise fades away by 70mph and it's better than most cars in its class (not including premium alternatives such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3) at stifling wind and road noise, partly because of the acoustic laminated windscreen.

The Puretech 130 comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The gearlever and clutch pedal are light but rather vague – the CX-5 has a much more satisfying gearshift action.

Adding the automatic gearbox edges up the price (it's standard on the Hybrid, though) but it's pretty good if you can stretch to it. The gear changes are smooth, although you might get a jolt if you step off then quickly back on to the accelerator. The Hybrid is the worst for shunting but switches from electric to petrol power slickly enough.

New car deals
Save up to £2,203
Target Price from £25,170
Save up to £2,203
or from £294pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £25,500
Leasing deals
From £306pm