What's the used Citroën C5 AIRCROSS hatchback like?
Citroën historically specialised in designing cars with a comfortable ride above all else. This is perhaps why the Citroën C5 Aircross has such supple suspension: to tie in with that tradition. Plus, those quirky looks could only really come from a company that arguably knows more than any other carmaker about avant-garde design.
The C5 Aircross has pedigree DNA, too. Under its skin, you’ll find engines and mechanicals that are shared with the Peugeot 5008, which is one of our favourite large SUVs, new or used.
Of course, an SUV needs a decent engine, and fortunately the C5 Aircross has two petrol and two diesel options that are perfectly adept at hauling around a large car. The perky 128bhp 1.2-litre petrol is a great all-rounder, while those who demand a bit more urge can always go for the additional punch of the 178bhp 1.6-litre unit. Or if fuel economy is more of a concern, there's the torque-laden diesels. Later, post-2022 models also got the option of a 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid.
Unlike some five-seat large SUVs, such as the Mazda CX-5, the C5 Aircross isn’t one for attacking the bends, because its soft suspension leads to unusually pronounced body lean for a modern pseudo-off-roader. The feather-light steering isn’t the most communicative out there, either. Grip is still strong enough for you to maintain decent progress down a twisty road, although you might get complaints of nausea from your passengers due to the amount it can sway through corners.
Speaking of passengers, there shouldn’t be any quarrels over the amount of space inside, unless you go for the Feel Plus model, which gets a panoramic glass roof. Those in front shouldn’t have any issues, but taller people in the back will have to slouch slightly to clear the lower roof lining. The rear bench is made of three separate seats that fold individually and can even slide fore and aft to allow passengers to stretch their legs or increase boot space. The boot in question isn’t the biggest in the class, but it is tall and square and has a wide opening to help loading bulky items.
One note of disappointment is that for a car aimed at families, the glovebox is very small, because the fusebox behind it takes up space. There is a large centre console and decent door pocket space to make up for this, though.
Entry-level Feel trim brings a comprehensive list of standard equipment that includes 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate, rear parking sensors, a 12.3in digital instrument display and an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. Mid-range Flair adds 18in alloys, sat-nav, a height-adjustable boot floor, cruise control, front parking sensors and a rear-view camera, while Flair Plus gets 19in alloys, a powered tailgate, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic glass roof and keyless entry.
Later, post-2022 models reduced the range to just two trims: C-Series Edition and Shine.
Every model comes with automatic emergency braking as standard, along with blindspot monitoring and lane departure warning, while the optional Safety Pack adds lane-keeping assistance and traffic sign recognition.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Citroën C5 AIRCROSS hatchback?
Most used examples of the C5 Aircross will still be found at major franchised dealers and should therefore still look and feel like new. Even so, so all the usual checks for damaged alloy wheels, dents and scratches.
The interior feels reasonably well made, but there are some scratchy plastics that could show some signs of wear and tear, so be on the lookout for any damage.
What are the most common problems with a used Citroën C5 AIRCROSS hatchback?
The C5 Aircross hasn’t long since entered the market, which means it wasn’t a part of the most recent What Car? Reliability Survey. However, Citroën as a brand did better than it has in previous years, ranking 11th out of 30.
It should be noted, though, that we experienced a few electrical gremlins and had some issues with broken interior trim when running an example during a long-term test.
Is a used Citroën C5 AIRCROSS hatchback reliable?
What used Citroën C5 AIRCROSS hatchback will I get for my budget?
Prices for a used Citroën C5 Aircross start at around £16,000 for a 2019 1.2-litre Feel. Expect to spend between £17,000 and £19,000 for a higher-spec trim from the same year or a similar trim from early 2020. Most 2021 C5 Aircrosses are between £22,000 and £30,000 depending on trim. Spend between £26,000 and £35,000 on 2022 models, depending on trim.
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How much does it cost to run a Citroën C5 AIRCROSS hatchback?
The C5 Aircross is actually pretty economical as far as large SUVs go. If you go for our preferred 1.2-litre petrol version, you should be able to get close to it’s official (WLTP) economy figure of 44.2mpg. The more powerful 1.6-litre petrol isn’t quite so frugal at 39.6mpg, but then it is lumbered with an automatic gearbox.
For those who do lots of motorway miles, the 1.5-litre diesel has the best economy at 55.1mpg, while the more powerful 2.0-litre diesel gets 47.1mpg. The plug-in hybrid version available in later post-2022 cars has a WLTP official figure of 222.3mpg. This will be only anywhere near attainable if you charge it up regularly and most of your journeys are short ones.
Road tax for all models will be the same flat rate fee applied to every car registered after 1 April 2017. The current road tax cost is £155 a year (£145 for hybrids). To find out more about the current road tax costs, click here.
Servicing is required every 12 months or 10,000 miles. The first visit will cost £199, while the second will be £249; thereafter, a minor service is £179 and a major one £299 - exactly the same as it is for the closely related Peugeot 5008.
Which used Citroën C5 AIRCROSS hatchback should I buy?
Unless you do plenty of miles and need the extra fuel economy of a diesel, chances are you’ll find the 1.2-litre petrol will provide plenty of performance and be pleasantly surprised with its respectable fuel economy.
We’d also suggest you stick with entry-level Feel trim, because that will get you a comprehensive list of safety technology and all the equipment you’ll need without making you spend too much.
Our favourite Citroën C5 Aircross: 1.2 Puretech 130 Feel
What alternatives should I consider to a used Citroën C5 AIRCROSS hatchback?
The Peugeot 5008 is a highly regarded large SUV, because it has a great interior with versatile seating and a great level of standard equipment. It shares much of its mechanicals with the C5 Aircross so offers the same range of impressive engines.
If you want value in your large SUV, there’s little to beat the Kia Sorento. It’s simply massive inside, with seating for seven and a useable boot, even when all its seats are erected. The only engine available is an occasionally grumbly 2.2-litre diesel, but its performance is good and it all settles down at a cruise. Plus, Kia's market-leading seven-year warranty will please anyone considering a car for the long run.
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