Citroën C5 Aircross long-term test: report 3

Citroën's family SUV has been upgraded inside and under the skin. But what's it like to live with? We're finding out...

Loading C5 Aircross boot

The car Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid 225 Shine Run by Kiall Garrett, senior videographer

Why it’s here Can the C5 Aircross PHEV be practical and efficient enough to cope with a What Car? videographer's shooting needs?

Needs to be Have impressive fuel economy on long motorway and town journeys to shoots, while having enough space to store lots of camera equipment

Mileage 11,736 List price £35,395 Target Price £34,354 Price as tested £37,030 Test economy 53.2mpg Official economy 222.3mpg

12 May 2023 – More than a boot

As a What Car? videographer, I need the boot of my car to be more than just a boot. On any given day it’ll need to be a table, an office, a chair, or a shelter from the rain.

Of course, first and foremost I need my Citroën C5 Aircross to have plenty of space for carrying lots of equipment – which it does – but it also needs to offer me a stable surface somewhere to set up camera equipment and use my laptop.

Video equipment in C5 boot

It seems to be a growing trend for parcel shelves in the boots of new cars to be bendable, flappy, fabric-type things. Such things make cars lighter, and could therefore increase your fuel economy – but the good old-fashioned hard parcel shelf in the C5 Aircross has doubled up as a perfect desk for me.

I can rest delicate items such as microphones and lenses on top of it while I delve into the load bay searching for whatever random bit of equipment I need next, and I can set up my laptop on it to send some emails or finish some last-minute edits.

A very handy feature of the C5 Aircross I’ve been learning to utilise is the ability to slide the rear seats forwards and backwards. When the boot is empty, this means whoever is travelling in the back can enjoy a terrific amount of leg room. But what I’ve found more useful is the ability to slide the rear seats forwards to help enlarge the boot capacity and allow me to fit in extra-long items without having to keep the rear seats folded completely.

Setting up for a video shoot with the C5

So, the C5 Aircross has been pretty much faultless on location for my jobs. And as a huge bonus, pretty much every mile I cover in the car is a comfortable one.

You see, the C5 Aircross makes motorway journeys enjoyable because it's so wonderfully quiet at a 70mph cruise, meaning I arrive at my destination calm, rested and ready to work. 

Then there's its plethora of driving assistance features. Lots of people I talk to assume that you need to spend Tesla-style money to afford any advanced driver aids, but, of course, the truth is that lots of cars today have adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance. If you add the optional Highway Driver Assist Pack (£500), which is available only on hybrid and EAT8 automatic models, the C5 Aircross does as well.

C5 Aircross driver assistance

On recent long journeys to Wales, I was very appreciative of the ability to flick a switch on a stalk on the steering column to turn on the adaptive cruise and lane assist, to let the car take the stress out of driving in stop-start motorway traffic.

I found the system worked well and I had total confidence in it, with none of the odd pulls on the steering wheel or any glitchy warning signals that I've experienced in other models.

So, whether I’m on a shoot or on the way to a shoot, I’ve been really enjoying what the C5 Aircross has to offer.

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