Citroën C5 Aircross long-term test review: report 5
Citroën's largest SUV is based on the same underpinnings as the What Car? Award-winning Peugeot 5008, but is it as easy to live with? We're finding out...
The car Citroën C5 Aircross Puretech 180 Flair Run by Alastair Clements, special contributor
Why it’s here Citroën’s new entry into the congested large SUV market offers something different, with an approach that favours comfort over dynamic excellence
Needs to Offer more than just quirky looks and a supple ride. In this class, nothing short of brilliance will do
Mileage 4985 List price £28,930 Target Price £27,182 Price as tested £29,050 Test economy 30.3mpg
23 September 2019 – Life in the lap of luxury
Luxury. It’s something that is hard to define because it means different things to different people – one person’s minimalist palace is another’s thinly disguised prison. In a car, however, it’s easier to trace to feeling, a sense of internal warmth and wellbeing that is created by the right atmosphere on a journey.
In the pursuit of luxury, Citroën even launched its own halo brand, DS, named after it’s most famous and desirable model, the peerless Déesse launched in the mid-’50s. The new offshoot’s flagship model is based on the same underpinnings as my C5, so I was intrigued to discover whether it is indeed more luxurious and borrowed a friend’s car for an evening to find out.
There is no doubt that the DS features plenty more diamond-stitched leather and bejewelled design gimmickery, but more luxury? I’m not so sure. Back in the Aircross it felt that everything was at least as well built – after initial concerns I’m being won over by the Citroën’s fit and finish – and just as refined, with its effective sound deadening, smooth engine and details such as the silent ‘Magic Wipers’. These spray washer fluid directly through the wiper arm rather than from noisy jets – although a warning light to tell me the reservoir was empty would have been nice.
Most importantly of all, though, the seats and ride quality are notably better, and at no point have I felt short-changed by the equipment level, even though my car is only the mid-range Flair trim. It still has leather and electric everything, so I struggle to see any reason to go for a higher model. Daughter number one, Elsa, complains about the lack of heated seats, but I think she may be a touch spoiled...
Among the spec highlights is a great 8in central touchscreen mated to a colour reversing camera. The DAB radio has decent sound quality – albeit with a frustrating tendency to lose 5 Live in the middle of a crucial game – but the real boon is the TomTom-based sat-nav. Its traffic-avoidance routing is excellent, and the addition of fuel-station prices – pretty useful in a car that is returning just over 30mpg.