2018 CitroΓ«n C5 Aircross – price, specs and release date

CitroΓ«n reinvents its C5 as a tech-heavy family SUV to rival the Nissan Qashqai

Words By Darren Moss

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CitroΓ«n C5 Aircross

On sale Mid-2018 Price from Β£20,000 (est)

The original CitroΓ«n C5 was a family saloon competing against rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia, but a combination of slow sales and declining interest in that market forced CitroΓ«n to axe the car in May last year. Now, the C5 is back – but not as we knew it.

The C5 is one of 12 cars shortlisted for What Car?'s 2018 Reader Award. To see all of this year's contenders and vote for your favourite, click here.

CitroΓ«n C5 Aircross features

Just as sister brand Peugeot has reinvented its 3008 and 5008 as ultra-modern, style-led SUVs, CitroΓ«n has done the same to create this C5 Aircross. The styling stays faithful to the Aircross concept of 2015 – a car that first showed how CitroΓ«n could transpose its formula from the C4 Cactus to other vehicles.

Aimed at other small SUVs including the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and our favourite, the Seat Ateca, the new C5 Aircross features more space between its front and rear axles than almost any other car in this class – this should result in plenty of space inside. In fact, with an official boot volume of 484 litres, the C5 Aircross betters the big-selling Qashqai for space, even though the Ateca still offers more.

Inside, the new SUV features a digital instrument cluster – similar to the i-Cockpit design in the 3008 – alongside an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system on the centre console that offers smartphone connectivity and satellite navigation.

CitroΓ«n C5 Aircross engines

Engine options for the UK have yet to be confirmed, but we’re expecting the C5 Aircross to be offered with the same range of Puretech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines that already feature in the C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso MPVs. In both of those cars, we recommend the 1.6-litre diesel option for its gutsy yet smooth performance, but buyers who'll be doing few motorway miles may find that smaller petrol options suit better.

Soon after the C5 Aircross goes on sale, buyers will also be able to choose a plug-in hybrid version with four-wheel drive. In this form, the C5 Aircross gets a 200bhp petrol engine mated to an electric motor to boost total output to 300bhp. This version will be capable of travelling for up to 37 miles on electric power alone.

Key safety equipment on the C5 Aircross includes Active City Brake, which is CitroΓ«n’s version of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, a 360deg camera and a blindspot monitoring system.

CitroΓ«n C5 Aircross prices

It’s too early to talk specific pricing but, since the C5 Aircross is the sister car to Peugeot’s 3008, it’s likely to cost a similar amount. The 3008 starts from Β£21,995, so a starting price of around Β£20,000 for the C5 Aircross seems likely. At that price, though, the car will be more expensive than both the Qashqai and Ateca, although things will likely be more competitive when it comes to PCP finance deals.

Looking for a used SUV? These options have all the space you could need, at a price that might surprise.

Best used large SUVs to buy right now

10. Volkswagen Tiguan

It’s a touch on the bland side but, if you can live with that, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a thoroughly sensible SUV. You get a decent-sized boot that’s also a useful, square shape; the interior, while a little dour, is hewn from high-quality materials. The Tiguan’s good to drive, too, with a comfortable ride and car-like handling adding to its appeal.

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9. Volvo XC90

Reliability glitches marred some early Volvo XC90s, but more recent cars are dependable, sensible propositions with high-quality, relaxing interiors that make whiling away the miles a doddle. What’s more, the XC90 was one of the first SUVs to feature seven seats as standard, making it a versatile buy, and most used examples tend to come well equipped. It’s also pretty good value. Go for a diesel version; petrol models tend to be quick but thirsty.

We found 2014 D5 ES Geartronic, 21,000 miles, Β£20,995

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8. Audi Q5

While its ride is a little firmer than some SUVs’, the Audi Q5 makes up for it with crisp handling and a body that doesn’t lean over too far in corners. It combines this with a high-quality interior, plenty of equipment and a range of smooth, punchy engines that make the Q5 every bit the premium SUV. Its popularity means there are plenty to choose from on the used market and, even if prices are on the high side, you get quite a bit for your cash.

We found 2014 2.0 TDI S Line Plus, 21,000 miles, Β£21,916

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