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Used test: Citroën C5 Aircross vs Mazda CX-5 vs MG HS costs

Which of these large SUVs makes the best secondhand buy: the comfort-focused C5 Aircross, the plush CX-5 or the generously equipped HS?...

CItroen C5 Aircross driving

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

The £22,000 Mazda CX-5 is the most expensive car here, even after a saving of around £3500 off its list price from new.

The MG HS – at £19,000 – offers a similar saving, while the £20,000 Citroën C5 Aircross has become around £4500 cheaper after two years. The C5 Aircross's heavier depreciation is a double-edged sword: it makes it more affordable, but also indicates a downwards trend that could be to its owner's detriment when it's time to sell the car on. 

In terms of insurance, the HS is likely to cost the most to insure at a total of £1686 over three years, while the C5 Aircross comes in at £1566 and the CX-5 at £1503. The HS is the clear winner when it comes to servicing, with the costs amounting to £755, compared with £992 for the CX-5 and £926 for the C5 Aircross.

Mazda CX-5 driving

It's worth noting that the HS really impresses with its generous list of equipment. It includes heated, electrically adjustable, leather-clad front seats, automatically dipping LED headlights, keyless entry and start, and a glass roof. The CX-5 is less flashy but still gets the same type of headlights, tinted glass and adaptive cruise control. The C5 Aircross is a little more bare, with no leather seats or sat-nav. 

With the smallest engine, the C5 Aircross is the most frugal, and achieved 35.7mpg in our fuel consumption tests. The CX-5 was just 0.1mpg worse on the same route and the HS 2.2mpg worse.

MG HS rear driving

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is standard on each of these cars. The HS adds blind-spot monitors and lane-keeping assistance, while the CX-5 gets both of those as well as rear cross-traffic alert (which warns of passing vehicles when you’re reversing). Euro NCAP has awarded both the HS and the CX-5 the full five stars. The C5 Aircross gets four, rising to five if the £200 Active Safety Pack is fitted.

The CX-5 emerged as the leading large SUV in our 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, placing second out of 21 cars in that class. The C5 Aircross and HS were absent from the survey, though Citroen and MG as brands ranked 11th and 10th respectively out of 30 manufacturers featured – two very respectable results. Mazda proved the best out of the three, coming eighth.