Had the absolute pleasure of driving the Citroën C5 Aircross SUV as a ”holiday” car, whereby we test a car over the holidays, and review it. Had a slight bit of trepidation about this one, as I was concerned at the possible space available, as it seems to have a bit of a blunt rear-end. Shouldn’t have worried about that at all, as it has a cavernous boot.
The other thing was the 1.6L engine, which in my launch article, I said it might have lacked power. With 121kw on tap this was not the case at all, and it delivered on this front, fully laden down to the Cape and back. The drive was exceptionally smooth, and quiet, and is a better drive than my own SUV, which is a Nissan X-Trail, which feels more bumpy.
It’s an attractive SUV, especially for travel to the coast which we did, and I received many enquiries about the C5-Aircross. With it’s signature airbump and roof bars, with red/black contrasting colour accents, it made a statement, always looking to be slightly alternate, is the Citroen brand. Split headlights squint from a widescreen grille and cartoonish lines abound. Black A-, B- and C- pillars are designed to create the effect of wraparound glazing and seem to make the new C5-Aircross wider and sleeker.
The air vents in red & black contrast complete the look, and I used the roof rails to carry a surf board. And it will happily carry a Thule luggage carrier as well. Our unit had a sun-roof, which opened back to the rear seats. This was pleasant for coastal driving. Not so much for on the road though, as it can get noisy.
In the Cabin.
The cabin is very stylish, and fairly spacious, carries five occupants fairly comfortably, as it has three individual seats at the rear. It has an electric seat on the drivers side which makes it convenient to shift position. Steering wheel has all controls close to hand. The noise level is limited, and you have a sense of quiet on the drive. This is due to the pressurized air suspension on the vehicle, and it is probably one of it’s most attractive features. Way smoother drive than my own Nissan X-Trail, and my partners Audi Q5.
Boot space is huge, – it starts at 520 litres and expands to 720 litres. With the seats folded down there’s a cavernous 1,630 litres of space to play with. We used all of this, as going down we had a lot of luggage, and also on the return from Cape Town. There a number of unique storage spaces dotted around the cabin for ease of use. A cooling centre binnacle is very handy to cool water etc.
The rear-end is quite attractive as well, with it’s rear lamps that wrap around, and it’s rounded butt.
Tech-lovers are well catered for, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel behind the steering wheel and an 8-inch touchscreen on the dashboard covering the infotainment functions. We used Waze a lot, to give us warnings of traffic personnel and distance, and we played music through Apple Carplay.
We had the Pearlescent White colour which has a beautiful gloss look.
Engine & Drive.
The new C5 Aircross is powered by an efficient and high-performance 1.6 THP 121kW petrol engine coupled to Citroën’s EAT6 automatic gearbox. It is a very comfortable and smooth drive, mainly due to the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® suspension and Advanced Comfort seats.
Hydraulic buffers at either end of the suspension setup have all but eliminated bounce from the car’s drive. My wife was extremely complimentary about the drive feel. We used the cruise control as much as possible on both journeys to and from Cape Town. We got 7.8L/100km going down, and 8.4L/100km coming back, this mainly due to doing around 129km where possible.
There was no issue with the power of the C5, it handled with aplomb. It was fully laden and responded beautifully when called to overtake etc.
Safety is taken care of by- Park Sensors, Coffee Break Alert, Keyless Entry and Starting*, Electric Parking brake, Reversing camera with rear 180°camera;* Fog lights with static corner function, Active Safety Break* Active Lane Departure Warning System* Driver Attention Assist, Active Blind Spot Monitoring* Hill Start Assist.
Pricing & Warranty.
5 Year/100 000km
R406 900 – R509 900.00
The highlights for me was definitely the smooth and quiet drive, coupled with good fuel economy on the open road. It is astounding that more of these vehicles are not sold.