Chic Citroen C5 Aircross stars on style, practicality
Citroen reckons that this latest redesigned C5 Aircross offers unrivalled serenity with distinctive design. Not that we disagree, but the last one had some, let’s say a touch too quirky design facets. That maybe scared some more conservative prospective buyers off.
C5 Aircross plays to Citroen strengths
The unique double-chevron brand has made a clear shift towards its ancient strengths of luxury, style and practicality in this reskinned, refreshed now one. Now together with sister Peugeot, Citroen is also part of a far bigger Stellantis family comprising of Fiat, Opel, Chrysler, and their sub brand stepsisters. All of which seems to be going quite swimmingly.
More a cool customer, the C5 Aircross isn’t quite as sharp as some of its sportier sibling brand rivals, but this Citroen does everything it is expected to, very well. Styling is now far more mainstream and it’s also become chicer as it progressed. They tell us that it blends curve and line to achieve an imposing, more modern face. We cannot argue that one.
Cool, high tech cabin, special seats
Step inside and settle into latest generation contemporary fabric and leather-effect trimmed Comfort seats with thicker high-density foam padding. They’re notably comfortable. Also new, the centre console has a neat gear toggle and integrated driving mode selectors, and two USB ports. It lacks a charging pad for your mobile though, which is one shortcoming.
The high quality cabin features fine fit and finish and a new ‘floating’ 10” tablet touchscreen. It sits higher above the central vents and in better sight of the driver and passengers. Climate controls are however only accessible through the screen, which is quite annoying. The driver has a fully customisable new 12”3 digital instrumentation with a variety of screens and layout options.
C5 Aircross is a most practical car
Instrumentation is crisp and clear day and night and the touchscreen easy to get on with, especially with your smartphone hooked up to the car via Apple Car Play or Android Auto.
The C5 Aircross is a most practical car too. The boot is cavernous at 520 litres with the 40-20-40 split rear seats in the fully comfortable position. It will expand all the way to 720 litres with the three rear pews shifted furthest forward, never mind a cavernous 1,630 litres of space to play with the chairs laid flat.
Not a rocket ship, but no slouch either
It’s not a rocket ship, but no slouch either. The latest C5 Aircross’ familiar 121 kW 240 Nm 1.6-litre turbo petrol 4-pot sits well with the EAT6 autobox. And its economical too. The fantastic Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension is next level in this class and also typically Citroen smooth and slick on the road, while handling if not sharp, is good.
All in all, we once again came away most impressed with this latest incarnation of the Citroen C5 Aircross. Even if it’s no longer priced quite as sharply as It was back in the PSA day, this suave, sophisticated, and now far more accomplished car is still a winner. — Michele Lupini
Images & Testing: Giordano Lupini
ROAD TEST - Citroen C5 Aircross 1.6T Shine Engine: 121 kW 240 Nm 1.6-litre turbo petrol I4 Drive: 6-speed automatic FWD TESTED: 0-60 km/h: 4.45 sec 0-100 km/h: 9.62 sec 0-120 km/h 13.33 sec 0-160 km/h: 23.69 sec 400m: 16.8 sec @ 138 km/h 80-120km/h: 6.42 sec 120-160km/h: 10.58 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 189 km/h Fuel: 7.9 l/100km CO2: 179 g/km Range: 660 km Warranty/Service: 5y 100K/5y 100K LIST PRICE: R683K RATED: 8