Citroen C5 Aircross review

Tweaked styling for Citroen C5 Aircross adds a sharper look to the comfortable SUV.

Pros: very comfortable ride, large boot, passenger space

Cons: PHEV is expensive, only a five-seater, no electric version

The Citroen C5 Aircross has come in for minor updates to enhance its image and improve the overall infotainment experience. With a reputation for being one of the more comfortable SUVs on the market, this five-seater is also rather practical and comes with a choice of engine options. 

Citroen C5 Aircross Design  

A fresh look around the front of the Citroen C5 Aircross marks this out as the updated version of the car that first went on sale in 2019. This mid-sized SUV sticks with a five-seat layout to maximise passenger space and cargo capacity. As part of this mid-cycle update, Citroen adds new LED headlights that feature a more distinctive daytime running light signature, similar to that of the C5 X crossover estate that joins the range later this year. 

With the headlights no longer a two-part design, the front of the C5 Aircross has less of a rounded image and is more upright. The lower bumper section’s previous coloured oval inserts have been swapped for slimmer vertical elements that can still be had in a contrasting colour. A metallic splitter at the bottom of the front bumper completes the new face of the SUV. Airbumps may be a thing of Citroen’s past, but remnants remain along the base of the doors, while the rear light clusters gain a new three-bar look that is more pronounced.

Citroen C5 Aircross Interior 

Roominess is something that the C5 Aircross delivers in spades, thanks to Citroen’s decision not to attempt squeezing in a third row of seats. Up in the front, the driver and passenger seats are some of the most comfortable in the car world. This comfort is due to Citroen fitting thicker high-density foam, making them nicer to sit into and contributing to a smoother ride when driving.

The main change to the interior is a revised centre console that features a new 10-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. As well as a slicker operation, it features Apple and Android smartphone mirroring, and Citroen offers a wireless charging pad, too. Following its other more recent models, the automatic shifter has been changed to the smaller toggle style, which helps to free up space around the centre console. 

One of the most practical aspects of the C5 Aircross, which sets it apart from many of its rivals, is that it has three individual rear seats. Both outer seats contain ISOFIX anchor points for child seats and, in addition to reclining seatbacks, they can all slide forward or back by up to 150mm to either increase legroom or boost cargo capacity. Boot volume varies between 580- and 720 litres, though the plug-in hybrid gets 460-500 litres, making it one of the best in the segment for load-lugging. 

Citroen C5 Aircross Performance & Drive 

While the C5 Aircross gets some cosmetic updates, the engine line-up remains the same, with the choice of petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid power. With the rising cost of fuel, the PHEV will be of interest to a lot of buyers, even if it is one of the more expensive options. 

The system uses a 13.2kWh battery to power an 80kW electric motor that works in tandem with a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine to deliver a maximum output of 225hp. With a full charge, Citroen says the C5 Aircross can cover 55 kilometres using only electric power. It can reach up to 135km/h without needing the petrol engine, so motorway driving isn’t an issue, though it will put a dent into the overall range. When the petrol engine kicks in, it tends to do so without much fuss, and if you’re driving in slower urban settings, you will barely notice the switching. 

For the most part, the PHEV drives with little to no noise. It is made more comfortable by Citroen’s progressive hydraulic cushion suspension. This patented technology makes the ride better at shock absorbency without detracting from how the C5 Aircross handles. Furthermore, with 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, there is plenty of tyre sidewall to help soak up road imperfections. The steering is light and the driving position provides reasonable outward visibility. An array of cameras makes the task of parking a bit easier. 

Citroen C5 Aircross Pricing 

Pricing for the Citroen C5 Aircross before the facelift started at €36,260 for the PureTech 130 petrol model with a manual gearbox, whereas the plug-in hybrid is the costliest, with a starting price of €45,800. Citroen has yet to confirm the pricing for the updated C5 Aircross, though it is expected to rise by between €1,000 and €2,000 depending on the powertrain.

Carzone Verdict: 4/5 

Citroen's approach in making the C5 Aircross a practical and comfortable SUV makes it one of the more appealing prospects in an already packed segment. While the changes to the interior are minor, they keep it modern, and the enhanced exterior gives it a new look that may appeal more to some than its predecessor did. 

Find Citroen dealers Used Citroen for sale