Review: Citroen C5 Aircross (2019)

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Very practical. Comfortable thanks to extra foam in seats and Progressive Hydraulic Cushions. Three individually sliding and folding rear seats good for child seats.

Soft suspension makes it less assured on corners than a Peugeot 3008. Fiddly infotainment.

Citroen C5 Aircross (2019): At A Glance

To make a splash in a market that includes the Nissan Qashqai, SEAT Ateca and Kia Sportage, you have to do something a little unusual. Especially when you're as late to the party as Citroen is with its C5 Aircross.

Citroen says it market research reveals that, while crossover SUV buyers love their cars, they do have their frustrations. Practicality is one: often, cars of this ilk aren't as practical as you might expect. Comfort is another. With manufacturers focusing on appearance and a sporty driving experience, something has to be sacrificed - and that's often things like ride quality.

The Citroen C5 Aircross does things differently, in a way that we're very used to from the quirky French brand. Highlights include a 15mm layer of thick, mattress-like foam on the seats. In the back, meanwhile, there are three individual seats that can slide, fold or recline to create a space that suits.

The result is an interior that's very practical, with plenty of head and legroom for passengers in the front and rear. Boot space can range from 580 to 720 litres depending on the position of the rear seats, increasing to 1630 if you drop them flat (an easy process to do). That's a considerably bigger boot than rivals, and even bigger than the Citroen C4 Spacetourer MPV. The rear seat is significantly wider than in a Peugeot 3008.

There's also a trick new suspension system which uses Citroen's Progressive Hydraulic Cushions. This is designed to reduce sudden jolts. Combined with 19-inch wheels carrying deep profile 205/55 R19 tyres this gives a 'magic carpet effect' with a ride that floats over bumps and dips in the road. 

At launch, buyers could choose from a combination of petrol and diesel engines, ranging from a 130PS 1.2-litre Puretech petrol to a 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel producing 180PS. A plug-in hybrid version follows in 2020, with four-wheel drive and a 200PS petrol engine linked to a pair of electric motors to create a combined 300PS. This is expected to be capable of covering 37 miles on electric power alone.

Citroen faces a tough challenge with the C5 Aircross. It's a much better car than the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, but actually getting onto the radar of potential customers is a huge task.

If you're willing to think outside the box, however, the C5 Aircross is an extremely competent crossover. It's very practical, looks a bit unusual and has an impressive engine line-up. It won't appeal to enthusiastic drivers but it unashamedly focuses on comfort. And that's not a bad thing for a family crossover.

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What does a Citroen C5 Aircross (2019) cost?

List Price from £24,985
Buy new from £20,403
Contract hire from £184.79 per month

Citroen C5 Aircross (2019): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4500 mm
Width 2099 mm
Height 1670 mm
Wheelbase 2730 mm

Full specifications

It's inside where the C5 Aircross really shines. Not necessarily in a premium way - you will find some hard plastics if you seek them out (although it does feel more premium than a Qashqai) - but in a clever family-friendly kind of way. Everything feels robust, as if it'll stand the everyday abuse of young children, and there's plenty of storage for all the bits and bobs families accumulate.

There are three trim levels - Feel, Flair and Flair Plus. All of them get an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment display in the centre of the dash, with DAB radio, Bluetooth and Citroen's Mirror Screen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The entry-level Feel model does without navigation, but we generally find Google Maps to be a good substitute for built-in nav if your phone supports Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Citroen's infotainment system is a bit laggy, so the ability to bypass it using Apple Carpaly or Android Auto and your smartphone is a bonus. The inability to adjust the cabin's temperature without bringing up a screen on the infotainment system is a little annoying - and not great for in-car relations if your passenger decides they're cold as you're negotiating a tricky junction on the satnav.

You can spend hundreds of miles in a C5 Aircross yet still feel fairly refreshed at the end of the journey. You sit high up, which is great for providing a good view of the road ahead, and the seats feature extra padding to reduce aches and pains.

It's very pleasant in the back, too. There are three individual seats with room for three adults, if needs be. You can slide them back should you need more legroom, and there's plenty of headroom even for the tallest of passengers. The windows are big, too - great for reducing the chances of travel sickness.

There's a big boot with a wide access, although there is the usual lip for hoisting bulky items over. If you need more space, the rear seats can be dropped individually. It's very easy to do so and they fold pretty flat, leaving loads of room for carrying large items.

Specification (February 2019):

Feel comes with the Safety Pack (including Active Safety Brake, Active Blind Spot Monitoring System, Active Lane Departure Warning System), Citroen Connect Box with SOS and Emergency Assistance, automatic dual zone climate control, rear parking sensors, acoustic laminated windscreen with rain and brightness sensors, electric door mirrors, multi-function leather steering wheel, height adjustable driver and front passenger seat in grey cloth, DAB radio, Mirror Screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 17-inch alloy wheels and the Visibility Pack (automatic wipers and headlights).

Flair adds a two-tone horn, front parking sensors, Visio park 1 (reversing camera), front fog lights with cornering function, advanced comfort seats with grey grained leather/graphite cloth, driver's seat lumbar adjustment, LED welcome lgihting with two front LED spotlights, rear LED reaing lights, electrochrome rear-view mirror, stainless steel front inner door sills, Citroen Connect Nav with TomTom Live updates (3 year subscription), ConnectedCam, voice recognition (radio, navigation and telephony features), 18-inch Swirl alloy wheels, folding door mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators, tinted rear windows and windscreen, a matt black rear bumper fascia with chrome exhaust trim and 'Follow me home' lighting.

Flair Plus features driver attention alert, intelligent beam headlights, foot operated motorised rear tailgate, keyless entry and start, acoustic laminated front windows, active cruise control, aluminium pedals and foot rest, wireless smartphone charging, opening panoramic glass roof including electric blind, 19-inch Art bi-tone diamond cut alloy wheels with 205/55 R19 tyres, gloss black upper radiator grille plus a gloss black rear bumper fascia with chrome exhaust trim.

Child seats that fit a Citroen C5 Aircross (2019)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Citroen C5 Aircross (2019) like to drive?

Petrol buyers get the choice of a 1.2-litre PureTech 130 with a six-speed manual gearbox or a 1.6-litre PureTech 180 with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Both are very quiet and refined, which suits the car's nature, although the 130 is best suited to town driving as it's a little underwhelming when trying to gain speed on a motorway slip road.

The 180 has no such issues, with plenty of performance on offer for a car of this type - and the automatic gearbox is rarely caught out.

If you cover lots of motorway miles you'd be better choosing a diesel model. The 1.5-litre BlueHDi 130 is available with a manual or automatic gearbox, while the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180 comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

For most people, the BlueHDi 130 will be punchy enough, with plenty of low down torque providing a relaxing drive. Opting for the automatic gearbox hampers performance (0-62mph in 11.8 seconds compared to 10.4 seconds for the manual), although it still feels more sprightly than the 1.2 petrol.

In terms of handling, the C5 Aircross is perfectly competent for a car of this style. It doesn't lean too much in corners and the steering is reasonably connected and accurate, just not as sharp as in a Peugeot 3008 on the same 205/55 R19 tyres. Visibility is good, making it easy to thread through city traffic, and parking is helped by the reversing camera on Flair and Flair Plus models.

Thanks to its Progressive Hydraulic Cushions, the C5 Aircross's ride quality is the best in its class. It's not floaty, yet it soaks up lumps and bumps in the road very well. There's no harshness to it even on the most broken of British roads.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.2 Puretech 130 53–54 mpg 10.5 s 119–121 g/km
1.5 BlueHDi 130 69 mpg 10.4 s 106–108 g/km
1.5 BlueHDi 130 EAT8 69–71 mpg 11.8 s 106–107 g/km
1.6 Puretech 180 EAT8 50 mpg 8.2 s 129–131 g/km
2.0 BlueHDi 180 EAT8 59–60 mpg 8.6 s 124–126 g/km

Real MPG average for a Citroen C5 Aircross (2019)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

29–61 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Citroen C5 Aircross (2019)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Replacement for Ford Kuga

My 2012 Ford Kuga has 137,000 miles on the clock and has recently begun to suffer from mechanical problems. What should I replace it with? Another Kuga or a Hyundai Tucson?
A Hyundai Tucson isn't a bad option although it's feeling a bit dated compared to the latest rivals. I'd look at a Skoda Karoq, Citroen C5 Aircross or Peugeot 3008.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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