Citroen C5 Aircross (2019) Review

Citroen C5 Aircross (2019) At A Glance

4/5

+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.

On average it achieves 71% of the official MPG figure

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.

Real MPG average for a Citroen C5 Aircross (2019)

RealMPG

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

71%

Real MPG

29–61 mpg

MPGs submitted

45

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.

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I'm unsure whether to buy a petrol, diesel or hybrid car. What do you think?
"I live in France but, in normal times, return to the UK 4-5 times a year. I have been thinking of buying a Citroen C5 Aircross but I'm unsure whether to buy a petrol, diesel or hybrid car. Are there any other cars I should consider or any fully electric cars of a similar size? Thanks."
We rate the Citroen C5 Aircross highly – it's a very comfortable and practical choice that represents good value for money. If you cover a lot of motorway miles (driving between France and the UK, for example), a diesel makes a lot of sense. The plug-in hybrid model is quite expensive and only really makes sense for company car drivers or those covering a lot of short journeys. As an alternative, we'd recommend a Peugeot 3008 or Skoda Karoq.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can I renew a lease at the end of the agreement, give it back or buy the car?
"We have a Hyundai Kona, which is shortly coming to the end of a three-year lease. It was brand new and top of the range when we got it and it's done less than 15,000 miles. We like the car, although at times we wish it was a bit bigger and higher off the ground. Should we try to renew the lease for one or two years, give the car back at the end of the three years or buy it and keep it until we trade it in for another car? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Alternatively, if we did give it back, what medium-sized and medium-priced SUV would you suggest? It would need to be relatively comfortable driving down our rough road. We also don't want a Skoda."
Usually, the leasing company would expect you to return the car at the end of the agreement – although some will offer the chance to extend it. They might be more willing to do this as you've not covered many miles. You won't be given the chance to buy it outright, unless it's a PCP finance agreement (rather than a lease). Consider a Citroen C5 Aircross as its replacement, or a Peugeot 3008.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What would you recommend for a couple who want a comfortable, reliable SUV?
"My wife and I are in our late 60s, retired and are looking to buy an SUV for the first time for its ease of access and high position. We don't care about prestige brands but we do want comfort, refinement, quiet and enough performance to make driving effortless. Perhaps automatic. We are tall but do not need extra space for people or luggage. We also want reliability. We tend not to change cars frequently - we have had our current car - a Ford Focus, bought nearly new - for seven years. We want to spend no more than £30k. Would we be better off buying a used luxury SUV like the Audi Q7 or a new/nearly new midsize SUV like the Skoda Karoq? In short, what would you recommend for an ageing couple who put comfort over speed but don't want to pay for either size or prestige that we do not need?"
An Audi Q7 sounds a bit big for your needs. A Skoda Karoq could be perfect – it's a very comfortable crossover SUV. Also look at the very similar Volkswagen Tiguan, or the uber-comfortable Citroen C5 Aircross. You might find that smaller crossovers meet your requirements, too – take a look at the Ford Puma or Peugeot 2008.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a car to carry three people in the back?
"I have a family of five and need space for the occasional DIY building projects. I have a Ford Fiesta and can't decide what to buy. SUV's are all the rage but are expensive and not always practical. MPV's are practical but boring. Estates are good but I need to fit three people in the back. Any help please? Thanks."
If you really need to carry three people in the back in any comfort you need an SUV or MPV. A Citroen C5 Aircross, with its three individual rear seats, would be a good choice.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Citroen C5 Aircross (2019) cost?

Buy new from £21,230 (list price from £26,290)