Citroen C5 Aircross Review 2024

Citroen C5 Aircross At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Citroen C5 Aircross is the perfect antidote to family SUVs that prioritise a sporty feel over anything else. It's strong focus on comfort means the big Citroen is refined and smooth on most roads, with a good range of engines, What's more, it's very practical, and pretty affordable too. Rivals are sharper to drive, however, and the improved infotainment remains a bit of a weak point.

+Very practical SUV with loads of interior space and three individual rear seats. Extremely comfortable. Efficient petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines. Improved infotainment from 2022.

-Rivals still have better touchscreens. No seven-seat option. Mediocre handling.

New prices start from £29,060
Insurance Groups are between 17–33
On average it achieves 72% of the official MPG figure

The Citroen C5 Aircross has been given a minor refresh for summer 2022. It's still as soft and comfortable as ever, though, while its impressive versatility makes it a strong family SUV alternative to the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq and Hyundai Tucson. Read our full Citroen C5 Aircross review to find out why it should be on your new car shortlist.

The Citroen C5 Aircross was a little late to the SUV party when it first arrived in 2019. Cars like the Ford Kuga, Peugeot 3008 and Volkswagen Tiguan were already several generations in, each with a loyal fanbase and healthy order books.

The temptation to shake up this sector with a brash-looking SUV boasting futuristic powertrains and car-like handling must have been huge, yet also something we've seen time and again. Instead, Citroen's engineers concentrated on things that actually matter to family buyers: it's extremely comfortable, safe and practical, while also being relatively affordable to buy and run.

Unsurprisingly, the Citroen C5 Aircross has already proved to be a success for the brand. And rather than messing with a winning formula, the 2022 facelift has addressed some of our previous criticisms without going overboard.

The interior remains massively practical. There's loads of head and legroom for passengers in the front and rear, while the boot space can range from up to 580 to 720 litres spending on the position of the rear seats. There's actually three individual rear seats, which is great for preventing arguments when you're travelling five-up, while they can slide backwards and forwards depending on whether you need to prioritise boot or passenger space.

The seats are fitted with an extra 15mm layer of foam which means you shouldn't feel any aches and pains after a long journey, while the standard-fit Progressive Hydraulic Cushions suspension does an excellent job of absorbing bumps in the road. The acoustic laminated front windows help reduce wind noise and provide a welcome boost in refinement.

One aspect of the Citroen C5 Aircross that we've previously criticised is the laggy infotainment. Early models got an eight-inch media display that was slow to respond, looked dated right from the start and wasn't all that intuitive to use. Basic models didn't even get navigation as standard (fortunately Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were on hand, allowing you to use apps from your phone instead).

A new 10.0-inch display arrived in 2022, bringing with it sharper graphics and a new position high on the dashboard. It's easier to operate on the move now, although it's still not quite as user-friendly as the Mazda CX-5's flawless system. Citroen C5 Aircross buyers now also get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster which allows an element of customisation and adds to the cabin's premium vibe.

There are a variety of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines to choose from, although some buyers might be disappointed to discover you can't buy a four-wheel-drive Citroen C5 Aircross. In the name of efficiency, they're all front-wheel-drive, although Citroen's clever Grip Control feature is available as an optional extra and should help you keep moving when tackling a snowy road or slightly muddy campsite.

The Citroen C5 Aircross's focus on comfort means it feels a bit less agile than, say, a SEAT Ateca on the open road. The lifeless steering doesn't help here, either, but there's plenty of tech on hand to keep you and your family safe. It's quite a relaxing car to drive and, with that in mind, we'd look for one with an automatic gearbox to save you the hassle of changing gears manually.

A plug-in hybrid arrived in 2020, combining a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 13.2kWh battery and a single electric motor. Citroen says it can travel under electric power alone for up to 38 miles, while it can be fully charged at home in less than two hours. If you're looking for an efficient family SUV for the school run with the ability to travel further afield at weekends, this could be it.

There are now four well-equipped Citroen C5 Aircross models to choose from, with prices starting from around £26,000 for the entry-level C5 Aircross Sense Plus. You'll struggle to spend £40,000 on even the plushest C5 Aircross C-Series Edition, which is good news as you'll escape the extra premium car tax directed at cars with a list price of more than £40,000.

The C5 Aircross isn't as ubiquitous as the Nissan Qashqai or Volkswagen Tiguan, so there isn't quite so much choice on the used market. There are deals available, though, while the subtlety of the recent facelift means older models are hardly any less desirable.

Looking for a second opinion? Why not read heycar's Citroen C5 Aircross review.   

Ask Honest John

What's the best family car that will fit three car seats?

"What car would you recommend that can comfortably accommodate two booster seats and a baby seat in the second row? Or is it better looking for a 7 seater which will grow with three boys? Budget of around £20K but can stretch to about £30K max. Ideally, a car with high spec (pan roof, camera, front and rear sensors, android auto, 360 cam desired) and an automatic. Have been looking at Sorento and Sante Fe, but unsure of buying diesel due to ULEZ concerns. Or is it better to lease/PCP a car? "
Take a look at the Citroen C5 Aircross. It's a comfortable and practical family SUV, with three individual seats in the rear providing enough room for three child seats side-by-side. Modern diesels will be fine for ULEZ, but we wouldn't recommend one for regular short journeys or lots of town driving. You can get the C5 Aircross with petrol power, though, or as a plug-in hybrid - the latter could be ideal if you can charge a car at home. Alternatively, a seven-seat SUV like the Skoda Kodiaq or Hyundai Santa Fe/Kia Sorento could be a good choice - just be mindful of how little luggage capacity they offer with all seven seats in use.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What is the most underrated SUV?

"What in your opion is the most underrated SUV? "
Possibly the Citroen C5 Aircross. It's very comfortable and practical but many buyers overlook it in favour of rivals. We like the Mazda CX-5, too, as well the bigger CX-60.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Should I buy a diesel when I only do 5000 miles a year?

"I am looking for a car, preferably diesel and automatic but essential it is comfortable. My budget is under £20K what would you advise. My annual mileage is low around 5000 so not concerned on fuel costs."
We wouldn't recommend a diesel for your mileage. A hybrid Toyota Corolla could be a good choice - it's a very reliable and comfortable car with low running costs. Alternatively, consider a petrol SUV like the Skoda Karoq or Citroen C5 Aircross - both are extremely comfortable.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's the best family car for bumpy local roads?

"What is the best family car, with a good suspension for under £20,000 and no more than 6 years old?"
We'd recommend a Skoda Karoq. It's a very comfortable family SUV which shrugs off bumpy road surfaces. A £20,000 budget will get you a 2019 example with the 1.5 TSI petrol engine. A Citroen C5 Aircross is a good alternative - particularly if you need space for passengers in the rear.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

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