Our Cars: Citroen C5 Aircross 1.5 BlueHDI Flair Plus EAT8

7 August 2019: Citroen C5 Aircross First 1,100 Miles

The Details

Current mileage 1,468
Claimed economy 70.6mpg
Actual economy 45.83mpg

My 3008 1.5 Blue HDI EAT8 went back to Peugeot on 1st July and it’s cousin, a Citroen C5 Aircross Blue HDI EAT8 replaced it on 19th July.

They have a lot in common: The same engine and outstanding Aisin EAT8 torque converter automatic transmission. The same enhanced TomTom Nav with repeat instructions in the driver TFT display. Instead of piano keys under the main satnav screen, the C5 has touch buttons to instantly switch between functions such as satnav, a/c and radio. The ‘finger fumble’ cruise control hidden behind the steering wheel is the same. The clamshell deep centre cubby is the same. The gearlever is the same. The useful storage space under the load deck and above the spare wheel is the same (though, frustratingly, the load floor does not have clips to hold it up when raised). Even the excellent 205/55 R19 Michelin Primacy 3 tyres are the same.

Citroen C5 Aircross 2019 19-inch Wheel 3

Now for the differences: Instead of a split rear bench, the C5 Aircross has three separate full-size backrest-folding and sliding rear seats with ISOFIX tethers to the outer two and also to the front passenger seat. Rather than Peugeot’s brilliant i-cockpit, in the Citroen you read the dash conventionally through a bigger steering wheel not over a smaller one.

Citroen C5 Aircross 2019 Rear Seat 1

The Peugeot 3008 rode and handled very well, but in adopting Citroen’s ‘Advanced Comfort Suspension’ the C5 has lost its direct steering and sharpness at the front. I never got the 3008 to understeer, but that’s not the case with the C5 Aircross. Yes, the trade-off is a softer, more pillowy ride in the Aircross. But the ‘progressive hydraulic cushions’ in the dampers don’t dampen it as effectively as the conventional dampers damp the 3008’s slightly stiffer suspension. It’s not horrible, just more ‘Citroeney’. It isn’t as sporty as the 3008, and it isn’t supposed to be.

Citroen C5 Aircross 2019 Cockpit

Here’s a link to Andrew’s Road Test of the C5 Aircross 1.6 Puretech 180.

The C5 Aircross also has Citroen’s ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats composed of a 60mm deep squab cushion of high-density foam, topped with a 15mm layer of supple foam laid in squared patches. Despite a stiff and fumbly lumbar adjustor, this worked brilliantly over four 300-mile runs. I stepped out without a twinge.

Citroen C5 Aircross 2019 Side 1

Over the first 300 miles,, I seemed to be getting very similar mpg to the 3008 on the dash readout. We’ll see if there’s any change checking it brim to brim and using V-Power. (Shell’s Go+ app has got me £10.50 of fuel discounts so far. But annoyingly the phone signal is so bad at all 3 Shell stations I use that I have to take a screen shot on G4 or wifi and use that to get the money off.)

Shell Go + Card On Smartphone (1)

Pairing my old iPhone SE involved the usual bonkers chaos of “no phone found” (even though the phone found the car straight away), until it finally decided to co-operate.

Citroen C5 Aircross 2019 Driver Display 3 Satnav

The satnav works well but, as with the 3008, I have yet to find a way of inputting a postcode. With the driver’s TFT screen set to navigation, the digital speedo disappears off to the right, so to keep it central I go for the ‘dials’ option and then get turn by turn instructions to the left of the display. It’s almost as if Citroen designers have looked at everything in the 3008 and tried to make it better. In normal display mode you still get turn by turn instructions in the driver display.

Citroen C5 Aircross 2019 Driver Display Turn By Turn

It failed once, though, by not realising that the A421 southbound was closed. Somehow the traffic information had not got through to TomTom Live. 

Unlike the 3008, the active cruise control slows the C5 to the speed of the car in front, but it’s very slow to pick up again once I pull out to overtake. I don’t know why. ‘Pro Pilot’ in a Nissan Qashqai drops gears and gets back to the pre-set cruise very quickly.

Citroen C5 Aircross 2019 Self -steering 2 70

The car also has default ‘lane keep assist’ that’s fairly annoying so best switched off. And also a self-steering system. However, that doesn’t necessarily save you if you nod off because it randomly decouples.

Citroen C5 Aircross 2019 Side Tesco Extra

Cross-country in the C5 Aircross, it’s better to select Sport mode. But on the motorway or back in the suburbs the car is much more relaxed left as it is in Normal, with no buttons pressed. You want the magic carpet ride then. You don’t want to be jiggled by every pothole and speed cushion.

Citroen C5 Aircross 2019 Driver Display 4 Driving Mode

Over my first 1,093 miles, the C5 Aircross 1.5HDI 130 EAT8 has not been quite as economical as my 3008, turning in a brim to brim average 45.83mpg against 50.25.

Citroen C5 Aircross 2019 R34 Parked






    Later: Another 2,000 Miles in HJ's Citroen C5 Aircross »

1,500 more very pleasant miles in the semi-autonomous Citroen C5 Aircross has HJ questioning the way other drivers drive.
HJ does nearly 3,000 miles in a month in his Citroen C5 Aircross 1.5 Blue HDI EAT8 and really begins to appreciate its ‘advanced comfort suspension’ and seats.
HJ puts another 2,000 miles under the 19-inch wheels of his Citroen C5 Aircross 1.5 Blue HDI EAT8 and finds it’s much wider inside than his previous Peugeot 3008.
7 August 2019: Citroen C5 Aircross First 1,100 Miles
HJ's Peugeot 3008 has been replaced by a Citroen C5 Aircross with the same 130PS 1.5HDI engine and EAT8 automatic transmission. Here's how they got on together for the first 1,100 miles.

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