Car review – Citroën C5 Aircross Hybrid

Slightly different indeed

Although it shares its technical base with the Opel Grandland X, Peugeot 3008 and DS 7 Crossback, this Citroën C5 Aircross stands out, even as a plug-in hybrid.

 

Finally plugged in

The plug-in hybrid powertrain from PSA that Citroën finally gets access to for its C5 Aircross consists of a turbocharged 180hp 1.6 petrol unit, an eight-speed automatic gearbox adapted for hybrid use, and an 80kW (109hp) electric motor. System output peaks at 225 hp and in total, 300 Nm are available. 

Thanks to the 13.2kWh battery (of which 11.8kWh can actually be used), you should be able to drive 50 km without emitting a single gram of CO2. On average, this Citroën achieves 32 g/km according to the WLTP cycle, opening the door towards a host of tax breaks.

 

Practicality is its middle name

You may wonder: why choose the Citroën and not the Opel, Peugeot or DS? The more expensive DS 7 appeals to a discerning audience with its chic materials and premium equipment. The Peugeot is just a step down and is aimed at customers who value design, technology and driving pleasure. The Grandland X is more ‘German’ i.e. austere by nature, while being barely more expensive than the Citroën. 

The latter mainly appeals with its original design, but also has the most practical interior of the quadruplets. Rather than a bench in the rear there are three individual length-adjustable seats. They make it possible to expand the boot over the whole width or part of it (min. 460 litres, max. 600 litres). 

 

Comfort-oriented

Citroën claims a class-leading driving comfort for its C5 Aircross, especially thanks to the progressive hydraulic cushions of the suspension. It is true that this Citroën smoothes out bumps better than its competitors, especially those of German manufacture, but to say it feels like you are floating on air, as Citroën claims... One should certainly not expect the ultimate filtering comfort from an SUV featuring air springs.

The Advanced Comfort Seats also contribute to the driving comfort. They are particularly wide and, thanks to the high-density foam in the middle and a 15-millimetre thicker top layer in textured foam, provide soft yet sufficiently firm support. 

Consumption à la carte

Plug-in hybrids are only as economical as the extent to which you can charge them and drive electrically. However, you can also generate some extra electric kilometres on the road by proactively putting the gearbox in B-mode and recovering as many kWh as possible while coasting. 

As for external charging, Citroen supplies a 3.7 kW on-board charger as standard. With this, you have to wait around four hours at a wallbox or public charging point to recharge the battery. As an option (€300) there is the 7.4-kW charger, which halves the charging time and is actually a must.

The C5 Aircross Hybrid takes good care of its passengers and offers a refreshing design combined with loads of practicality. Other than that, it puts forward the same assets as its PSA brothers while costing slightly less, without however being a price-cutter.

    • Checked Icon

      + Original design

    • Checked Icon

      + Practical, modular interior

    • Checked Icon

      + Comfort

    • Checked Icon

      - 7.4 kW on-board charger not standard