My favourite compact SUV will shortly be joined in UK showrooms by a bigger brother and there seems little doubt the Citroen C5 Aircross will be equally as successful here as its C3 stablemate.
It looks a winner in my book because it mirrors its C3 stablemate by having knock-out styling and being available in a wide range of colour combinations.
There is also the option of the PSA Group’s excellent Grip Control bringing enhanced traction on snow-covered roads, mud, dirt tracks or sand. And drivers will appreciate the vehicle’s enhanced ground clearance if going off-road.
On Tarmac they’re promised super-smooth motoring with Citroen describing this higher-riding C5 as the most comfortable model in its class.
It’s similar in size to the 3008 SUV of sister company Peugeot and has already proved hugely successful in China with more than 40,000 sales there. Now it is being built in France and is driving the brand into a growing market sector in Europe that accounts for a quarter of car sales worldwide.
Orders are being taken from this month at UK dealers including Bristol Street Motors Citroen dealership at 20 Nuthall Road, Nottingham. All will be starting deliveries from February.
Currently there is a choice of efficient and high-performance petrol and diesel engines ranging from 130hp to 180hp with the option of the Citroën brand’s new EAT8 automatic gearbox. At the end of 2019 the C5 Aircross will be the first Citroën offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Extremely comfortable motoring is thanks to the Citroën Advanced Comfort programme embracing
two major innovations: a new suspension system with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions and Advanced Comfort seats which are said to have unrivalled ability to offer peerless ride comfort.
The manufacturer boasts the SUV delivers unique modularity in its sector as it builds on the brand’s know-how in the world of MPVs by having three individual, sliding, folding and reclining rear seats and best-in-class boot volume of 580-litres to 720-litres (depending on second row seat position).
The model is packed with technology including 20 driver-assistance systems and six connectivity technologies. The former include not only Grip Control but also Highway Driver Assist, a level-two autonomous driving system.
Many will welcome that the ultra-connected model can be equipped with Wireless Smartphone Charging and ConnectedCAM Citroën. It has a 12.3-inch Thin Film Transistor digital instrument cluster and an eight-inch touchscreen.
The availability of a broad range of personalisation options is very much in keeping with Citroen’s direction across its range. A possible 30 different exterior colour combinations are available, with seven body colours, a black two-tone roof option and three colour packs which extend to coloured inserts on the front bumper, the Airbump panels on the lower part of the front doors, and on the roof bars. It also comes with five interior ambiances with matching colours and materials, offering clarity and warmth in a trendy and premium ‘casual chic’ style.
The SUV stands out through having robust, muscular and powerful styling. This is a model with 230mm ground clearance and large 720mm-diameter wheels complemented by the Airbump panels and the distinctive roof bars.
The cabin gives an immediate impression of protection and space, with a large horizontal dashboard, the enveloping seats, a road-dominating ride height plus a wide central console and the use of warm materials.
So, yes, this is an impressive new model and it will, clearly, mirror the success of the C3 Aircross with sales topping more than 80,000 units since its launch late last year.
By Robert Maddox