Is it time to consider a French car?

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French cars are more than just about good looks these days, they can be practical and well-equipped family cars too, as the Citroen C5 Aircross demonstrates

For better or for worse, cars have a reputation based on their country of origin. German cars are well-engineered but expensive, for example. Japanese cars are safe and reliable, while the Koreans are affordable and good value. French cars meanwhile are stylish and sometimes offbeat and quirky.

Indeed, the French do have an impressive catalogue of automotive beauties through the years. The original Citroen DS from the 1950s, for example, is often cited as one of the most beautiful cars ever made. Fellow French brand Peugeot meanwhile has had a long association with the Italian design house Pininfarina, and their designs have ranged from the stylish 504 from the 1970s, all the way to the stunning 406 Coupe of the 1990s.

Citroen C5 Aircross review


Perceptions are shifting however, and traditional stereotypes are starting to slide away as carmakers adapt to the demands of car buyers today. It’s not good enough to simply rely on a single outstanding trait, and customers these days require that their automotive purchase be relevant to them in a meaningful way.


Most Singaporeans use their cars as a family runabout, and as such look for qualities that can help fulfil that brief. Practicality is naturally a priority, and an ideal car should have plenty of usable space to accommodate the family and whatever associated items that they may have to bring along.

Citroen C5 Aircross review

In the urban context, something that’s easy and comfortable to drive would definitely be advantageous. And car buyers these days tend to seek out great value, and a car that can offer the latest in convenience and safety features would put it very much in good stead in the minds of buyers here.

As mentioned, carmakers now aim to tick as many boxes as they can to satisfy the ever-demanding customer of today, and the Citroen C5 Aircross featured here is an example of why the French should be seriously considered when you’re shopping for your next car.

French cars are comfortable

One of the C5 Aircross’ trump card is its Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® suspension, which is said to give the car a ‘magic carpet ride’. As the name suggests, hydraulic bump stops act as ‘cushions’ to moderate the suspension’s movements more evenly as the car goes over bumps, resulting in a smoother, more comfortable ride.

But aside from fancy suspension, the C5 Aircross also comes with specially-designed Advanced Comfort seats, which feature high density 15mm thick foam that makes the seats softer and more durable. The individual cushion seats offer plenty of support, making every trip a truly soothing and comforting experience.

French cars are practical

As a crossover SUV, the C5 Aircross offers plenty of space for all that matters. A 580-litre capacity boot lets you carry plenty of shopping, and the rear seats can be reclined, moved forward or folded down to free up even more room should you need it.

And despite its relatively compact footprint, the C5 Aircross is surprisingly spacious for occupants, with generous legroom all round thanks to its long wheelbase. There are also numerous storage compartments placed around the cabin, allowing you to store your various knick-knacks and loose items easily.

French cars are well-equipped

As with any modern car these days, the C5 Aircross comes packed with convenience features that are now regarded as essentials for today’s well-connected driver. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment panel incorporates Apple Carplay/Android Auto/MirrorLink compatibility, letting you sync up your smartphone and access all the apps that you are familiar with. There’s also a wireless charger to ensure that your phone never runs out of juice.

And of course, being a family car, safety is paramount. To that end, the C5 Aircross is equipped with some of the latest driver assistance systems to help avoid or at least minimise the chances of accidents. These include the Active Blind Spot Monitoring system, which detects and warns you of any traffic in your blind spot, as well as the Active Lane Keep Assist, which helps keep you in your lane if it detects you straying from it.

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