New Citroen C5 Aircross Review

[This article was first published on by Mat Watson.]

It’s always the little details that matter. From ample storage spaces to a slick manual gear box, find out why the new Citroen C5 is an all-around sweet ride.

Citroën | Mar 28, 2019

The Citroen C5 Aircross packs plenty of space and lots of tech into a stylish and comfortable package, but infotainment systems in alternatives are easier to use.


The Citroen C5 Aircross is a breath of fresh air among similarly priced alternatives that are trying (sometimes a bit too hard) to be sporty. Instead, the C5 Aircross is all about comfort, making it a great choice if you’re searching for an SUV with a relaxing drive.

Not only that, but thanks to some neat design features, such as the intricate 3D brake lights and contrasting colour accents dotted around the body, the Citroen C5 Aircross looks considerably more interesting than the likes of Hyundai Tucson and VW Tiguan.

Inside, based on looks alone, the C5 Aircross also trumps those cars – you get a neat, minimalist layout that you can personalise by choosing from a range of design and colour schemes for the interior. No matter what colour you pick, all models get excellent seats that are super comfy.

The comfort theme continues in the rear as well. There you’ll find three individual seats – something most similarly priced don’t have. This lets you move the seats forwards or backwards or recline them independently from one another so that passengers of all sizes can fit comfortably.

Even with the rear seats pushed all the way to the back, you have more boot space than in a Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage. Move the rear seats all the way to the front and the resulting capacity rivals that of the larger Skoda Kodiaq – the Citroen C5 Aircross is a very practical SUV.

It’s not without fault, though. Start poking around the C5 Aircross’ interior and you’ll soon find a lot more scratchy plastics and loose fittings that you would in a VW Tiguan, for example. What’s more, the standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system has some rather gloomy menus and some of the features, such as searching for a radio station aren’t as intuitive as in alternative systems. Overall, the system in the Skoda Kodiaq is easier to use.

"The Citroen C5 Aircross is perfect for putting your small child to sleep – it's that comfy and quiet." – Mat Watson, Carwow Expert

It’s easy to forget some of the interior drawbacks thanks to just how relaxing the Citroen C5 Aircross is to drive. A lot of alternatives rely on selective driving modes to give the illusion you’re driving a sports car, but the C5 Aircross does away with that and instead, is one of the most comfortable family SUVs on sale. It has a special suspension set-up with know-how from Citroen’s WRC team which means a lot of the usual bumps and potholes you encounter while driving are smoothed out under the wheels of the C5 Aircross – as a result you feel much less tired at the end of a long drive.

While the C5 Aircross is comfortable on the motorway, it does a pretty good job manoeuvring around town, too. Thanks to an optional 360-degree camera, you can park with confidence, plus the steering in the C5 Aircross is nice and light making manoeuvres very easy.

A drawback of the relaxed suspension is that the C5 Aircross leans quite a bit in corners making it feel less agile than the slightly smaller SEAT Ateca, but that’s a small price to pay for the extra comfort you get over the Seat.

In terms of engine choice, the C5 Aircross gives the Seat a good run for its money as well. It’s best to stick to the 130hp diesel, equipped with the optional eight-speed auto – you won’t be winning any traffic light races but you’ll be rewarded with excellent fuel economy and the strong pull from low revs of the diesel fits the character of the C5 Aircross better than the rev-happy 130hp petrol. There are 180hp versions of both the petrol and diesel, but only go for them if you plan to carry passengers or luggage regularly, otherwise they feel overkill and push the price up.

Entry-level cars come with essential safety kit such as automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning as standard. An option worth considering for extra peace of mind is Grip Control – this gives you extra off-road driving modes which use the stability control system to help you out of a muddy campsite or a snowy drive.

All in all, there are alternative SUVs that are sportier to drive and have better infotainment systems, but none of them are quite as relaxed on the move as the Citroen C5 Aircross and arguably as good looking, making it a pretty unique proposition – if you’re looking for comfy family transport, it should definitely be on your shortlist.

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