The NamasteCar review:

Citroën C5 Aircross Feel

₹25,00,000 – 32,00,000 (Estimated Price)

The C5 Aircross will tempt you unlike any other SUV as our review will explain. It is delightfully French and that’s what makes it special.

OVERALL POINTS: 90/100


WE LOVE: It looks good with many interesting styling details put together while the C5 Aircross is also spacious with excellent comfort on offer. The SUV also has an excellent suspension and ride quality while being packed with features

WE DON’T LOVE: The C5 Aircross does not offer a petrol engine and having only a diesel engine would limit buyers as would the small dealer network


1. Introduction

Citroen is a celebrated French car maker and has been making cars for many years been present globally in many markets. It is a premium mass market brand like Kia but it is also known for making cars which are unique and interesting. In India, Citroen has been trying to start operations for a long time but the Covid-19 pandemic stalled things down. However the carmaker is now finally launching their first SUV, the C5 Aircross in March. As a brand Citroen is trying to make itself stand apart from others thanks to a different outlook and of course design along with emphasis on comfort. Their first product is a brand builder of sorts while it will be retailed via special showrooms called as La Maison Citroen. The C5 Aicross is just the start however as many other launches are expected to come in the coming years with more production being planned at their facility in Tamil Nadu.

2. Looks from outside

The C5 Aicross is a premium luxury SUV that counts the Jeep Compass and the Hyundai Tucson as its rivals but the C5 is clearly bigger than them and scores on presence at the first glance. Wherever we went, the C5 attracted many glances and question which indicates the unique design which is what gets all the attention. At first glance a car or an SUV needs to do tell about the brand and also stand out- which the C5 does very well. It looks cool and interesting no doubt. It is around 4.50m in length and 1,969mm in width while it has a very good 230mm ground clearance while standing on 18-inch wheels. Top-end trims get full LED headlamps and it is interesting the way the headlamp signature is divided into two with the grille. The upper lights are the DRLs and the indicators while it’s nice the way the lines of the grille meet with the logo too. The lower part has the headlights while the lower grille is black.

Below the grille alongside the cladding you can see the round red coloured inserts which is red with some colours and grey with the other colours. The same red coloured inserts are also carried all the way to the side as well while you get thick cladding all over. The 18-inch alloy wheels look sharp and fit the C5 very well while design theme is more crossover with the way the roof flows in and the tail-lamp design. There are also functional roof rails and a chrome line at the rear. Overall the C5 Aicross looks fun and attractive no doubt while you get 7 exterior colour combinations including 4 with optional black roof.

3. Driving feel

The C5 Aircross immediately impressed when we pushed the start stop button as the engine is pretty refined at idle. You do notice that it is a diesel with the sound coming in but the noise is fairly well contained overall. The driving position is well adjusted thanks to the powered driver’s seat while the steering is adjustable while offering a nice meaty grip. The buttons are also useable with large fingers.

Start driving and the C5 Aircross has a good visibility up-front while the steering is light which makes it easy to use and slot in traffic. At low speeds the gearbox is smooth and fairly responsive to the accelerator while the engine is also pretty quick. For every day driving you will like the C5 Aircross but what happens when you take it onto a highway?

We did that also and here the C5 Aircross cruises very well but the engine does get a bit louder when driven at high triple digit speeds. The gearbox does give you manual control in form of paddle shifters which are nice plus it has drive modes and Sport is where the throttle is at its best in terms of response but the engine is also a bit noisy here.

Suspension

The magic carpet ride is what you will buy the C5 Aircross for and that is perhaps its biggest plus point. The C5 Aicross gets a specially designed suspension which comes with progressive hydraulic cushions which means that when big bumps are there, the cushions keep the suspension controlled. As a result when you go over a pothole you will feel the softness and the nice way it absorbs it. Also speed breakers or typical bad roads are dealt very well. The suspension and ride is easily best in class while the superb 230mm ground clearance is also very helpful here. While the C5 Aircross is not an off-roader it has traction modes for various surfaces which help the SUV do some small amount of off-roading. At high speeds the C5 is nice and steady with a steering which gives confidence.

Engine

The Citroen C5 gets only one engine option and it is a 2.0 diesel four cylinder engine which makes 177hp and delivers 400Nm of torque. Standard is an 8-speed automatic transmission. There is no 4×4 but it does get various modes for tacking traction on various surfaces like snow, mud or sand etc. There is also no petrol offered on the C5 Aircross and the reason is that this segment still prefers having a diesel engine. The C5 Aircross also gets drive modes like Eco, Sport etc.

4. Interior features and feel

The C5 is also different looking on the inside when compared to other SUVs. The interior colour scheme for example is different with a different grey grained leather and graphite cloth being used while you also find gloss black and chrome used. The dashboard is also soft-touch while the door-pads are well trimmed and the whole interior is dripping quality. The feel is different but the luxury is there all right.

While the quality is indeed class best the design is different with multiple ac vents put together on one side and other while the centre touch screen is an 8 inch one with touch controls below. The gearlever is like an Audi with a yacht look along with a round controller for the traction modes. The steering wheel is big with easy to use controls on the either side while behind that is a digital instrument cluster which is a 12.3 inch TFT screen which has three display styles which you can choose. The touch screen in the middle has excellent quality and display clarity while the menus are nicely placed.

A big talking point is the space and comfort as the C5 Aircross is all about that. More importance has been placed on the inside on these factors which has made the C5 Aircross one of the most comfortable SUVs in its class. The front seats are big and wide with excellent support and comfort. Move to the rear and you have the same soft seats while legroom is decent but not class best however the headroom is very good though. The main USP of the rear seats is that each seat can be slid forward and adjusted which is nice. The storage cubby in the middle has good space and the glove box is big too along with the door pockets. In terms of luggage space the C5 Aircross beats rivals with a space of 580 litre with the rear seats in place and 1630 litre with the seats folded away.

Features

Citroen only offers two fully loaded variants with  features including full LED lighting, powered driver’s seat, digital instrument cluster, touch screen with navigation, smart phone connectivity, reverse camera, front and rear parking sensors, park assist, dual-zone AC, rear ac vents, screen mirroring, blind-spit monitoring system, coffee break alert, hill-start assist, electronic parking brake, panoramic glass sunroof, 6 airbags, ESP, cruise control, powered and heated folding mirrors, drive modes along with traction setting modes, hands-free tail-gate opening and more. Do note that the sunroof along with the fully LED headlamp set-up plus the hands free boot opening is only on the top-end Shine variant while the rest is standard on the base Feel variant. The sunroof does add to the sense of space and it makes sense getting this top-end variant for this feature alone while blind spot assist is very useful on our roads. We also found the audio system to be impressive in its sound quality while the hands-free tail-gate also worked plus is convenient when carrying shopping bags etc.

5. Ownership

The C5 Aircross has a frugal diesel engine which delivers an official fuel economy of 18.6kmpl and it also comes with an Eco mode along with a stop/start feature which saves more diesel. This system works well and in the city you will get 14-15 kmpl average easily while in the highway you will get a figure which is closer to the official one. Citroen is a new brand hence its overall maintenance is something which we have to see in the long run but for now it would be sold via special dealerships in 10 cities which are luxury showrooms showcasing about the Citroen brand also. It has a standard 3 year warranty while extended warranty programs are also there. Globally Citroen is a well known brand and makes reliable cars hence we expect the same in India.

6. Our opinion

It is a premium SUV that does a lot of things very well and the design is enough for Citroen to sell some in India

The Citroen C5 Aircross would be brought to India via CKD kits and assembled together at its facility in Tamil Nadu hence at first the localization of this SUV is low which means the pricing would be a bit on the premium side when compared to the Hyundai Tucson and the Jeep Compass. We expect it to start just below the Rs. 30 lakh mark which for the C5 Aircross as a complete product is pretty good. The C5 Aircross then is perfect for those who want a comfortable SUV for the family and long road trips while also good enough to be used every day. It is a premium SUV that does a lot of things very well and the design is enough for Citroen to sell some in India. As a first product Citroen could not have chosen a better way to start its India operations and the C5 Aircross reminds how different and appealing SUVs can be. Overall if you are looking out for a premium SUV in this segment sure wait till March to check this out as it will be worth your wait for sure.

Specifications –

  • Engine: DW10FC
  • Type: Diesel
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Displacement: 1997cc
  • Power: 177 PS (130 kW) @ 3750 rpm
  • Torque: 400 Nm @ 2000 rpm
  • Fuel economy: 18.6 kmpl
  • Transmission: 8-Speed automatic
  • Fuel Tank Capacity, L: 52.5
  • Overall Length, mm: 4500
  • Overall Height (Unladen), mm: 1710
  • Min. Turning Circle Radius (m): 5.35
  • Front suspension: Macpherson Strut Suspension With Double Progressive Hydraulic Cushions -Compression And Rebound
  • Rear suspension: Twist Beam Axle With Single Progressive Hydraulic Cushions – Compression
  • Tyres: 235 / 55 R18
  • Steering: Tilt & Telescopic
  • Wheels: ‘’SWIRL’’ Two Tone Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels
Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee

Been in love with cars for as long as I can remember and love writing about them along with driving them of course. Nothing makes me happier than a fast car and an empty road! Favourite Car: Ferrari 458 Speciale Quote: Life's too short to drive boring cars