M OTO R I N G | N E W S BY N I C K F L E TC H E R
R O A D T E S T: C I T R O E N C 5 A I R C R O S S Citroenâ€™s C5 Aircross has powerful presence with its tall stance, imposing frontal design and big alloy wheels making it unmistakable in the crowded SUV sector where visual image is very important. A spacious five-seater with massive boot capacity and flat-fold seats also give it a high score for day to day practicality and with petrol and diesel engines in the line-up, manual and auto gearboxes and three trim levels, the C5 Aircross ticks all the boxes for those seeking versatile family transport.
This version, with 1.2 litre 129 hp turbopetrol engine and 6-speed manual gearbox, costs ÂŁ27,725 and delivers good performance from a relatively small engine unit. Top speed is 117 mph, the 0-60 mph time is 10.5 seconds and emissions are 119 g/km. Average fuel economy is 41.5 mpg. The C5 Aircross is smooth and easy to drive, with light-touch controls, excellent steering feedback and a slick manual gearshift. Ride comfort is outstanding thanks to special progressive action hydraulic suspension and well-designed seats which give plenty of support. There is excellent
Prices start at ÂŁ23,225 for the well-kitted Feel version though many will opt for the mid range Flair models which add extra features included enhanced connectivity, sat-nav and rear-view camera. My test model was a Flair+ which added other kit including opening panoramic glass sunroof and wireless smart-phone charging.
all-round visibility and the dashboard layout with large central screen is very user-friendly. There are three independent rear seats which slide and fold and the boot space can vary from 580 litres to an impressive 1,630 litres offering maximum versatility for passenger and load combinations. Safety features include hill-start assist, reversing sensors, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, auto-dipping headlights, lane-departure warning and a driver-attention alert. The C5 Aircross competes in a hard-fought SUV sector but it has all the credentials to be a winner. It has stand-out styling, excellent driving dynamics and arguably class-leading ride comfort. The Citroen brand has been revitalised in recent years, now has a strong reputation for innovative and creative cars exuding plenty of French cachet.
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