The Citroen C5 Aircross SUV has been unveiled, and is touted to be one of the most comfortable crossovers ever created, redefining what we know about ride comfort.
Citroen says the C5 Aircross has been developed under its “Advanced Comfort programme”, creating a vehicle that harks back to the old days of a pillowy soft ride.
The company claims it will be the most comfortable SUV ever, which an interesting claim given the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is vying for that title.
While the C5 Aircross debuted in China last year, the rest of the world now gets access to Citroen’s biggest SUV, and one that also gets a hybrid option, making it Citroen’s most powerful car as well.
To achieve the claimed ride comfort, the C5’s suspension has been fitted with progressive hydraulic cushions, which slow down both the compression and rebound action of the suspension using a small reservoir of special oil that absorbs the energy.
Doing this allows a softer spring setting, so there’s a far calmer ride, but it stops the floaty action which normally comes with softer springs.
So, the body control is there, but without the firmness that most European cars suffer from.
The C5 Aircross is undoubtedly one of Citroen’s best looking cars, not just because of its front-end styling, but also its overall proportions.
At 4500mm long, 1840mm wide and 1670mm tall, the C5 Aircross isn’t a huge SUV, but its ground clearance of 230mm is far taller than most crossovers on the market.
It makes the “Air-Bumps” on the sides not seem so prominent, though to be fair, they’re lower down and smaller than on the C4 Cactus, for example.
Inside, the C5 Aircross is suitably luxe, with plenty of leather, chrome and high-tech connectivity.
There are 20 driver assistance systems at play, with a level-two autonomous driving function called Highway Driver Assist (similar to Mercedes-Benz’s system) and an off-road mode of sorts called – wait for it – Grip Control with Hill Assist Descent.
There’s seating for five, with the rear seats set up as three individual pews, being able to slide, fold or recline separately.
Thanks to the sliding seat system, the cargo space can go from 580 litres to a massive 720 litres.
The horizontal dash echoes the C3’s design but has moved it into the luxury field, with a 3D woven mesh and Nappa leather combination.
Like most high-end machines, there’s a 12.3-inch digital screen which is customisable, while the centrally mounted 8.0-inch touchscreen looks after inforainment, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The front seats also feature an optional massage function.
Engine and transmission
The Citroën C5 Aircross hits European markets later this year, and comes in various engine grades, but all of them comply with stringent Euro 6.2 emissions requirements.
Two petrol engines – a PureTech 130 S&S and PureTech 180 S&S – will be available alongside three diesels, the BlueHDi 130, BlueHDi 130 S&S and BlueHDi 180 S&S.
Depending on the market, there’s either a six speed manual or an eight-speed automatic, which Citroen says is seven per cent more efficient than the previous six speed auto.
There’s also a plug-in hybrid on its way, with the C5 Aircross getting a 300hp petrol-electric powertrain. It’s said to have an electric only range of around 64km (40 miles).
Interestingly, the C5 Aircross PHEV will be the only model in the range that will feature all wheel drive.
You’ll notice that Citroen’s push has been for SUVs lately. There was the C3 Aircross, the C4 Aircross and now the C5 Aircross.
The company says it has been “listening closely to the expectations of customers who do not want to forfeit practicality for image anymore”, hence the move into the SUV segment.
Don’t expect Citroen to move out of it any time soon.