Never under-estimate the power of Diesel Car & Eco Car magazine. For several months we’ve been printing positive reports of what it’s like to live with our C5 Aircross, and we can now confirm that in less than a year, Citroën has notched up over 100,000 sales of the car globally. Even better for the French firm, almost half of those sales are for the range-topping version.
Maybe Citroën’s showroom bonanza isn’t solely down to our influence, but we’re not the only ones to have received it so warmly. Owners and reviewers alike have been enjoying the Aircross’s blend of comfort, refinement, space and good looks – all of which colleague Simon Thompson has picked up on, too.
As you’ll have read in the last issue, Simon damaged his left ankle in the ice, and to help it heal, he swapped his manual-gearbox Kia for my automatic Citroën for a few weeks. Knowing how the world hangs on our every word when we pronounce our verdicts on new cars, we motoring writers try to compare notes when possible, to get some sort of consensus on things. So, it was gratifying to hear that Simon likes the C5 Aircross as much as I do.
Having covered 2,000 miles in a month, Simon’s list of pros and cons coincided pretty much with mine. In his positive column is the silky smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, the relaxing drive, the comfortable ride, and the torquey engine. He also spotted just how easy it is to break the speed limit, partly because of the raised seating position relative to his Kia (being further from the road reduces the sensation of speed), and partly because of the excellent refinement.
Something that Simon picked up on which hadn’t particularly leapt to my attention is the Citroën’s excellent turning circle, while he also didn’t take long to spot the fact that although the suspension is a little on the wallowy side, there’s plenty of grip, so the Aircross is pretty adept at cornering.
With so many things listed in Simon’s pros column, it was inevitable that there would be a few cons too. And sure enough they tallied with mine: the unpredictable automatic wipers, the infotainment system that has too many menus, so lots of functions are hidden, and the fact that it takes an age for the cabin to warm up when the ambient temperature drops. Another dislike of Simon’s is the fact that the tailgate doesn’t rise up high enough, whereas I find it’s fine. But then I am eight inches shorter than he is (I’m 5′ 7″, he’s 6′ 3″), which shows that personal circumstances make a big difference to what matters when buying a car.
Date arrived 10th July 2019
Fuel economy 48.0-56.3mpg (WLTP combined) 43.7mpg (on test)
The built-in dash cam is a great idea, but you can only record two minutes at a time. So, if you want to use it, you have to switch it on while driving, which is distracting.
Citroën hasn’t skimped very much with the standard kit on the range-topping Flair Plus, so heated seats seems a strange omission, and a disappointing one in the winter.