Pricing And Specifications Confirmed For New Citroen C5 Aircross

2019 Citroën C5 Aircross Puretech 130 on the road

128bhp from a petrol engine doesn’t sound much for an SUV, but, like in the 5008, proves more than sufficient. Indeed, the C5's lower weight makes it feel even punchier, pulling well from below 2000rpm and revving freely to the red line. Not that you'll have cause to thrash it all the time; well-chosen gear ratios mean you won't have to swap cogs too regularly.

The C5 reaches motorway speeds surprisingly quickly, too, and will sit happily at 70mph without sounding too strained. You do have to work it a little harder to get any sudden bursts of acceleration (overtaking a tractor takes a bit of rev limiter teasing), but it’s nothing you’ll struggle with day to day. 

Thankfully, changing gears isn't too much of a chore; the gearbox and clutch only require a light touch, albeit with a longer throw to the gearlever than we would like. The engine sounds a little strained at higher revs, but it's generally not too loud or intrusive under normal use. Road noise is also hushed, and although there is wind noise at higher speeds, it's soft and in the background.

While the 178bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine offers a bit more poke, it’s only available with an automatic gearbox and only in the top two trim levels, which forces its starting price beyond the smaller engine by over £5000. Similarly, while the diesels are temptingly economical, both the 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre push the price up considerably and you'll need to cover a lot of miles to recoup that initial expenditure.

Citroën is proud of the C5's Advanced Comfort package, whose Progressive Hydraulic Cushions on each shock absorber are claimed to create a pillow-soft ride by keeping the suspension controlled at the end of its travel. In practice, though the C5 glides along well and absorbs most bumps and dips easily, it can still  get tripped up by potholes and other spikier obstacles.

In fact, we found it slightly too soft on more undulating roads, which results in an overly wallowy ride. Head toss is significant over turbulent roads, and while Citroën likens this to a ‘flying carpet ride’, it often results in a more boat-in-choppy-waters feel. On motorways, which tend to be on the level, the ride is supreme, though. 

Light steering that fails to gain weight as you encounter faster roads also adds to the somewhat disjointed feel. Body lean is also considerable when the C5 changes direction, although it finds reasonable grip, even in particularly tight corners. Keen drivers will prefer the 3008, but ultimately the >Mazda CX-5 is still the most enjoyable SUV for less than £30,000.

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