Bon retour parmi nous
After a 3 year hiatus, Citroen is back in SA. This is great news as the brand has always given a fresh breath in each segment it enters in. The compact SUV market is no different and I am really impressed by how pretty the C5 Aircross is. I can’t call it handsome, because it’s a little too feminine for my liking. But still, wow, what a looker.
The 1.6 Turbo four-cylinder petrol makes a healthy 121kw and 240nm and performance is adequate. It’s important to note, that the C5 is all about value and features, rather than performance. The gearbox is a 6-speed auto, with a sport shift option and steering column-mounted paddles. This gives it a sporty driving feel, especially when looking at the ultra-clear 12.3 inch fully customizable panel in front of you.
The interior is spacious with electrically operated front seats, a wireless charging panel, and a deep center cubby with plenty of stowaway space. The rear seats are slideable, which will increase the rear load bay up to 720l, which is plenty. However, this means the rear legroom will be cramped. The sliding panoramic roof, while perfect for driver and passenger, will rob a little rear passenger headroom real estate.
The ride quality is superb and it handles minor dirt roads without a fuss. It’s only front-wheel drive, so it won’t really go much further than easy dirt roads. Overall, the suspension damping is on the soft side, so expect a little dive under hard braking or cornering. The cabin is quiet and comfortable and very well insulated from outside noise and engine noise does not really protrude into the car either. It’s really a smooth sailing SUV.
On the safety front you have ABS with EBD, Lane departure warning and also cruise control. There is also no shortage of airbags either, both inside and outside the car, see what I did there? Isofix on the front passenger seat and rear seats are also present.
Overall, I really like the design of the C5 Aircross, it brings a fresh flair to the segment with new design ques. There are things I dislike too though, like the infotainment and the center control for the climate settings and basically, anything else you need to adjust or set happens within the infotainment screen. It’s a little slow to respond at times and can become a frustrating experience if you lack patience. I would have also liked it if they have swapped the start button and sport button around on the center console, as it was obviously designed with the European market in mind.
But I can still look past all this and say that it’s an excellent vehicle with a lot of standard kit at a very compelling price. Its like nothing else on the road and that exactly what we want, a sense of individuality.
The Citroen C5 Aircross Shine is priced at R539 000 and is a fantastic alternative to the segment. For more details and up to date pricing, please check out Citroen.co.za