BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
View the latest news
Long-term review

Citroen C5 Aircross - long-term review

£28,330/£29,400 as tested
Published: 27 Oct 2019


  • SPEC

    Citroen C5 Aircross



  • BHP


  • MPG


  • 0-62


Are crossovers better when they're not sporty?

The top spec of a range isn't always the best. In fact with the C5 Aircross, I've got a lot of affection for the bottom one, and that's what I'm driving for the coming months. It's got the sweet little three-cylinder turbo engine and – hurrah – a manual gearbox. The Aircross doesn't have the sort of chassis that demands power. And I don't expect to use it in a way that demands torque. It's not like I'll be towing a caravan up an Alp.

So the base-model mechanical spec is in place. But then it's been tripped up by the trim. It's the uppermost Flair Plus.

Advertisement - Page continues below

That brings with it one of my pet peeves: a motorised tailgate. Always prefer a DIY door folks. Also the Flair Plus has a panorama glass roof. I've never liked them, because they add weight, and they reflect noise back into the cabin where a proper headlining would absorb it. Plus a lorry-driver friend said truckers all look down through the glass and watch car drivers scratching their goolies. Not that I do, you understand.

The Flair Plus also has 19-inch rims, which I feared might imperil the ride, but don't seem to, so I'll let them pass. My phone's too old to use the wireless charging plate, but those of you who are upgraders will be glad of it.

So the only real benefit, for me personally, of the £2,400 upgrade from Flair to Flair Plus are some minor cosmetics, and the adaptive cruise control which is useful for average-speed-cam motorway sections.

To its OTR price this actual example adds £720 in pearly white paint and £250 for the black roof and £100 for the black paint on the wheels. It's a good visual combination, but £1070's worth? Blue with grey wheels is fine and costs half that.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Anyway, I'm getting on well with it so far. The whole rig encourages a zen style of driving. The ride and seats really are a step ahead in comfort, it's pretty quiet, and the view out helps you anticipate.

The huge boot's already been tested by a recycling run with some scrap iron. My kid loves the individual back seats and, her Dad's reservations notwithstanding, the glass roof too.

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine