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Citroen C5 Aircross — long-term review

Here's what it's like living with a Citroen C5 Aircross

Specification:
Citroen C5 Aircross
Engine:
1199cc, 3cyl turbo petrol, FWD, 129bhp, 170lb ft
Claimed MPG:
44.6mpg WLTP, 121g/km CO2
Performance:
0–62mph in 10.5secs, 117mph
Weight:
1615kg
Price:
£28,330/£29,400 as tested

Sorry, I never used the Aircross’s roof rails in the whole six months. So they were ornament rather than utility. Quite jolly though, a subtle streak of red along their undersides to match the lipsticky rings around the base of the car. Anyway, no roof loads mean I guess I didn’t go to the absolute max with the crossover-enabled lifestyle. Sorry.

But I did carry a couple of bikes on a tailgate rack for several hundred miles, and fill the enormous boot, and on different occasions fold and slide the rear seats for combinations of differently sized and numbered people and pieces of baggage. Nothing was too big or too awkward. Top Gear can confirm this is a versatile car.

Well, versatile in its capacity. Not in the way it drives. The C5 Aircross has but a single available demeanour: relaxed. There’s no 4WD setting for off-roading, and certainly no track mode – honestly, some crossovers, inexplicably, do.

Citroen’s ‘advanced comfort’ caper definitely is a thing. It rides brilliantly in town and slower country roads, in exchange for a bit of harmless motorway float. I’ve very much enjoyed this, in an era when even crossovers seem bound to have shouty powertrains and angry suspensions that run directly counter to modern Britain’s bashed-up tarmac and congestion and speedcams. It might be relaxed but it’s not too lazy. The 1.2 engine is mild on paper but doesn’t mind being goaded, and against the odds the soft-sprung chassis manages to hold its dignity when you scurry down a twisty bumpy road.

It has been thoroughly reliable. No squeaks or rattles, not even the infotainment-screen freezes that are another pestilence of our age. Can’t tell you about dealer service because I never had to try it. Consumption, a measured 35.5mpg, has been pretty good for a petrol car this size.

Mind you most of its miles have been long-distance. It might be a family crossover but I wasn’t going to test it by doing the urban school run, thanks awfully. We walk.

Good stuff: It really can play the MPV. Unusual looks haven’t palled

Bad stuff: Gimmicky instrument screen. Soft suspension doesn’t appeal to everyone

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