Citroen C5 Aircross: the comodone SUV | review and road test

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Citroen Advanced Comfort is the program that sums up the new technology direction of Citroen. The idea is to resume the flying carpet effect of the DS (carried forward with the Citroen production of the upper segments until recently) but shifting everything into affordable costs for today’s C segment. To do this Citroen has added the progressive hydraulic dampers to the ends of the shock absorbers, one to handle compression and the other for the extension.

What is the problem of traditional suspensions? Summing up to the minimum terms, this is a race problem: once the maximum excursion is over, the mechanical limit switch takes care of absorbing part of the energy: inevitably the non-dissipated one will be transmitted to the passenger compartment through the chassis.

With the hydraulics, the movement is progressively slowed down with respect to the spring plus shock absorber setup, and mind you that this is not a new innovation because only the concept of approaching a C segment to the comfort of higher segments or premium brands is already considerable. , although then there are other aspects that make the difference.

The comfort of Citroen, however, also passes from the seats: 15 mm thick for the foam that is part of the padding and serves to better wrap the occupants: sock like a glove but also supports back and bottom. The headrests are also adjusted in depth and there is the optional electric seat with memory for the driver. The massage works on 8 areas of the back, is available for the front seats and has 5 programs, acting on the back, shoulders and lumbar area. Too bad that the actuators are very weak: here we see the difference with the premium brands, the Germans are massaging much better and, for the first time, I find myself advised against spending money on this option due to its lack of efficiency.

Third point, perhaps the most underrated because “invisible”, concerns the frame, the phase of vibration transfer to the car. Here Citroen has solved through an assembling by gluing.

Since we talk about comfort, I want to take a moment from a traditional test to try to evaluate the other aspects that fall within the sphere “comfort on board”:

  • rooms: many, comfortable, spectacular the central cockpit that develops in-depth
  • versatility: three individual rear seats, all sliding 150 mm with 5 tilt positions: modular interior to the nth degree … or almost. The boot runs from 580 to 720 liters only by sliding the seats, reaching 1,630 liters folding the seats.
  • mental comfort: it means having practical and legible commands, and here we are. The iCockpit missing looks up but that is a feature of Peugeot within the group. However, there is a 12.3-inch display next to the infotainment with touch capcitivo. Mental comfort also translates with confidence: in this case, the ADAS intervene with the possibility of reaching the top of Level 2 thanks to the combination of adaptive cruise and centering of the car in the lane from 30 to hour up. Blind spot monitoring is active and acts on the steering.
  • acoustic comfort: with the laminated windshield you travel in silence, to evaluate the performance in the absence of this option/equipment of the richer outfits.

How to Drive Citroen C5 Aircross

Let’s go back to the test: the two engines tested are the most powerful cuts, with 180 hp that are clearly abundant for a couple and perfectly sized for a family with luggage.

If you want more you have to wait at the beginning of 2020 with the plug-in hybrid electric 50 km that in Italy will come only in the front wheel drive version forcing us to settle, as on the thermal, the grip control , an electronic solution that is actually intelligent because it compensates for the typical traction needs of those who do not go off-road.

For obstacles, however, there are 230 mm from the ground, enough light to tackle even the worst holes and, why not, a light twist. The hill descent control regulates the car downhill, even on surfaces with poor grip, at a speed of 3 km / h without touching the brake and losing control. The test in Morocco has shown clearly how the Grip Control is more than sufficient to the needs and the unexpected climatic conditions that an Italian buyer – on average – will face during the life of the car.

The 180 hp diesel delivers 400 Nm of maximum torque, an excellent result that will allow you to easily deal with uphill sections even with the entire family on board. The unit that surprised me most, however, is the 180 bhp petrol because despite “only” 250 Nm of maximum torque, it has been well optimized in the distribution of the torque curve, has climbed the hairpin bends well above the 1,000 meters altitude (two people more luggage) and has never struggled to “breathe”, avoiding any trouble thanks to the perfect harmony with the torque converter EAT8 that, having to manage less torque and work with different regimes from diesel, has shown here excellent performance.

The automatic in general works very well when it comes to driving in comfort, with imperceptible changes for both diesel and petrol. The problems come in sport mode, a sport in name but not in fact because the setup has however the tendency to do more than his head to support the rider’s foot. Unlike others, it is slow to perceive the change of pace and adapt to the new driving style that we have imposed.


C5 Aircross technology: dashcam included

A pleasant surprise, Citroen Connected CAM is back on this C5 Aircross: it resumes in Full HD, has 16 gigabytes of memory, GPS and WiFi module to send images to the smartphone and share them. It also works as a dashcam by automatically saving the recording in the moments before and after the incident.

There are other hidden technologies such as cornering lights (under the 40 hour lights turn the fog light up at 75 degrees angle), 360-degree camera, semi-automatic parking that manages the steering independently, opening gestures for the Tailgate , Android Auto, Apple Carplay, Mirrorlink, TomTom services and Qi wireless charging with an extra wide mat for a Galaxy Note 8/9.

Excellent ADAS equipment for active safety. Citroen’s hardware and software allow you to get to the top of Level 2 but the whole suite will be the subject of a “Autonomous Guide Card” in the future. For the moment I can tell you about the short tests of adaptive cruise control and lane centering, able to work properly in the ideal conditions for radar and video camera that has also made some small extraordinary reading lines of demarcation not exactly precise.

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