Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 25 Feb 2020

Having taken a short breather from bringing new models to South Africa, PSA Group, the company responsible for Peugeot and Citroën vehicles has made a comeback. I have always had a passion for French styling, design and influence within the automotive space and to say that I’m excited is an understatement. I spent some time sampling the all-new C5 Aircross in its Feel variant to see if the French uniqueness is still alive!

In Brief, what’s on offer?

  • Price:R474 900 (February 2020)
  • Engine:6-litre Puretech turbopetrol
  • Power/Torque:121 kW / 240 Nm
  • Transmission:6 speed automatic
  • Fuel Consumption:9 L/100 km
  • Load space:520 to 1 630 litres
  • 18-Inch Alloy Wheels

The Experience

When I was brought the new C5 Aircross, I was told to imagine a modern-day Citroën DS. With this in mind, my sights were already set high for a modern-day DS or rather Goddess. From the start, its immediately notable that the new flagship SUV from the French automarke fares incredibly well in terms of enhanced ride softness, quietness and comfort, much like that of its 65-year old relation.

Much to my surprise, starting the engine is conventional, as is indicating and all other mundane driver type tasks, however, jokes aside, modern French cars need to be consistent with the wave of modern SUV’s which the world has on offer, and the new C5 Aircross offers a lot in terms of its standard fare. While “flappy paddles” behind the steering wheel may be a tad optimistic, it is too missing the point, the C5 Aircross is all about space, comfort and modern features and this it certainly does very well.

The Drive

All powered by Citroën’s tried and tested 1.6-litre Puretech turbopetrol motor which develops 121 kW and 240 Nm of torque, power delivery is smooth and more than adequate. The large squared-off exterior design makes for what is an incredibly practical and roomy interior, while also allowing for some increased body roll in the bends. It is, however, a trade-off which I was happy with when it comes to a true space, clever packaging and class-leading ride comfort.

To further aid the driving experience, is the standard and very vibrant digital instrumentation cluster within the C5 Aircross. Modern Airbumps (air pockets) on the doors avoid those nasty car park trolley scuffs, while the interior bumps seen on the door cards and plushy “lounge” style seats make for what is a truly luxurious drive.

The Smart 

The C5 Aircross is all about modern features. From its digital instrumentation cluster to its steering wheel-mounted controls to its large central media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto amongst other features, nothing is excluded. Additionally, on the range-topping Shine spec, you can have smart touches, such as a digital video recorder (dashcam) built into the rearview mirror and full-length panoramic roof.

With a rear seating bench which can be individually configured and class-leading luggage space 520 litres (seats folded-up) to 1 630 litres (seats flat), the C5 Aircross is all about smart safety (ABS; EBD and Electronic Brake Assist), packing and modern features.

In Conclusion         

The Citroën C5 Aircross sticks to the brand’s unique formula while appealing towards today’s competitive market. Its styled like nothing else, smart in terms of its features and a truly comfortable and smooth family SUV which certainly wins over my heart. I love that it stays true to the Citroën brand ethos and am glad to see that it’s not only back in SA but showing the world what French motoring is also about.

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