Road Test Review: Citroën C5 Aircross Flair

Independent review by Enda Mullen

5-minute read

Grey Citroen C5 Aircross Exterior Front Static

Road Test: Citroën C5 Aircross Flair

Explore the key features of the Citroën C5 Aircross Flair in our expert road test review

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The C5 Aircross proves to be super easy to live with and is one of the most comfortable mid-sized SUVs currently on offer.


  • Super comfortable seats
  • Spacious interior
  • Easy to drive for a mid-sized SUV
  • Good-performing powertrains
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Once upon a time, there was a reluctance for French carmakers to go down the SUV route.

Even when SUVs were starting to make serious inroads, two of the French ‘big three’ – Citroën and Peugeot – opted to rebadge a Mitsubishi rather than come up with their own creation.

However, SUVs and their crossover spin-offs have become, to all intents and purposes, the bread and butter of the modern day automotive market, meaning carmakers ignore them at their peril.

The C5 Aircross comes in the wake of the smaller C3 Aircross and is more of a mainstream crossover that will appeal to a spectrum of buyers – particularly families.

It's actually Citroën’s biggest SUV yet, and is a stylish creation that certainly appeals from an aesthetic perspective.

Despite their undoubted appeal, SUVs can look a little uninspired and staid, but the C5 Aircross is undoubtedly alluring.


Citroën's designers seem to have really hit the spot of late, and the C5 Aircross is a good example of them getting a great deal right.

The interior is something of a tour de force too, characterised by a fair measure of Gallic sophistication and attention to detail.

One of the strengths of this car could be classified under the important but oft-forgotten element of comfort.

The Citroën Advanced Comfort programme has a number of facets, and as well as new suspension technology includes special seats made with high-density foam.

They really are both comfortable and supportive it has to be said and finished in leather upholstery look fabulous too, with a kind of criss-cross padded pattern that exudes luxury and looks like the sort of thing one might see on a concept car that never makes it into production.

These superdeluxe seats involve stepping-up from Feel to Flair trim, but I would recommend it.

Technology and Equipment

I’ve kind of gotten used to Citroën’s latest generation of high-tech controls, though the fact many functions such as climate control need to be operated through the 8-inch touchscreen can make things a little fiddly at times, particularly when you’re on the move. And it’s very easy to activate the functions below it due to everything being fairly closely bunched together.

The other high-tech screen is a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, which looks rather classy and well-designed.

All models come with basic manoeuvring aids in the shape of rear parking sensors.

Again, the exceptionally well-equipped mid-range Flair model adds front sensors and a rearview camera as well.

On the technology front, all C5 Aircross models offer DAB radio and Bluetooth, as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink smartphone mirroring.

At the risk of over-egging those Flair extras, you also get a sat-nav if you upgrade from an entry-level Feel model.

In terms of models, there are about a dozen different derivatives across the three trim levels - the range-topping trim level being Flair Plus.

Driving Experience

While the C5 Aircross feels big enough, and the cabin is nicely roomy, it does not feel overly cumbersome to drive.
Enda Mullen

There are two petrol and two diesel engine choices, the petrols are a 128bhp 1.2-litre and a 178bhp 1.6-litre.

To simplify matters somewhat, the diesels offer the same power ratings and there’s a 128bhp 1.5-litre and a 178bhp 2.0-litre.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine fitted to the car I tested was smooth and refined, packing a decent performance punch too.

The aforementioned suspension system and its Progressive Hydraulic Cushions help make for splendid ride quality, and the C5 Aircross doesn't disappoint when it comes to handling either.

The driving experience was completed by the smooth and very easy to get on with 8-speed automatic gearbox.


Testament to Citroën's new approach to the SUV segment, the C5 Aircross is a car that's very easy to feel at home in and enjoy. I got to spend longer at the wheel of the C5 Aircross than I normally would with a test car, and confess I actually got to like it more and more as time elapsed. Its bold looks, comfortable ride, and advanced technology are features that stood out in what is a fantastic all-round package.