Citroen C5 Aircross
Cacti come in all sorts of shapes and sizes these days...
The Citroen C5 Aircross is the latest model in something Citroen calls its “SUV ofensive”.
Bigger, obviously, than the forthcoming C3 Aircross crossover (previewed at the Geneva motor show by the C-Aircross concept), it’s set to launch in China this year, before European sales begin in 2018, the Aircross is based on the same EMP2 platform as the DS 7 Crossback, Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland X. Not that you’d know, because like all good Citroens it distinguishes itself from the pack with Airbump-infused side sills, a trademark double-decker grille and many other design cues that most manufacturers would leave on the concept studio’s cutting-room foor.
Like the DS and Peugeot, the C5 will eventually get a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 300bhp, all-wheel drive and a near-40 mile electric-only range. In Europe, most will come ftted with PSA’s conventional four-cylinder petrol and diesels.
Curiously, Citroen calls the C5 Aircross “people-minded”. Name us a car that isn’t peopleminded if you can, please. We’re confused.
In less vague terms, the comfort and wellbeing of passengers is top of its agenda. So there’s lots of room, and super-comfy suspension with – in Citroen’s words – “Progressive Hydraulic Cushions”. We’ve tried this technology in a C4 Cactus prototype and can confrm it works rather well. The idea is that in homage to the 2CV’s famously accommodating ride, ruts and bumps in the road are completely smoothed out. Given lots of SUVs roll on 20-odd-inch wheels and jitter about the place because, y’know, style (see the Jaguar F-Pace on 22s), it’s a welcome idea.
Inside, a 12.3in screen replaces conventional dials, while navigation, media and so on are handled by an 8in central screen. There are many active safety systems – as one would quite rightly expect on a brand-new car – such as adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warnings.
All boxes ticked then, and it looks far more interesting than any one of its Qashqai-sized rivals. And perhaps its contagious, because two other recent New York show debutantes showed visions of a less-derivative SUV future. The Toyota FT-4X is a shruken update of the FJ Cruiser idea, and we’re fully on board – just make sure you bring it to the UK this time Toyota. Meanwhile, the Infniti QX80 concept is an intriguing cross between the Aston Martin Lagonda concept and a mediumsized apartment block. Finally, an Infniti you might notice when it drives by.
UK buyers must wait until 2018 to get one of these, due to a strict PSA policy of one car per brand per year. Later in 2017 we get the C3 Aircross instead Although there will be a hybrid, most Europeans will be petrol or diesel
Don’t worry, folks, there are no progressive hydraulic cushions inside Part of an SUV offensive. But not an offensive SUV... What even is an SUV these days? Damned if we know, and the Infiniti QX80 and Toyota FT-4X are simply confusing matters