Citroen C5 Aircross - Interior & comfort
Attractive interior with lots of equipment, but C5 Aircross material quality is patchy
When it comes to comfort, which is one of the areas in which Citroen's family flagship was billed to excel, its disappointing performance on bumpy roads is rather unfortunate. It's a real shame that the brand's 'advanced comfort seats' don't particularly impress, either. Although the C5 Aircross’ fancy Progressive Hydraulic suspension irons out most bumps well, it can be unsettled over deeper potholes or wonky speedbumps. When this happens, the cabin can shudder and upset the relaxed atmosphere.
The seats look great, especially in the range-topping 'Hype Brown Ambiance' finish, and their soft nature makes them comfortable at first, but they lack lateral support when you encounter a corner, doing little to keep you upright. And while they felt supportive beneath our thighs, the same wasn't true of back support, with twinges beginning to surface after a few hours of driving.
If the advanced comfort seats lived up to their name, the C5 Aircross interior would be hard to fault. There's impressively little wind or road noise when cruising, and there's certainly no shortage of standard equipment. Not all of the interior surfaces are great quality, though, and our test car had a few infuriating rattles.
Citroen C5 Aircross dashboard
Enthusiasts of design will find much to like about the C5 Aircross interior. It has a unique and interesting look that expands on the theme seen before with the smaller C3 Aircross, and contrasts starkly against the futuristic Peugeot 3008.
The C5 Aircross presents hi-tech electronics against a backdrop of good-looking, tactile materials and rich colour schemes. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is standard on every model, and there's an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen in the centre console. While the dashboard looks and feels expensive, the door panels are rather less pleasing to the senses, with a cheap feel around the door handles and window switches.
There are few changes to indicate you’re in the PHEV, but intriguingly, a blue light behind the rear-view mirror lets pedestrians know when the car is in electric-only mode. You can also hit a shortcut button to quickly access new hybrid information screens within the infotainment setup.
There are three C5 Aircross trim levels – Feel, Flair and Flair Plus. None are anything less than generously equipped, with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, a digital dashboard and eight-inch infotainment system with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility standard across the range.
Stepping up to Flair piles on additional equipment, such as an electrically operated driving seat, part leather interior trim, TomTom Live navigation with three years of free updates, a reversing camera, 18-inch wheels, power-folding door mirrors, rear privacy glass and upgraded LED exterior lighting.
The range-topping Flair Plus adds hands-free tailgate opening, keyless entry and start, active cruise control, wireless smartphone charging, an opening panoramic glass roof, 19-inch wheels and gloss black exterior trim.
Every C5 Aircross has autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring, and Flair and Flair Plus models feature Citroen's ConnectedCAM system, which acts as a dash-cam to record footage leading up to a crash.
ConnectedCAM, mentioned above, is an optional extra on the entry-level Feel, and is one of the more interesting features you'll find on the options list. Flair buyers can opt for a 'techno pack' with keyless entry and start, wireless smartphone charging and a hands free tailgate, an 'exterior pack' with 19-inch alloy wheels and a panoramic roof, and a 'black exterior pack' which brings black 20-inch alloy wheels and a black roof finish. Most of the above is standard on the Flair Plus.