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2023 Citroen C5 Aircross Sport review


French flair meets spinal care: The Citroen C5 Aircross Sport.

Here I am at 31 and arguably, I should be in my absolute physical prime. But it seems like my back hasn't received that memo. Instead, it insists on behaving like it's seen 8 decades of hard living, creaking and aching like an old, rusty gate.

Is it questionable posture? Too many hours hunched over a keyboard? Or perhaps more simply, life having a bit of a giggle at my expense? I'm not too sure.

As I lay in bed in pain, staring at the ceiling for days on end, the last thing I was thinking about was driving. I had more pressing things to focus on, like how will I ever get out of bed, or being able to move my feet without wanting to cry.

So there I am, shuffling about like a man thrice my age. Then, along comes the Citroen C5 Aircross Sport.

Would this sleek Citroen be the relief I didn't know I needed or just another car to review while wincing through the pain?

What's the Citroen C5 Aircross Sport like to drive?

Under its sleek exterior, the C5 Aircross Sport harbours a hearty 133kW and 250Nm, confidently stepping past its predecessor, which had 121kW. With this level of power, it delivers a reasonable zero to 100km/h in a moderate 8.2 seconds.

Picture not describedOut on the road, it glides, easily dismissing road imperfections. With a suspension system that's delightfully soft in part thanks to hydraulic bump stops on each side of the shock absorbers, it crafts a ride so soothing it felt like therapy for my irritable back.

Despite having "Sport" in its name, I'd argue, from my perspective anyway, that it's not crafted for the speed-seekers. What the C5 Aircross Sport does do though, is assure a plush journey, allowing passengers to arrive not just in style, but with a sense of relief and without the grumbles of discomfort.

Inside the Citroen C5 Aircross Sport

As I spent more time with the C5, it quickly became evident that this car takes comfort seriously.

Seats wrapped in "Paloma" perforated Nappa leather don't just offer a place to sit: they're well padded, comfortable, electrically adjustable and equipped with a massage function for the driver, with the promise of warmth, at the flick of a switch, for both front seats.

The driver's area is dominated by a large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, easy to read and manoeuvre through. You can customise it to display whatever you like – a large speed read-out, dials (that aren't actually dials), music, maps and more. And in this age of tech, a wireless charger is tucked conveniently ahead of the shifter for your devices.

Yet, perfection is elusive. The C5 Aircross Sport comes with its own set of quirks.

The infotainment system, while sporting a larger 10-inch screen, is a little ambiguous with no obvious home screen. While it graciously supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, be prepared to connect via the tried-and-true USB port.

The rear seats, while not uncomfortable per se, did have passengers in the back wanting a bit more width in the seats. The door bins, slender, could offer up a little more space. And the legroom? Adequate but not class-leading.

Despite boasting a panoramic roof, the headroom in the car remains generous, offering a sense of spaciousness and comfort, with passengers' heads not bouncing off the roof.

How big is the boot?

For the practical-minded, the boot is a pleasant surprise with 580 litres of space that can balloon to 1,630 litres with the rear seats folded down.

In the competitive landscape, these numbers hold their own.

For context, the Volkswagen Tiguan, one of its close competitors, offers 615 litres, expanding to 1,655 litres with seats down. Meanwhile, the Mazda CX-5 provides a more modest 442 litres, which can be increased to 1,342 litres.

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The C5 sits comfortably in this range, making it a decent choice for those who need a vehicle that supports both their daily and extraordinary hauling needs, balancing comfort with practical utility.

Warranty and servicing

While the Citroen C5 Aircross Sport comes equipped with a 5-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, it's important to note that some competitors in the market offer slightly more enticing packages.

Brands like Kia and Škoda offer up a 7-year warranty, while Škoda provides a unique care package for its customers that allows you to "upgrade" to a 7-year warranty, making them both strong contenders in the warranty and servicing arena.

That said, Citroen's 5-year warranty still provides a substantial period of protection and assurance for buyers, underpinning the vehicle's build quality and the brand's commitment to customer satisfaction.

Service intervals are scheduled every 12 months or 12,000 kilometres (whichever arrives first) and Citroen also offers prepaid servicing packs for both 3 and 5 years that cost $1,100 and $2,000, respectively.

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Owners will also get 5 years of complimentary roadside assistance.

The verdict on the Citroen C5 Aircross Sport

With a back that seems to have matured far beyond my years, the Citroen C5 Aircross Sport appeared not just as another vehicle to review. In hindsight, I was quite fortunate to be in it.

Despite its few quirks, the blend of soothing features, reliable power and generous space make a compelling case for those seeking not just a drive but an experience of comfort.

What we liked

  • Soft suspension equipped with hydraulic bump stops, making drives exceptionally smooth.
  • Comfortable "Paloma" perforated Nappa leather seats with adjustable, heating and massaging features for the driver.
  • A generous and practical boot space of 580 litres, expandable to 1,630 litres.
  • A responsive and robust engine delivering steady power for various driving needs.

What could be improved

  • A slightly cryptic infotainment system with an old-school USB port for phone connectivity.
  • Rear seats that could benefit from a bit more width for enhanced comfort.
  • Narrow door bins with a plastic lining that could be refined to prevent the rattling of items inside.

For a price of $54,990 before on-road costs, the Citroen C5 Aircross Sport is indeed an investment. However, for individuals for whom driving comfort is paramount, this vehicle offers notable value.

After all, in the grand scheme of all things life and driving, it used to be all about hurtling towards destinations at warp speed for me. But as my back adopted the grumbles of an elder, the Citroen C5 Aircross has helped me to appreciate the slower, more graceful arrivals where the journey is smooth and my vertebrae aren't in revolt.

This vehicle, with its balance of comfort and practical utility, makes a convincing case for those ready to invest in a smoother, more comfortable driving journey.

Looking at a Citroen C5 Aircross Sport? You might be surprised how much you could save on a car loan or your car insurance just by comparing!

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