You may take a few minutes to pronounce ‘Citroën’ the way the French do, but only a few seconds—even on broken roads—to realise how comfortable the C5 Aircross SUV is.
But beyond that feeling of comfort, the SUV doesn’t really wow you. We recently drove the facelift version in and around Delhi, and few heads turned.
The C5 Aircross is a rare car—according to sales data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, in FY22 a mere 775 units of the C5 Aircross were sold (monthly average of 65 cars).
Citroën showrooms are rarer still—just about 20 La Maison Citroën phygital showrooms in 19 cities. The carmaker, however, offers doorstep delivery of the car in most cities.
What are the changes?
The grille is new (single headlamp module with DRLs), as is the bumper with a large air intake in the middle (which possibly makes the car more aerodynamic). The rear lights have been marginally reworked.
The cabin has been redesigned. It gets a larger 10-inch infotainment screen, rectangular AC vents (instead of cube-shaped in the previous model) and the biggest change is that the gear lever has been replaced with a toggle switch to shift gears. There is also a button-type drive mode selector. But it lacks some luxury features—for instance, the front passenger seat doesn’t have automatic adjustment settings and the rear-view camera display doesn’t have very good resolution.
The plastic quality, leather, fabric and seats, though, feel plush.
Even though the C5 Aircross is a big SUV, the rear seating area feels cramped (the three demarcated seats look cook, though). The panoramic glass roof makes the cabin appear bigger than it actually is.
Engine is the same (1997cc diesel with a peak power of 177 PS and torque of 400 Nm). The ride is comfortable—the C5 Aircross glides over most road surface imperfections and rumble strips, but the suspension produces a ‘thud’ sound when the car is driven over large bumps.
The Citroën C5 Aircross is quite a comfortable car, but is priced a hefty Rs 36.67 lakh (ex-showroom). It is available only as the fully-loaded Shine variant (the entry-level Feel variant has been discontinued). Its competitors are Hyundai Tucson (Rs 27.7-34.4 lakh; available in petrol and diesel, feels far more modern and is far more tech-loaded), Volkswagen Tiguan (Rs 32.8 lakh; only in petrol and has a far quieter cabin) and Jeep Compass (Rs 19.3-32.2 lakh; petrol and diesel, feels far more robust).
Those are the brands Indians know and understand; the C5 Aircross is still French to Indians.
Engine: 1997cc diesel
Power: 177 PS
Torque: 400 Nm
Fuel efficiency: 17.5 km/litre
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Fuel tank: 52.5 litres
Length: 4,500 mm
Wheelbase: 2,730 mm
Price: Rs 36.67 lakh (ex-showroom)