Born in 2018, the C5 Aircross quickly converted to hybrid. From 2020, Citroën’s family SUV offered its version of the powertrain from Stellantis, in place under the hood of a good ten models, namely a 225 hp version in traction. This choice paid off since, in a favorable context, the C5 Aircross hybrid 225 quickly rose to the podium of plug-in hybrid vehicles (all categories combined) in France, behind its cousin, the Peugeot 3008.
Today, the situation has changed. The new market is collapsing and that of plug-in hybrids is taking the hit with an 8% drop recorded since the start of 2022. This phenomenon will accelerate with the end of the planned €1,000 ecological bonus July 1, 2022 and the next Euro 6th standard, from 2025, the calculation of which will multiply by 2.5 times the C02 emissions of plug-in hybrids, which will put an end to all current State aid (premium for converting, etc.). So, if you want to take advantage of all the aids, you will have to hurry.
The C5 Aircross Hybrid 225 undergoes the same update as the classic thermal version. He swaps his jovial face and rounded lines for a more assertive design. On board, the changes are also profound. The dashboard has been redesigned to accommodate a larger touch screen, 10 inches compared to 8 previously, with a positioning at eye level. Unfortunately it is not entitled to the latest operating system from the Stellantis group. Its resolution is better but it remains slow to use. He also receives more information about hybridization. The French retains a neat presentation with good quality plastics.
The C5 Aircross hybrid 225 sees its prices increase by €1,800 on the occasion of the restyling, with an entry ticket set at €41,750 in the Feel finish, a rather complete level of equipment (see next page). An “attractive” price compared to its competitors, the Peugeot 3008 (€45,600) and Hyundai Tucson (€45,250) plug-in hybrids. The rent starts at €403/month over 48 months for an annual mileage of 10,000 km, with warranty and maintenance included, after an initial rent of €8,389.
The transition to hybridization ultimately has little impact on the practical aspects. The French retains its three individual rear seats, sliding with a reclining backrest. However, we would have liked more legroom. Only the trunk volume is penalized because of the batteries. It goes from 580 liters for the thermals to 460 for the rechargeable hybrid with a compartment to store the cables under the floor, which is still suitable for a family. It is possible to increase it to 600 liters by sliding the bench seat (by 15 cm) forwards.
The hybridization system has not changed during the restyling. It is still a combination of a supercharged 4-cylinder petrol engine, the 180 hp 1.6 Puretech and an 80 kW (110 hp) electric motor placed upstream of the 8-speed automatic gearbox. The latter is powered by a 13.2 kW/h lithium-ion battery pack. In total, the maximum power reaches 225 hp and the torque 360 Nm. Everything is sent to the front wheels. In 100% electric mode, the C5 Aircross hybrid offers a range of 55 km according to the WLTP homologation cycle, which authorizes an ecological bonus of €1,000 until July 1, 2022. Note that the electric mode is capable of act alone up to 135 km/h.
We conducted this test entirely in “hybrid” mode, the one that will be used in the majority of cases. Well settled in the large soft seats from the “Advanced Comfort” program, it is in cathedral silence that the C5 Aircross takes off. From the outset, the vehicle invites you to drive smoothly, silently and comfortably. When the thermal engine wakes up, it means that the need for torque is felt (or that the battery is flat). In practice, you will never have the impression of having 225 hp under your right foot, however you will have enough resources to ensure in all situations (overtaking, long accelerations). The electric power especially offers a maximum torque of 360 Nm, welcome to make people forget the 1,745 kg of the machine.
We observed an average fuel consumption of 3.9 l/100 km before depleting the batteries. A good score that it is possible to improve thanks to the presence of a mode B on the gear lever, which regenerates on lifting the foot. Once the batteries are “flat” – in reality there is always a stock of energy to operate in simple hybrid – consumption doubles and approaches 8 l/100 km, hence the vital importance of recharging regularly if you want to amortize your purchase. In this regard, charging times are between 2 hours on a wallbox with the Mode 2 cable supplied as standard and 7 hours on a household socket via the 3.7 kW on-board charger. Via the “My Citroën” app to download to your smartphone, you can control the charge remotely, program the charging times (off-peak hours) or even start the heating in the morning before entering your vehicle. Finally, it should also be borne in mind that the capacity of the fuel tank loses 10 liters compared to thermal due to the location of the battery.
The overweight generated by the hybridization forced the engineers to modify the calibration of the suspensions. Despite this, the C5 Aircross is one of the few hybrid SUVs to maintain a very high level of comfort. Slightly firmer in compression than the internal combustion version, the damping retains a progressive rebound, in particular thanks to the presence of hydraulic stops, also from the Citroën Advanced Comfort program”. Traveling on board the C5 Aircross hybrid is even more pleasant because it is even quieter thanks to the laminated glazing supplied as standard.
*ecological bonus of €1,000 valid before any order placed before July 1, 2022.