New Citroën C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid: the full-comfort SUV

New Citroën C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid: the full-comfort SUV

The Citroën C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid is getting up to date. Without moving one iota technically, this new version is distinguished above all by its aesthetic improvements and its original interior presentation. Enough to convince? The answer in our essay!

If it remains in the shadow of the Peugeot 3008, the Citroën C5 Aircross is nonetheless a successful model within the Stellantis group’s offer. Sold in more than 240,000 copies in Europe since 2012, the compact SUV with chevrons since 2012 of a rechargeable hybrid version which today represents 41% of the manufacturer’s sales mix. Sold in more than 7,000 copies in France in 2021, it naturally benefits from the restyling of the model.

On the style side: what’s new?

Without changing platform or size, Citroën’s SUV concentrates its exterior developments at the front and rear. Drawing a line on the sometimes very round lines of its predecessor, this new version is much more dynamic. Completely reworked, the grille inherits a new light signature recalling the chevron and a much less plunging bonnet. Same thing at the back with a new light signature with three LEDs. Everything is enriched with a new metallic blue paint and new 18-inch rims. The set is rather successful even if the lines give, under certain angles, the impression of dealing with a utility.

Identical in all respects, the plug-in hybrid version is only distinguished by the addition of the “Hÿbrid” labels on the sides and at the rear and by the presence of the charging hatch, located at the rear left.

Revised in depth, the interior has been largely refined. A new ambience and new materials increase the perceived quality while the disappearance of the gear lever, replaced by the new e-shifter control, improves the feeling of space.

Complementing the digital instrumentation, the position of the central screen has also been raised to better match the driver’s field of vision and now extends over 10 inches diagonally (8 inches on the old version). If the screen changes, the interface remains the same. Unlike the new Peugeot 308 and Opel Astra, the new C5 Aicross retains the multimedia system of its predecessor. If the interface remains accessible, it takes a serious blow of old. As on the previous generation, several physical keys provide easier access to the various menus. One of them provides access to the electrical menu to monitor consumption, energy flows and schedule refills. Connectivity is also there with Android Auto and Apple Car Play compatibility. Unlike the latest models on the market, which work wirelessly, you will still have to connect the cable for it to work. Shame !

A good space for passengers but a trunk always limited

Given the presence of the battery, the trunk of the C5 AirCross remains more limited than the thermal versions. With 460 liters of capacity, it loses 120 liters compared to the thermal versions. Under the floor, a small space still allows you to store the charging cable. The modularity is also retained with a folding seat in three parts.

King of comfort, Citroën does not disappoint in the rear seats. The legroom is generous, while the middle seat has a real seat which, however, will not be suitable for tall people due to the more limited height than the two side seats. In terms of equipment, it’s a bit cheap. On our Feel Pack finish, rear passengers will have to share a single USB port. May the best win !

Unchanged mechanics

On the technical side, nothing changes on this new rechargeable hybrid C5 Aircross which uses the same configuration as its predecessor.

Shared with the other brands of the Stellantis group, the system combines a 180 horsepower petrol engine with an 81 kW (110 hp) electric unit. In reality, the 225 horsepower promised by the technical sheet will not turn your stomach. If it remains the fastest of the engines in the range, this hybrid version is not transcendent with a 0 to 100 km / h shot in 8.7 seconds. However, it is not so serious for a model focused on comfort which will be appreciated more in casting driving.

Consumption: between WLTP and reality…

By opting for a very hilly route in the hinterland of Nice, Citroën had not chosen the most energy-efficient route. Limited to 13.2 kWh of capacity for 55 km of theoretical autonomy, the battery clearly did not appreciate. Starting in 100% electric mode, it only took about twenty kilometers before the last electrons left us to make way for the heat engine. Supposed to maximize regeneration, the “B” mode will not have been of much use despite the relief.

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After 125 km covered, including twenty in electric mode and the rest in hybrid, we complete our journey with an average consumption of 6.2 l/100 km. Unsurprisingly, this is much more than the 1.4 – 1.5 l/100 km announced by the WLTP combined cycle. If you want to consume less, there is no secret: you will have to go through the socket as often as possible.

As standard, the C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid comes with a 3.7 kW charger. This is sufficient for the home and allows a full recharge in less than 4 hours, provided you opt for the installation of a charging station. Otherwise, you will have to wait 7:30 am by charging on a simple domestic socket. Note that a 7.4 kW charger is also available as an option (€400). If it will not be of much use to you at home, it will be more useful if you plan to recharge regularly at public terminals.

An entry-level at more than 40,000 €

Much more affordable than a Peugeot 3008 plug-in hybrid, charged more than €46,000 in its basic version, the new C5 Aircross has a price list close to its predecessor. Billed from €41,750 in its basic Feel finish, it climbs to €44,050 in the Feel Pack finish of our test model.

The price differential with the 100% thermal versions in automatic gearbox is however very marked. Without integrating the €1,000 bonus, there is a difference of more than €8,000 with petrol and more than €6,000 with diesel. It will therefore be necessary to swallow electric kilometers to compensate for the additional cost…

Citroën C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid – All prices 2022

C5 Aircross Hybrid Feel €41,750
C5 Aircross Hybrid Feel Pack €44,050
C5 Aircross Hybrid Shine €45,800
C5 Aircross Hybrid Shine Pack €47,250

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