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Citroen C5 Aircross 2024 review: Sport

The updated Citroen C5 Aircross Sport is cute from bonnet to boot but will it satisfy a family?

Let’s be honest, medium SUVs are the bread and butter of the Aussie new car market and there are a lot of rivals to choose from.

Which is why the Citroen C5 Aircross Sport’s much-needed update is welcomed with open arms, especially since it’s the only model in the range.

It boasts more space than a lot of its rivals but it’s been let down in the past by a sparse safety sheet and older tech.

The facelifted model sees tweaks to the design, safety and tech, making it more of a true competitor against the likes of the Kia Sportage, ever-popular Mazda CX-5 and practical Nissan X-Trail.

But are the changes enough for it to be considered as a family SUV? I’ve been testing it this week with my family of three to find out for you!

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Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

There is only one model for the C5 Aircross Sport and it will set you back $54,990, before on-road costs.

That prices it as the most expensive compared to its rivals with the Mazda CX-5 GT SP ($51,810) coming in closest but the Nissan X-Trail ST-L ($46,790) and the Kia Sportage SX+ ($41,850) are even more affordable.

The only included paint colours are 'Polar White' and 'Nera Black'. Our model’s 'Eclipse Blue' will add on $690.

However, the C5’s price tag doesn’t feel too cheeky because of the feature-heavy specification, including heated front seats, electric driver’s seat with massage function, a panoramic sunroof and a mix of premium Nappa leather and synthetic leather interior trim.

The C5 Aircross Sport wears a price tag of $54,990, before on-road costs. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The C5 Aircross Sport wears a price tag of $54,990, before on-road costs. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

You also get a powered tailgate, rear privacy glass tinting, full LED lights on the exterior, individually sliding seats on the back row and black 19-inch alloy wheels.

The technology has been upgraded with the dashboard being headlined by a 10-inch touchscreen multimedia system and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel.

Built-in satellite navigation, as well as wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included as standard equipment.

On top of that, the safety list has been significantly improved, but more on that later. 

Upfront of the C5 Aircross is a 10-inch touchscreen multimedia system. (Image: Glen Sullivan) Upfront of the C5 Aircross is a 10-inch touchscreen multimedia system. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design?

The facelifted model sees a sportier front with the grille redesigned to highlight the double chevron badge.

The bonnet curves around the badge, as do the two long LED strip lights that connect the headlights. The bonnet also sports new divots that give it a gruffer edge.

The wide profile at the rear and new three-pronged tail-lights create some interest.

  • Upfront of the C5 Aircross features a redesigned grille that highlights the double chevron badge. (Image: Glen Sullivan) Upfront of the C5 Aircross features a redesigned grille that highlights the double chevron badge. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • The bonnet curves around the badge, as do the two long LED strip lights that connect the headlights. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The bonnet curves around the badge, as do the two long LED strip lights that connect the headlights. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

The black plastic moulding that runs along the base of the car could look unfashionable on a lighter colour but on our blue paintwork, it looks good. As does the contrasting black roof!

The interior trims are finished in a combination of synthetic and Nappa leather but boast a two-tone colour which might not land with everyone. Particularly given the navy portions seem to be glittery in certain lights.

Sitting at 1859mm wide, 1695mm high and just 4500mm long, the overall exterior design is sporty but cute. It should appeal to those who want a nice-but-not-loud-looking car and something that is easy to park.

The C5 Aircross features a combination of synthetic and Nappa leather interior trims. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The C5 Aircross features a combination of synthetic and Nappa leather interior trims. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

The interior is spacious for a medium SUV but the back seat knocks off some points for family practicality. So, let’s start in the back.

Despite there being plenty of headspace for my 168cm (5’6’’) height, the legroom is cosy behind my driving position.

Meaning a 0-4 rearward facing child seat will encroach on front passenger space. It’s probably best suited to a family which is out of the baby stages but it was cumbersome fitting my big harnessed-booster seat in there, too.

It has ISOFIX child seat mounts on the outboard rear seats and three top tethers but two seats will fit best. The floor is flat, which offers far more comfort for a middle seat passenger and I love how the seats can be individually shifted.

Upfront of the C5 Aircross is plenty of head- and legroom. (Image: Glen Sullivan) Upfront of the C5 Aircross is plenty of head- and legroom. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

The amenities and storage in this row are sparse. You get directional air vents, reading lights, netted map pockets and shallow storage bins in the doors.

Siblings may squabble over the single USB-A port on a long road trip but more than that, there are no cupholders or drink bottle holders back there or even a centre armrest.

That said, the 182mm ground clearance made it an easy car for my six-year-old to get in and out of; plus, the stadium-like seating and wide windows meant he had an awesome view this week.

Now for the front. It has ample amenities, storage and tech. You get plenty of head- and legroom, plus with the panoramic sunroof the cabin manages to feel airy, too.

  • Fitting a big harnessed-booster seat in the second row of the C5 Aircross was cumbersome. (Image: Glen Sullivan) Fitting a big harnessed-booster seat in the second row of the C5 Aircross was cumbersome. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • The floor is flat, which offers far more comfort for a middle seat passenger. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The floor is flat, which offers far more comfort for a middle seat passenger. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Individual storage is great with an extra deep middle console, glove box, two cupholders, bins in each door and two very handy utility trays situated near the toggle-type shifter.

Charging options are much better up front, too, and you can choose between a wireless charging pad, two USB-A ports and a 12-volt socket to charge your device.

It's super easy to connect to the wired Apple CarPlay and there’s wired Android Auto for those users.

The built-in satellite navigation is straightforward but that’s where the simplicity ends. I did not find the multimedia system or the digital instrument panel to be terribly intuitive to use and the touchscreen controls can be laggy.

The C5 Aircross has a cargo capacity of  580L. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The C5 Aircross has a cargo capacity of 580L. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

I’m sure you could get used to it over time but I felt flustered.

For this size SUV, the boot space is great at 580L with all seats in use but you can bump it up to 1630L if you fold the back row.

The floor can be adjusted to make a level load space or dropped to give you greater depth for bulkier items and there is a temporary spare tyre underneath the floor.

There are luggage tie-down anchors, a cargo blind and I always like having a powered tailgate. 

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission?

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range?

Ah, this is where it earns back some points!

I was very impressed by the efficiency of this because the official combined cycle fuel figure is 5.7L/100km and my real-world usage came to 6.2L! That’s fantastic for this sized SUV and for a turbo.

With a fuel tank of 53L and based on the combined fuel figure, you should be able to get a driving range of around 930km, which is good for those families who like to do road trips.

The C5 Aircross has an official combined cycle fuel figure of 5.7L/100km. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The C5 Aircross has an official combined cycle fuel figure of 5.7L/100km. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Driving – What's it like to drive?

Despite its city-friendly size, the C5 Aircross Sport is just as happy cruising on the open-road as it is in an urban environment.

The ride is smooth enough once you get up to a steady speed but the suspension can feel harsh on a bumpy road.

Also, the auto stop-start function can make it feel sluggish to respond, so I disabled this on most trips.

The steering can, at times, feel vague when you’re at lower speeds but is otherwise responsive. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The steering can, at times, feel vague when you’re at lower speeds but is otherwise responsive. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

There is plenty of power so you'll feel confident overtaking or getting up to speed on the open road. However, you have to be a little more aggressive with the accelerator when you’re hitting hills.

The steering can, at times, feel vague when you’re at lower speeds but is otherwise responsive.

The cabin space is quiet and nice to be in on the highway and you’ll be able to chat with your passengers with ease.

The steering can, at times, feel vague when you’re at lower speeds but is otherwise responsive. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The steering can, at times, feel vague when you’re at lower speeds but is otherwise responsive. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

What I like most about this though is the visibility – the windows are large and I feel like I have a clear view most of the time, which isn’t always the case in an SUV.

Parking this is a cinch with entry to tight car parks helped by a 10.7m turning circle!

However, the 180-degree view camera isn’t great and near hopeless at night time. A clearer image would be welcome but front and rear parking sensors ease the annoyance.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

The updated safety list is most welcomed, especially on a family SUV.

The C5 Aircross Sport has the following as standard - daytime running lights, forward collision alert, lane keeping aid, lane departure alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, intelligent seat belt reminders, traffic sign recognition, 180-degree view reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control with stop and go function.

Special mention for the new fatigue detection alert. When it triggers it doesn’t stop sounding until both of the driver's hands are detected on the steering wheel.

The C5 Aircross was awarded a four star ANCAP safety rating back in 2019. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The C5 Aircross was awarded a four star ANCAP safety rating back in 2019. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

The autonomous emergency braking with car, pedestrian and cyclist detection is operational from 10 – 80km/h (5.0 -140km/h for car detection), however the pedestrian and cyclist functions are only detectable in the day time. It’s usual to see it operational at night, as well.

Despite the new safety items, it still only has six airbags, which includes curtain airbags covering both rows but that’s pretty low for a family car nowadays.  

It was awarded four from a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating back in 2019 but didn’t have all of the new items at the time of testing.  

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

The on-going costs are super-reasonable on the C5 Aircross Sport, with a five-year/unlimited km warranty included.

You can also choose to pre-purchase a three- or five-year capped-priced servicing plan, both significantly cheaper than the pay-as-you-go option. 

On the three-year plan, services are $1100 or an annual average of $366.

The C5 Aircross Sport comes with a five-year/unlimited km warranty. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The C5 Aircross Sport comes with a five-year/unlimited km warranty. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

It’s a flat $2000 for the five-year plan, (averaging just $400 per service), which is very competitive for the class.

Servicing intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first.

The Aircross also comes with a five-year roadside assistance plan that is offered through Digicall Assist, for added peace-of-mind.


The Wrap

So, what did my family think about the Citroen C5 Aircross Sport?

I love how it looks and its updated safety list. It’s fairly spacious inside and has a great boot space but it’s lacking a lot of family-orientated practicality in the back seat. The lack of individual storage and amenities is noticeable when you have a kid or two but even as an adult, not having a cupholder for your coffee/drink on a trip feels odd.

The multimedia system and reversing camera need to be improved, too. Overall, it will suit a small family which is out of the baby stage but can’t yet justify upgrading to a larger SUV. It gets a 6.5/10 from my family. 

Likes

Cute and stylish design
Spacious boot for this class
Easy to park

Dislikes

Driving is a bit hit or miss
Technology will fluster an average user
Expensive compared to rivals

Scores

Emily:

3.5

The Kids:

3.5

$54,880 - $57,380

Based on 5 car listings in the last 6 months

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