First unveiled in Shanghai, here’s the one we’ll get in Europe. Qashqai, watch out
This is the new, Euro-friendly Citroen C5 Aircross, and it promises to be a super-comfortable SUV… thanks to, um, the hardcore world of rallying.
We first saw the C5 Aircross last year, unveiled at the Shanghai show for the Chinese market. Here’s the one we’ll get over here, and Citroen tells us each version of the EuroAirCross will come equipped with something it calls ‘progressive hydraulic cushions’.
Which means you get a pair of hydraulic stops on either side of the regular shock/spring/mechanical stop setup, to help for both compression and decompression. In regular human terms, what you’re promised is unrivalled comfort.
Because Citroen says this patented suspension setup means there’s zero bouncing around from “major impacts” on the road, something it learnt using experience from its time in the WRC. Why is this so worthy of attention? Because a really, really comfortable SUV built for real humans – and not mystical ones who like their SUVs to do sporty things – is a welcome balm.
The whole car sits on PSA’s modular EMP2 platform if you care about such things (just like the DS7 Crossback), while inside, there’s yet more comfort. Something called ‘advanced comfort upholstery’ available as an option on the seats. You’re looking at 15mm thick foam, a thicker structured foam on the surface, and lots of reinforcement. Any more comfort and you’d be asleep.
Mercifully it’s loaded with tech – safety braking, departure warning, lane-keeping, adaptive cruise control, collision and coffee alerts, driver attention alerts and even traffic sign recognition – to actually keep you awake, lest that comfort overwhelm.
There’s more cool stuff inside apart from the seats, mind. An 8in central tablet with voice recognition that controls all of the major functions, lots of connectivity, wireless smartphone charging, and even a connected camera.
Oh, we should probably mention the drivetrain. Sorry, got carried away by comfort. There are two petrol engines available – one with 128bhp and a 1.6-litre four-pot with 177bhp – and three diesels (a pair with 128bhp and again, one with 177bhp). There’s the most recent eight-speed auto ‘box or a six-speed manual, and drive is sent to the front wheels.
Late in 2019, Citroen will release a C5 Aircross with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain too – the first Citroen to have such a drivetrain. We’re told it’ll be able to run 37 miles in pure EV mode, and feature ‘disruptive’ CO2 emissions. We do not know what ‘disruptive’ CO2 emissions means – are they CO2s that get a bit fighty after a few drinks?
Who knows. In any case, what’s your take on an ultra-comfy Citroen SUV that actually prioritises ride comfort and occupant sanity over handling? We say – well done, Citroen. Looks funky too…