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In-depth reviews

Citroen C5 Aircross Hybrid review

The C5 Aircross Hybrid is one of many options for company-car users who want a plug-in SUV. It's cheap to run, but beaten by rivals in some respects

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£35,735 - £38,375
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol

Pros

  • Distinctive design inside and out
  • Typically low plug-in running costs
  • Reasonably practical and comfortable

Cons

  • Inconsistent ride quality
  • Reduced towing capacity
  • Expensive for private buyers
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid38 miles188-202mpg31-33g/km

While it's a large and roomy SUV, the Citroen C5 Aircross can also be affordable to run, because it's available as a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid. Its combination of a petrol engine, electric motor and battery pack means it can cover most commutes without any tailpipe emissions – as long as you can charge it up regularly. The upshot of that is very low company-car tax bills, and good fuel economy in general.

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It shares its powertrain with other models from the Stellantis Group, such as the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid, DS 7 Crossback E-TENSE and Vauxhall Grandland Hybrid. Like them, it uses a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and electric motor, producing a total of 222bhp, with the motor fed by a 13.2kWh battery.

Citroen's designers didn't go out of their way to differentiate the hybrid C5 Aircross from the petrol and diesel-engined versions; the biggest change is a set of blue badges denoting that it's a hybrid. The hybrid also got the same visual makeover as the rest of the C5 Aircross line-up in July 2022, adopting a sharper and more aggressive look that's in line with more recently launched Citroens such as the C5 X large hatchback.

Official CO2 emissions are as low as 31g/km and there's a 38-mile electric range, so the C5 falls into the 12% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company-car tax band regardless of which of trim levels (Shine or C-Series Edition) you pick. It's practical, too, with only a small loss of boot space compared to the diesel and petrol versions, along with comfortable seats and lots of room for adult passengers in the back.

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Although Citroen vows a strong emphasis on comfort these days, the C5 Aircross Hybrid isn't without fault in this regard. At low speeds over bumps and potholes, the suspension's 'Progressive Hydraulic Cushions' do their job well, but sharp thunks can still be felt inside on poor roads at higher speeds. At least body control in corners is good; the C5 stays flowing and composed, even if there isn't much in the way of steering feel.

So if you're looking for a satisfying driving experience, the closely related Peugeot 3008, or the MINI Countryman hybrid, would be better choices. The C5 Aircross is also far from the cheapest plug-in hybrid family SUV, but that will probably concern private buyers more than it will company-car users. For the latter in particular, the facelifted version of the big and distinctively styled French car is worth a look. For a more detailed look at the Citroen C5 Hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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