The new plug-in hybrid Citroën C5 Aircross: a complete SUV

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

Although it remains in the shadow of the Peugeot 3008, the Citroën C5 Aircross is nonetheless a successful model in the Stellantis group’s offering. Sold over 240,000 units in Europe since 2012, the chevron compact SUV since 2012 in a rechargeable hybrid version, which today accounts for 41% of the manufacturer’s sales. Sold over 7,000 copies in France in 2021, it naturally benefits from the facelift.

As for style: what’s new?

Without changing platform or size, the Citroën SUV concentrates its exterior developments on the front and rear. Drawing a line on the sometimes very rounded lines of its predecessor, this new version is much more dynamic. The completely redesigned grille inherited a new chevron-like lighting signature and a much shallower hood. Same at the back with a new light signature with three LEDs. Everything is enriched with new metallic blue paint and new 18-inch rims. The set is quite successful, even if at certain angles the lines give the impression that they are dealing with utility.

The plug-in hybrid version, which is identical in all respects, differs only in the addition of “Hÿbrid” lettering on the sides and rear and the presence of a charging hatch located on the rear left.

After a thorough revision, the interior has been greatly improved. The new atmosphere and new materials improve the perceived quality, while the disappearance of the shift lever, replaced by a new electronic shifter, improves the sense of space.

In addition to the digital gauges, the position of the center screen has also been increased to better fit the driver’s field of vision, and now extends more than 10 inches diagonally (8 inches in the old version). If the screen changes, the interface stays the same. Unlike the new Peugeot 308 and Opel Astra, the new C5 Aicross retains its predecessor’s multimedia system. If the interface remains available, it takes a severe hit to the old one. As with the previous generation, multiple physical keys provide easier access to various menus. One of them provides access to the electrical menu to control consumption, energy flows and replenishment planning. There’s also connectivity with Android Auto and Apple Car Play compatibility. Unlike the latest models on the market that work wirelessly, you still need to plug in a cable to work. Shame !

Nice place for passengers but trunk is always limited

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

The king of comfort, Citroën doesn’t disappoint in the rear seats. Legroom is sufficient, while the middle seat has a real seat, which is however not suitable for tall people due to more limited headroom than the two outboard seats. In terms of hardware, it’s a bit cheap. In our Feel Pack trim, rear passengers will have to use a single USB port. May the strongest win!

Immutable mechanics

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

Like other brands of the Stellantis group, the system combines a 180 hp petrol engine. and an 81 kW (110 hp) electric unit. In reality, the 225 horsepower promised by the technical passport will not twist the stomach. If it remains the fastest engine in the lineup, this hybrid version is not transcendent with a 0-100 km/h sprint of 8.7 seconds. However, this is not so serious for a model focused on comfort, which will be more appreciated in casting riding.

Consumption: between WLTP and reality…

By choosing a very hilly route in the interior of Nice, Citroën chose not the most energy efficient route. Limited to a capacity of 13.2 kWh per 55 km, the battery clearly did not appreciate the theoretical autonomy. Starting with 100% electric mode, it only took about twenty kilometers before the last electrons left us, giving way to an internal combustion engine. Supposed to maximize regeneration, the “B” mode wouldn’t do much good, despite the relief.

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After driving 125 km, including twenty in electric mode and the rest in hybrid mode, we complete our journey with an average consumption of 6.2 l/100 km. Not surprisingly, this is much more than the claimed 1.4-1.5 l / 100 km on the WLTP combined cycle. If you want to consume less, there is no secret: you will have to go to the outlet as often as possible.

The C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid comes standard with a 3.7 kW charger. This is enough for the home and allows you to fully charge in less than 4 hours if you choose to install a charging station. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until 7:30 a.m. charging from a simple household outlet. Please note that a 7.4 kW charger is also available as an option (€400). If this is of little use to you at home, it will be more useful if you plan to regularly recharge at public terminals.

Entry level at a price of more than 40,000 euros

Much more affordable than the Peugeot 3008 plug-in hybrid, which costs more than 46,000 euros in the base version, the new C5 Aircross has a price list close to its predecessor. Billing from €41,750 on the base Feel trim, it rises to €44,050 on our test model’s Feel Pack trim.

However, the price difference with the 100 percent thermal version with automatic transmission is very noticeable. Excluding the €1,000 bonus, the difference is over €8,000 with petrol and over €6,000 with diesel. Therefore, you will have to swallow electric kilometers to compensate for the additional costs …

Citroën C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid – all prices 2022

Hybrid C5 Aircross 41,750 euros
C5 Aircross Hybrid Package 44 050 euros
Hybrid Shine C5 Aircross 45 800 euros
C5 Aircross Hybrid Shine Pack 47 250 euros

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