The French carmaker’s first product in India might compete with cars like Tuscon, Karoq, Compass, or Tiguan. Times Drive got an invitation recently for this made in India Citroen C5, and we took it for a spin.
Let us start this story by a ghisa-pita line- Indians are in love with SUVs, and so is the trend globally. Like many other cliches, this, too, is more or less true. Look at Kia how they captured a big chunk of the Indian market by focusing on SUVs. However, this space is cluttered, and customers have too many options, any new product has to be the real hat-ke product. Which is what Citroen is promising with its first product for the Indian market, an SUV with a different USP. Citroen C5 Aircross, which the company is calling a comfort class SUV. French carmaker’s first product in India might compete with cars like Tuscon, Karoq, Compass or Tiguan. This launch was delayed due to the pandemic. Times Drive got an invitation recently for this made in India Citroen C5, and we took it for a spin. How was it? Let’s find out.
Citroen C5 Aircross 2021: Looks
Wherever we took this car, people stopped and asked kaun si hai? The front grille with the signature line was the most prominent element behind that question. The C5 Aircross is a new design for us, a unique silhouette. Not to angular and not too curvy either. The design is overall quirky and friendly. Similar feel in the interiors where seat upholstery was the first element which caught my attention. The seats are upholstered in such a design that they reminded me of that dairy milk white chocolate chunks, which look cool.
Citroen C5 Aircross 2021: Features
C5 Aircross is coming in two variants, base variant Feel and Shine, being the top end, with three extra features.
- Citroen C5: Feel and Shine
- LED projector headlamps
- Panoramic Sunroof
- Hands-free powered tailgate
Other than these you will get to see 3D LED tail lamps, LED turn indicators and fog lamps. Inside you get an 8-inch multimedia touchscreen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. The instrument display is a 12.3-inch TFT screen. The driver side seat is electrically adjustable, and front seats get lumbar support. Then you get dual-zone climate control, air-purifying system, rear AC vents and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Citroen C5 Aircross 2021: Safety features
C5 Aircross comes with dual front airbags, front-seat side airbags, and curtain airbags. This also gets electronic stability program, hill descent control, hill start assist, traction control, electric parking brake, front and rear parking sensors, and reverse parking camera. One handy feature is -Blind Spot Information System. You can see a small red dot blinking on the side view mirrors if it detects a vehicle next to the car, which is not visible in the mirror. ISOFIX mounts are there on every passenger seats.
Citroen C5 Aircross 2021: Space
When you look at the dimensions of C5, the length, breadth and height combo will look a bit different from the usual. This has a taller and broader stance than the regular SUVs in this segment. This gives a very tall and spacious feel inside. The headroom was ample for my 190 cm height. However, second-row space feels adequate. Not very luxurious but clever. Three seats in the rear can be slid or reclined independently. This gives unique flexibility, the utility of which I can’t think of right now, but I am sure it will come handy in some way. These seats feel well-cushioned but look relatively compact, suitable for three lean passengers. The thigh support could have been little better with bench width. The floor is almost flat, and it gives enough space for average Indian height passengers.
Citroen C5 Aircross 2021: Luggage space
- Rear seats egular: 580-litres
- Rear seats forward: 720-litres
- Rear seats folded: 1,630-litres
Citroen C5 Aircross 2021: Dimensions
- Length: 4,500 mm
- Width: 2,099 mm
- Height: 1,710 mm
- Wheelbase: 2,730 mm
Citroen C5 Aircross 2021: Drive and handling
Citron C5 Aircross is not pitched as an off-roader or hardcore 4WD SUV, but I could better understand this car when I went offroad. I will come back to this bit later, let’s talk about the on-road bit first. There are two driving modes- Eco and Sport on top of which you get few traction control setups like mud, sand, ESP off and hill descent control.
The actual driving of C5 Aircross started only after I left the NH24 traffic behind. This upcoming French SUV was cruising in the traffic, quietly and comfortably but slowly. When I crossed over, via by lanes and eventually to some empty stretch of bendy roads, C5 Aircross felt more comfortable. That is Citroen’s pitch too, calling this – ’Comfort class SUV’, which is believable when you push it on the tarmac or bends. The suspension feels soft, and the ride quality comfortable. You will feel the body roll during the turns. Even while in sport mode the car feels like being in the comfort mode, a bit extra spirited. C5’s handling around the corners reminds you that you are in a tall and broad sports utility vehicle. However, I wanted to check its suspension with progressive hydraulic cushions and kept going for the speed breakers and corners, but the personality was still comfortable, smooth and generic. Nothing exceptional.
Then I went for the last bit after we finished shooting-the dirt patch. That is the place this car showed its true colours. The suspension felt in control, and the car was composed on the bumpy, dirt patches. The suspension kept its cool even on higher speeds, sudden brakes and bumps. I was impressed, especially with the feedback I was getting in the cabin. The suspension didn’t transfer the major thuds inside and didn’t cry for help, it felt at ease.