The current discussion about a special SUV tax, "because SUVs consume a lot" is completely wrong in most cases. The Citroën C 5 Aircross we tested with the four-cylinder turbodiesel and 131 hp, for example, has proven to be more economical than some small cars. And he is not alone in the SUV segment, which populist ideologists want to eradicate completely wrongly.
How popular SUVs have become can not only be seen on the Citroën C5 Aircross. The top model of the brand, which came onto the market in early 2019, has already been sold over 50.000 times, 4.400 times in Germany alone. The SUV positioned in the so-called “Comfort Class” is a clear sales driver for the brand with the two angles. All in all, the brand, in its own words, is enjoying the "strongest growth among the twelve best-selling automobile brands in Europe". Conclusion: The SUV segment is booming. Customers are not at all impressed by the criticism of SUVs. The growing sales figures of all SUV providers prove the popularity of this series.
Typical Citroën: also emphasized as an SUV
The C5 Aircross does not want to be a rough terrain, but is characterized by comfort in all situations. Perhaps that's why the seats appear to us to be a bit too comfortable and soft, which of course has to contradict sporting seat expectations. Nevertheless, the seats offer sufficient lateral support, although sporty cornering is not part of the driving program anyway. Comfort comes before sportiness, which is also expressed in soft seats. Taken together, the undercarriage and the seats impressively cushion the uncomfortability of the roads. The C5 Aircross can boast of being one of the most comfortable SUVs in terms of ride comfort, just as it has been for the Citroën brand image for what feels like 100 years.
The design is - not surprisingly at Citroën - visibly original, a mixture of expressionist presence and friendly restraint. No aggressive face, but elegantly shaped width and a skilfully integrated company logo, the double angle. The front looks very harmonious, the headlights are well integrated and give the front a futuristic touch.
Of course, Euro 6d temp standardized
Our test car with its rather modest 131 diesel horsepower with SCR catalytic converter and AdBlue injection naturally meets today's most stringent Euro 6d-Temp standard. The efficiency class A + also proves its extremely efficient use of fuel. With a test consumption between 5,3 and 6,1 liters (!) Per 100 kilometers, the SUV prejudice of high consumption for this Citroën completely ignores reality.
We drove long motorway routes with the C5, made rapid progress and were always able to stay relaxed thanks to automatic distance radar (optional). We were not surprised that the top speed of 188 km / h is enough to swim along on any highway. But we were surprised at how little we used.
It's also fun as a hand switch
The six-speed gearbox can be shifted smoothly, is well graded and harmonises splendidly with the character of the engine, which with a maximum of 300 Newton meters of torque (at 1740 rpm) appears quite spirited. It is not exhilarating that 0 to 100 km / h takes 10,4 seconds. But what does it matter: given the traffic density, is this still a criterion? It is important to move forward quickly, but not to have to win every traffic light start. We never had the impression that we were underpowered. For us, auto-spoiled auto testers turned manual shifting into an enriching challenge to surf the torque curve so skillfully that efficiency and power development intertwine optimally. Clearly: We can end the discussion about the need for an SUV tax here. Of course, the 4,5 meter long, only front-wheel drive C5 Aircross is also available with 8-speed automatic and more powerful engines with up to 180 hp than petrol engines.
Lots of space in the trunk
The rear rear bench seat, which can be moved by 15 centimeters, is practical with three seats, where otherwise there is only one kind of emergency seat in the middle. The trunk volume is 580 to 1630 liters (with the backrest folded down) for a compact SUV. It is very practical that the loading area becomes a level when the rear seats are folded down.
As is the case today, the driver's workplace is of course characterized by a high degree of ergonomics. Switches, levers, buttons are designed for intuitive usability. The driver is informed of everything important on the 12,3-inch screen. The central 8-inch touchscreen is reserved for an easy-to-use navigation system, among other things. The traffic sign recognition works reliably and quickly. It recognizes stop signs, bans on passage and overtaking and signals them in the instrument cluster. In general, the abundance (partly optional) of the available assistants is impressive. From emergency braking assist to active lane keeping assistant, the adaptive cruise control reliably keeps its distance from the vehicle in front and brakes reliably in a traffic jam until it stops. The parking aid automatically parks, the driver only has to engage reverse gear and accelerate sensitively.
Up to 20 assistants ensure security
Conclusion: The C5 Aircross as we tested it is an all-round practical partner. With a base price of 28.090 euros, this version with the four-cylinder turbodiesel is more than worth considering in terms of price / performance ratio. It is bearable that there is no all-wheel drive for an additional charge. For this purpose, "Grip Control" should optimally supply the traction of the driven front wheels with torque. The driver can design the traction using the modes Sand, mud, snow and ESP off choose. What can lead to fear attacks among novice drivers is impossible in the C5: starting off on the mountain. Hill start assist holds the vehicle in place for two seconds until the clutch engages. We enjoyed this system on a steep parking lot exit, where the payment column is placed on a steep section. This makes mountain climbing child's play, even for bloody beginners.
That the high-beam assistant reliably dimmers in oncoming traffic, the coffee break alarm warns when the driver is traveling faster than 70 km / h for more than two hours, the attention assistant monitors how often the driver crosses lane lines to warn them, The security value should not be underestimated that more concentration or a break makes sense. All in all, the C5 Aircross is an asset to the SUV market, which - we repeat - is wrongly drawn to fuel waste.