The secret diary of a motoring journalist aged 39¾'ish


29th July 2019

I like Citroens. There are even some that I love, which will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me and that I’ve owned several 2CVs over the years. There’s something commendably, admirably oddball about all of the best Citroens. All of which means I was intrigued by the new C5 Aircross as it’s a model following the herd into this segment instead of Citroen blazing its own path.
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I needn’t have worried about Citroen being lost in the SUV melee as family, friends and neighbours have all commented on the Aircross’ looks. It’s all overwhelmingly popular, too, and it would appear the rounded lines and looks of the C5 have won it many friends compared to the more angular and aggressive looks of most SUVs. I’d go along with this line of thought and I’m also a fan of the detailing such as that on the bottom of the front doors and roof bars.
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Down to the nitty gritty today and how the C5 Aircross drives. It’s a trip into Edinburgh followed by a cross-country route to drop off some stuff. What becomes glaringly obvious is the Citroen rides lumps, bumps and rumps with a control and comfort that no other car in this class comes close to. It’s not a magic carpet ride like that of the original DS, but there’s a compliance that let’s you take corners with verve while not suffering any fidgeting over uneven roads.
Another long-ish day in the C5 Aircross to head south for a couple of days and the refinement of the car is another big bonus. There’s little wind, road or engine noise, so cruising along the motorway is a very enjoyable experience. The lane keeping assist is a little intrusive and not something I like, but it’s easily disabled with the button down to the right of the steering wheel, thankfully.
While down in the south-east, I had a couple of hours to spare and made my way to the Brooklands Museum. This is an ever-fascinating venue to visit and the sight of so many rare and amazing cars, motorcycles and aircraft in one place is a delight. It’s also a reminder that engineering can achieve a huge amount and it continues to this day in all areas of our lives.
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Back up to Scotland today and the C5 Aircross again impresses with its ability to cover ground in quiet and comfort. During this journey, the Citroen has averaged 42.7mpg, which ain’t bad for a big SUV with four adults onboard plus their luggage. The 1.5-litre turbodiesel in this Flair trim version pulls well and the eight-speed automatic gearbox is the perfect partner.
The only complaint after yesterday’s long journey was about keen room for the tallest passenger riding in the back. No such worries today as I folded all of the seats down to fit in my son’s mountain bike so he could head off with one of his chums. You don’t get more lifestyle-y SUV than this and the Aircross passed with flying colours. It proves you can have a 4x4 and that Citroen spirit in one car.
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