2021 Citroen C5 Aircross review, road test

    It made a strong first impression, and now we put it through our tests to find out how it performs.

    Published on Sep 22, 2021 09:00:00 AM


    2021 Citroen C5 Aircross review, road test

    Citroën claims that the C5 delivers a ‘flying carpet ride’, and while this might seem like marketing speak, in reality, its ride comfort is simply phenomenal and unequivocally, the best around. What makes the C5’s ride so good are the progressive hydraulic cushions. These cushions essentially replace the mechanical bump stops (usually made out of rubber) with hydraulic chambers. Interestingly, the front suspension uses two hydraulic chambers on either side of the shock absorbers – one for compression and the other for rebound, whereas there’s only one chamber at the rear for compression. These hydraulic chambers really shine when the car goes over deep or sharp surfaces at speeds, and it is at those times when you truly appreciate this setup’s bump absorption prowess. There’s no body shock or a jarring thud felt inside the cabin. This crossover swallows road shock better than most cars we’ve experienced, even from those that are two to three segments above.

    Soft suspension coupled with ‘progressive hydraulic cushions’ work extremely well at all speeds.

    Over most other scenarios, the C5’s soft spring and damper setup flatten the road imperfections by themselves, offering a cushy drive experience. Up the pace, and the C5 tends to waft a bit over wavy surfaces, but it’s never excessive and body control on the whole is good. The steering remains oily smooth and light at all speeds. And when you corner with verve, it does roll a bit, on account of its soft suspension setup. With an aggressive driver behind the wheel, the traction control light is often seen flickering incessantly on the instrument cluster. It also tends to nose dive as you brake hard, and truth be told, this car is best enjoyed at six- or even seven-tenths of its potential; a Jeep Compass it is not.

    To enhance this Citroën’s traction, it comes equipped with ‘Grip Control’ modes, which alter its ESP and traction control settings in scenarios such as mud, grass, snow and sand. These, plus the C5’s chunky 235/55 R18 tyres and the massive 230mm (unladen) ground clearance boost its ability to tread off the beaten path. However, with power being delivered only to the front wheels, it doesn’t have the absolute go-anywhere capability like other four-wheel-drive SUVs at this price point.

    Thick tyres and 230mm ground clearance go well with its SUV credentials.

    The brakes perform adequately for the most part, with a predictable pedal feel. Occasionally, you will find the brakes grabbing and bringing the car to a halt a bit too abruptly, particularly while slowing down at crawling speeds.


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