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Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid PureTech 180 2023 Review

The Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid offers a comfortable driving experience, the potential of 200mpg, a spacious interior yet a compact external footprint, and it has received a number of mid-life updates.

  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
  • Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid
Green Car Guide Rating: 8/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:  Citroën C5 Aircross Shine Plug-in Hybrid PureTech 180
  • Fuel:  Petrol-electric plug-in hybrid
  • Fuel economy combined (WLTP):  202 mpg
  • Electric range (WLTP):  38 miles

Summary

  • Comfortable driving experience
  • Official economy of up to 202 mpg
  • Spacious interior, compact exterior footprint
  • Minor mid-life updates

Background

The Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid has been updated, including revised front and rear styling, and changes to the infotainment system. The basic recipe remains: a spacious interior despite a compact exterior footprint, and the potential for impressive economy.

Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid

Design & Engineering

The Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid has a 180hp 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre PureTech petrol engine combined with a 110hp electric motor and a 13.2kW battery. An ë-EAT8 8-speed electrified automatic gearbox sends power to the front wheels.

The C5 Aircross has three full-size individual rear seats which can recline in up to five positions, and each seat can individually slide forwards and backwards up to 150mm. Sliding the rear seats forward means that the boot volume can increase from 460 litres to 600 litres under the parcel shelf. There’s also space under the boot floor to store the charging cable.

The Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid has a badge saying ‘Hybrid’ – we wonder why it doesn’t say ‘Plug-in Hybrid’?

Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid

Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid Driving Experience

The headline is that the Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid is very good to drive. A comfortable ride on most road surfaces is a key feature; Citroen says that this is due to its ‘Advanced Comfort’ suspension with two hydraulic cushions. However the suspension can struggle to cope with challenges such as large potholes.

The compact size of the C5 Aircross helps with agility, and a combined power output of 225 hp means that there’s decent performance.

As with virtually all PHEVs, the C5 Aircross is better to drive on electric power (which it can do up to 84 mph) because there’s instant throttle response delivered in near-silence and with impressive levels of refinement.

The C5 Aircross features the standard Stellantis gear selector, which offers the option of ‘B’, ie. increased brake regeneration. There are also steering wheel-mounted paddles to change gear manually.

Positioned very close to the gear selector is the drive mode switch, giving the options of Electric, Hybrid and Sport. You can also press a button to select ‘e-save’, which saves the battery charge (for 6 miles, 12 miles, or 100%).

Although the C5 Aircross is an SUV, it’s only front-wheel drive, however you can specify the option of ‘Grip Control’ which aims to provide increased levels of traction on slippery surfaces.

The infotainment system has received a number of updates. The central touchscreen has six shortcut buttons, for radio, climate, navigation, car, phone and apps – however there’s no ‘Home’ button. To access heating and ventilation controls you have to press the climate button first; it would benefit from separate, permanently visible heating and ventilation controls. If you want to use Apple CarPlay, you have to press two buttons – it would be better to just press one button.

On the right-hand side of the steering wheel you can switch off the lane departure warning system with just one press of a button – and just one button can switch off the alarm, and the child lock.

If you approach a speed camera, be prepared for a slightly annoying warning noise.

Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid

Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid Economy and Emissions

The Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid has an electric range of 38 miles, which results in an official combined fuel economy figure of 202mpg and CO2 emissions of 32 g/km.

In the real-world, the C5 Aircross’s electric range was averaging 28 miles, and fuel economy was 55.4mpg – this figure obviously completely depends on how much driving is done on electric power.

During our week with the C5 Aircross we had to drive from Manchester to central London. Upon entering London we selected Electric mode (having saved the battery charge) and we drove in the Congestion Charge zone on 100% electric power – confirmed by a blue light being illuminated at the front of the rear-view mirror – but we still had to pay £45 Congestion Charge fee for three days, despite producing zero tailpipe emissions.

Using a 32A home wall box, the C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid should take around two hours to fully charge.

Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid

Price and Model Range

The Citroën C5 Aircross Shine Plug-in Hybrid PureTech 180 costs £35,835. The PHEV model is available in two trim levels: Shine or C-Series Edition.

Prices and specifications correct at time of review

Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid

Conclusion

There’s very little to fault the Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid’s overall driving experience. It’s comfortable, and it offers good performance together with the potential for impressive economy if driven mainly on electric power. It also provides decent levels of space in a compact footprint. The Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid gains a Green Car Guide rating of 8/10.

Car facts and figures Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid PureTech 180 2023 Review

  • Test economy: 55.4 mpg
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 32 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):  £0 Year 1
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2022/23): 12%
  • Price:  £35,835
  • Insurance group:  TBC
  • Power: 225 hp (Combined)
  • Torque:  360 Nm (Combined)
  • Max speed:  140 mph
  • 0-62 mph:  8.9 seconds
  • Weight:  1770 kg
  • Towing capacity: 1300 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor