French marque Citroen is flaunting best-in-class cabin space and an ‘air carpet’ like ride among the reasons to choose its first plug-in electric hybrid SUV.

CITROEN WILL COMPETE in the flourishing compact SUV market when its C5 Aircross SUV is sold in China later this year before going on sale in Europe mid-next year with no confirmation of availability in any other markets.

Built on PSA Group’s EMP2 platform which underpins the Peugeot 3008, the five-seat C5 Aircross will be a direct rival to the likes of the Honda HR-V and Nissan Qashqai. Its exterior styling is neater than that of the smaller Citroen C4 Cactus SUV and gone air the ‘Airbumps’ which polarised opinion on that model.

Citoreon is boasting that the Aircross will feature best-in-class cabin space thanks to a long 2730mm wheelbase which provides for 201mm of legroom and 954mm of headspace. On top of the spacious interior will be the option of a panoramic sunroof, electric heated seats with massage function and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system (no details of connectivity options has been released yet).

The Aircross will also be available with some of the latest safety features such as speed sign recognition, active safety brake, adaptive cruise control with stop function, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, automatic dimming headlights and 360 degree camera monitor.

Available with either a petrol or diesel engine, the C5 Aircross will also be available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). That plug-in variant will combine a 149kW petrol motor with two electric motors (one front and one rear) producing an additional output of 75kW and bringing the combined output of both systems to 224kW. Citroen claims the electric motors alone will provide up to 60km range, which is comparable to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV available in Australia.

The diesel, petrol and hybrid powertrains will be available in either two-wheel or four-wheel drive, with the four-wheel drive layout offering an electronic drive mode selector for the driver to adjust traction and drive-split according to driving conditions.

Progressive hydraulic cushion suspension will also feature front and rear and improved dampers add both rebound and compression stops which is, as Citroen claims, like riding on a ‘flying carpet’.


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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