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Shanghai show: Citroen goes soft with C5 Aircross

Soft sell: Citroen is introducing its ‘Progressive Hydraulic Cushions’ suspension with the C5 Aircross that promises “exceptional” ride comfort.

Citroen’s C5 Aircross will hit European showrooms next year, but no word on Aus


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19 Apr 2017

CITROEN has lifted the covers from its Mazda-CX-5-rivalling C5 Aircross at the Shanghai motor show, revealing a new mid-size SUV that promises cushioning levels of ride and comfort that the brand is known for.

The C5 Aircross is the latest model in the French car-maker’s SUV model onslaught that started with the oddball C4 Cactus in 2015 and ramped up with the C3-based C-Aircross from last month’s Geneva motor show.

Citroen has confirmed that the C5 Aircross will initially go on sale in China in the second half of this year before being offered in Europe by the end of 2018.

It is unclear if it will be offered in Australia, or if it will indeed be built in right-hand-drive configuration, but GoAuto has contacted Citroen’s Australian distributor Sime Darby Motors Group for clarification.

If it does get the green light for Australia, it would compete against a diverse range of models, including the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 as well as the Volkswagen Tiguan and the mechanically related 3008 from sister brand Peugeot.

The C5 Aircross is underpinned by PSA Group’s ubiquitous EMP2 platform that forms the basis of the C4 Picasso, Peugeot 308 and the 3008 SUV.

Its 2730mm wheelbase is just 30mm longer than the CX-5, but Citroen has not provided any other dimensions.

As part of the brand’s recently announced ‘Citroen Advanced Comfort’ program, the C5 Aircross marks the debut of the ‘Progressive Hydraulic Cushions’ suspension.

The system harks back to Citroen’s floaty cushioning suspension setups from some of its most iconic historical models, with the company saying it improves “damping quality for an exceptional level of ride comfort, that is typically Citroen”.

Citroen has remained faithful to the design of the Aircross concept from the 2015 Shanghai show, with the muscular bodylines, blacked-out lower panels, darkened C-pillar, distinctive front-end styling with the now familiar split headlights from other Citroen products, sporty looking wheels and contrasting red flourishes.

Describing it as a “People-Minded SUV,” the French car-maker has ditched the futuristic look of the concept’s cabin in favour of a more realistic, but still modern, design theme.

It features a 12.3-inch TFT digital cluster and an 8.0-inch high-definition touchscreen surrounded by boldly designed air vents that are replicated at the edges of the dash.

According to Citroen, it also has an opening panoramic sunroof, heated fronts seats with a massage function, “leading” legroom in the rear, and an air quality treatment function.

Driver assistance and active safety features include Active Safety Brake, Active Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with a Stop function, Grip Control and Hill Assist Descent Control.

Citroen has confirmed that the C5 Aircross will be the first model from its stable to be offered with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, but it has not detailed any other powertrain choices.

They are, however, likely to include some small capacity petrol and diesel engines found in various PSA products already.

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