As before, the steering is light and lifeless. When you’re really pressing on, there’s some wallow and heave through bumpy corners and quick direction changes, plus understeer scrub at the limit. That said, overall grip levels are actually quite high, while body roll itself is surprisingly well checked.

Dial it back, though, and the softly suspended C5 Aircross has a pleasingly languid gait that makes it a stress-free steer for daily duties. It floated along the well-surfaced but bumpy roads of our French test route in a manner that used to be a double-chevron calling card.

That said, sharp imperfections still send a shudder through the structure that Citroën’s trademark Progressive Hydraulic Cushion bumpstops can’t cope with, making some particularly poorly surfaced urban routes a jarring experience.

We drove both the 128bhp 1.2-litre petrol and the 222bhp plug-in hybrid (there’s also a 128bhp diesel), the former proving refined enough bit a little overwhelmed by the car’s avoirdupois, the latter punchier and delivering 38 miles of electric-only running – but better suited to business users looking to bring down their BIK tax bills (Citroën claims forthcoming updates will increase the range to 40 miles, dropping the liability from 12% to 8%).

The PHEV also transitions fairly slickly between fossil fuel and lithium ion power, while in the latter mode it offers reasonably brisk and near silent progress up to 84mph.

A six-speed manual gearbox is available with the petrol and diesel, but both the cars we tried were fitted with the same smooth but slow-witted eight-speed automatic.

Like the driving experience, the rest of the C5 Aircross is very familiar, which means it’s one of the more spacious and versatile machines in its class. There’s plenty of room in the back, with a fairly flat floor, plus the three individual rear seats slide and recline to deliver flexibility and comfort – although only the two outer chairs get Isofix mounting points.

There’s also loads of handy storage, while the boot is a very useful 580 litres (reduced to 460 litres in the PHEV, as it loses the variable-height boot floor but retains enough storage beneath to house some charging cables).

Load More By Michael Smith
Load More In Automotive
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Dave Vellante’s Breaking Analysis: The complete collection

Breaking Analysis is a weekly editorial program combining knowledge from SiliconANGLE’s th…