- Puretech petrol engine is punchy and refined
- Diesels are economical and suited to auto transmission
- You'll have to wait for the Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV)
The Citroen C5 Aircross is available with a range of latest-generation Euro 6.2 engines and come in petrol-powered flavours: PureTech 130 S&S six-speed manual and PureTech 180 S&S EAT8 (eight-speed auto). There will also be three diesel versions: the BlueHDi 130 six-speed manual, BlueHDi 130 S&S EAT8 and BlueHDi 180 S&S EAT8. Citroen says that the new eight-speed auto is 7% more efficient than the outgoing six-speeder.
Also confirmed is that the SUV will be available with a 300hp petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain shortly after launch; the only model in the range with four-wheel drive. It has a battery-only range of 40 miles, and joins the range in late 2020.
Citroen expects that the sales split between petrol and diesel in the UK with be a straight 50/50 – a solid reminder of how the family car market is changing to reflect the views of buyers who are keen to leave the diesel fold.
What's it like to drive?
We've driven both the PureTech petrol and BlueHDi versions in range-topping 180hp form, and both impressed for different reasons. In the case of the diesel, it pairs up well with the EAT8 transmission, resulting in a relaxed, laid-back driving experience that complements its overall refinement. It never feels fast (0-62mph in 11.5 seconds), just long-legged.
The PureTech petrol is refined and punchier (0-62mph takes 8.2 seconds) and also suits the nature of the C5 Aircross. Again, not quick feeling on the road, but more than happy to roll along at motorway speeds without feeling at all stressed.
Out of the pair, we'd forego the range and ultimate economy of the diesel version and head straight for the petrol because of its refinement and willing nature. We'll wait to give a definitive verdict until we've driven the 130hp twins, but given how good the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol is, we're willing to bet this one will be the star of the range.