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New Citroen C5 Aircross SUV to debut at Shanghai

Date: 18 April 2017   |   Author: James Richardson

The all-new Citroen C5 Aircross SUV has been revealed ahead of its public debut at the Shanghai motor show. Set to go on sale in the UK towards the end of 2018, the new car puts the focus on passenger comfort and will feature what Citroen says is a "revolutionary new suspension system" that will help deliver a comfortable ride.

It'll initially go on sale in China in October this year before arriving in the UK late next year, when the new C5 Aircross will go up against rivals like the Peugeot 3008, Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar, Seat Ateca and the Volkswagen Touareg. As well as the hi-tech suspension system, the new car will also be the first Citroen to be available with a plug-in hybrid power train. 

In keeping with much of the rest of the Citroen range, the new car will feature some fairly dramatic styling touches. These include the company's now-familiar narrow, horizontal, daytime running lights sitting above the main headlamps. Those daytime running lights are connected by two chrome lines running the width of the front of the car, which also form the famous Citroen Chevron badge on the car's nose. 

One of the main features of the car's flanks is the chrome 'C'-shaped signature that encompasses the rear window line, as well as a newer interpretation of the brand's airbump concept, plus black plastic cladding all around to help with the crossover's off-road pretensions. Round the back, there are wraparound all-LED lights and a blacked-out D-pillar to give the impression of a 'floating' roof. Cars will come with a choice of 17, 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels as standard. 

Inside, there's a 12.3-inch digital instrument display in place of the traditional analogue dials, while an eight-inch touchscreen display in the centre console allows occupants to control the infotainment system. Citroen is also promising plenty of interior storage, as well as passenger space thanks to a relatively long wheelbase that allows lots of legroom for all five potential occupants. There's 482 litres of boot space to play with, which is about average for the class, while the tailgate can be opened with a wave of the foot. 

Comfort is one of the major focuses of the new C5 Aircross and the company has filed 20 patents for a new suspension system that features what the firm calls Progressive Hydraulic Cushions. This system has been tuned to help make the new car "the most comfortable SUV of its time", according to Citroen. As well as a new suspension system, there are also new seats all round and a high level of acoustic insulation to help keep road, wind and engine noise intrusion into the cabin to a minimum. 

As is becoming more and more common, the Citroen C5 Aircross will feature a suite of electronic safety aids that includes automatic dimming headlights, adaptive cruise control with stop function, active lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and cameras all-round to help the driver avoid obstacles when tackling low-speed manoeuvres. It will also benefit from a variety of driver aids to help with the car's off-road capability, including Standard, Sand, Off-road, Snow and ESP off settings for the traction control system. It'll also be available with Hill Assist Descent Control to help the driver tackle tricky slopes. 

As yet, only the combined 300hp plug-in hybrid power train (a combination of a 200hp petrol engine and electric motors) has been confirmed for the UK, while the Chinese market will definitely get the 165 and 200hp 1.6-litre petrol engines, combined with six-speed automatic gearbox. When final UK specs are confirmed, expect the addition of diesel engines and manual gearboxes to the range.

There's no word on pricing as yet either, but don't expect it to cost much more than the Peugeot 3008, which has a P11D value starting at £21,740.