However, standard equipment is decent enough, given that lofty price. There’s a fully loaded infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay, thank heavens), 19in alloys, part-leather upholstery, wireless phone charging, dual-zone climate control and an arsenal of active safety systems, among other things. There aren’t any heated seats, though, so my other half is already saying she doesn’t like the C5 Aircross. But in her book, heated seats are the only difference between a good car and a bad one, so I’m not too worried by her initial verdict.
And for what it’s worth, you can get them – along with nappa leather upholstery – as a £1770 option. Speaking of options, our car doesn’t have many. There’s Pearl White pearlescent paint (£720) and a Black Exterior Pack (£300), which gets those alloys, the roof and the wing mirror housings painted, well, black. That’s it. I think it looks pretty neat.
Beneath the quirky but rather charming exterior is the same EMP2 platform that underpins everything from the DS 7 Crossback to the Vauxhall Vivaro. Its suspension is, on the face of it, pretty conventional, with MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. Slightly less conventional are the so-called Progressive Hydraulic Cushions – a pair of hydraulic bump stops fitted to each strut that supposedly mitigate the effect of rebound and allow for a softer suspension tune. We’ll evaluate how effective they are in due course.
The powertrain, meanwhile, is shared with the Peugeot 508 Hybrid. It features a 1.6-litre, 178bhp four- cylinder turbo petrol engine and a 107bhp electric motor that’s housed within the eight-speed gearbox, which combine to endow the big Citroën with a system output of 222bhp. Of greater significance, however, is the lithium ion drive battery because, you know, that’s effectively what lends this model its attractive on-paper eco credentials.
It has a 13.2kWh gross capacity and provides a claimed range of between 33 and 40 miles, according to WLTP test procedures. Plug it into a 7kW charger and it will be topped up in less than two hours. It results in the promise of fantastical fuel consumption figures, too: officially, you can expect as much as 222.3mpg, but you’re likely to see Covid-19 completely disappear before hitting those sorts of heady heights.
While my west London flat does have off-street parking, I don’t have access to a home-charging wallbox. And because I rent, I won’t be forking out to install one, either. There are, however, two lamp-post chargers on my road and another couple of public chargers within a five-minute walk, so I should be able to plug the car in pretty easily and reliably.