Nearly magic carpet-like, positively an amazing drive- Know-how Information, Novi Reporter
Tushar BurmanFeb 23, 2021 10:11:22 IST
I’ll admit to not being updated with Citroen’s legendary historical past until the time I visited its museum in Paris again in early 2020, when such issues have been potential. I’d heard tales in regards to the French analogue to the German Beetle, the 2CV, and the way it was designed to have the ability to carry a basket filled with eggs throughout a discipline with out breaking any. The psychological picture doesn’t fairly do justice to the completely jelly-like suspension of the 2CV. It actually wallowed prefer it have been floating on water. Citroen has made comfy suspension a little bit of a behavior down via its lengthy historical past. The C5 Aircross guarantees a lot on this regard, and the time period ‘magic carpet’ has been thrown round liberally.
The Citroen C5 Aircross is coming right into a scorching market with rivals such because the Jeep Compass, VW Tiguan, and Hyundai Tucson already established, and cheaper rivals such because the MG Hector Plus, Tata Safari and upcoming Mahindra XUV500 making one query whether or not the ‘premium’ tag is well worth the cash. Initially deliberate for late final yr, the COVID-19 pandemic made positive issues have been delayed to February 2021. Citroen has made big investments in India and the C5 Aircross is being made right here with substantial ranges of localisation. We hope this can bode effectively for pricing and repair prices sooner or later.
When it comes to measurement and spec, the C5 Aircross is within the ballpark of the competitors, with the huge monitor differentiating it bodily, aside from the distinctive, quirky design. It’s bigger and taller than the competitors in lots of dimensions, and the inside quantity is beneficiant. We’ll get two variants – FEEL (examined) and SHINE, each utilizing a 177 hp / 400 Nm diesel engine mated to an 8-speed torque converter computerized transmission.
A phrase about tech
We must always get this out of the way in which early on: the Citroen C5 Aircross goes to win no accolades for its tech stack. There are not any related automotive options to talk of, and the infotainment system feels a bit last-gen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be found, however solely when related by cable. The shortage of a wi-fi charger has been an apparent lacuna, identified by most of us journalists, to which Citroen had an unusually defensive response. It claims wi-fi chargers don’t work via telephone circumstances (false), warmth up the telephone (true) and cost slowly (additionally true).
Having arrived on the press drive within the just lately facelifted Jeep Compass that gives a beneficiant wi-fi charging pad in addition to wi-fi Apple CarPlay, it was troublesome to not be churlish when pointing this out. A well-executed wi-fi smartphone hyperlink is – I feel – a killer app and encourages the secure use of expertise inside the automotive.
What is on the market is a reasonably-sized infotainment display screen with massive contact targets and fonts, all legibly laid out. The theme is darkish, and bolder, or unfavourable colors could effectively have been extra legible in daylight. The identical goes for the driving force binnacle, which is an all-screen affair. Nonetheless, Citroen has put its personal spin on how engine RPM and different stats ought to be displayed. No dials are seen; the RPM is indicated by a horizontal slide-rule type of show. That is merely bizarre. The color theme carries over right here, and I might have most popular one thing extra arresting.
Inside: a breadth of benefits
The huge monitor of the Citroen makes itself evident within the inner quantity of the automotive. The second row is especially spectacular, with three particular person seats that slide fore and aft on rails, recline and fold ahead. Three-abreast ought to be extra comfy on this automobile than within the competitors. The ground pan is flat too, and kneeroom is sufficient. There isn’t any house to put your ft beneath the entrance seats, nevertheless, which is a wierd omission.
The seats themselves really feel huge, with bolsters laid out to accommodate bigger people. They’re okay for consolation, however I might have most popular softer leatherette; the square-quilted materials on these seats felt a bit tough for this class.
The remainder of the inside follows a theme of rounded rectangles, from the steering to the AC vents and the infotainment display screen. The sprint options leather-based upholstery, with some plastic peeking via. Supplies really feel respectable, however not significantly luxurious. To check, the brand new Compass feels miles forward. A panoramic sunroof is on the market on the highest variant, as are a hands-free tailgate and LED headlights. Nonetheless, even the decrease FEEL variant we drove is well-equipped, with a powered driver’s seat (no reminiscence perform, sadly) and terrain modes (no 4×4, sadly).
Cargo room is kind of sensible. A flat and deep 580-litre boot ought to carry lots for 5 occupants. We didn’t have the time to check it utterly, however I’m assured the C5 Aircross will simply cross my two Golden Retrievers check for the boot, and comfortably, too.
Design: premium, quirky
The images ought to let you know what you must know in regards to the C5 Aircross. It’s a special design than what we’ve seen from SUVs of this class, for positive. It might not be for everybody. I can say that it appears strong, well-built and fairly enticing within the distinctive Emerald color automotive we drove. It’s uncommon, futuristic, however not bizarre. I’m not going to stretch it by attributing some nebulous French aptitude to it. It’s what it’s. Proportions are well-executed, and the amount of the automobile isn’t instantly obvious. Wheels are 18-inchers and lend an athletic stance to the automobile.
On the go: a benchmark drivetrain
The spotlight of the Citroen C5 Aircross for me was its drivetrain. The 177 hp / 400 Nm diesel engine mated to the Aisin 8-speed computerized was chic to drive, particularly in comparison with the competitors. The engine is responsive, and the gearbox retains up, by no means feeling prefer it ought to be in some other gear than it’s. The peppy nature of the automotive belies its weight and comfortable suspension. I far favor driving the Aircross to, say, the Compass or the Hector. Paddle shifters can be found on the steering column, do you have to need to take management your self. I used to be completely happy to let Aisin do the work for me. It’s the most enjoyable to drive in Sport mode, however not past the purpose the place consolation can be compromised. That is well-judged.
Terrain modes can be found, regardless of a front-wheel drive setup. We had the chance to take the C5 Aircross down a gnarly off-road single-track, with deep ruts, comfortable mud and rocks, and didn’t really feel the automobile lose traction even as soon as. It ably traversed our little detour and saved the passengers comfy. It is a soft-roader for positive, however it can do greater than you may suppose when the tarmac ends.
Engine noise can also be effectively managed, as are vibrations and harshness. It’s a quiet cabin until you’re driving over concrete surfaces or joints within the highway, which is when the ‘magic carpet’ suspension isn’t very magical and lets highway noise seep in.
Suspension: about that magic carpet…
Maybe that is me taking a contrarian view as a result of hype round Citroen’s ‘magic carpet’ suspension, however I wouldn’t go that far. It’s a superb suspension and absorbs most of what we threw at it – even off-road. Nonetheless, it isn’t foolproof. Concrete surfaces and highway joints will jar occupants, as is the case with different European makes as effectively. Citroen makes use of hydraulic bump-stops for the suspension, permitting for a softer influence on the extremes of suspension journey. It feels softer however doesn’t remove the viciousness of our highway surfaces. You might hear that this setup rivals that of luxurious automobiles; it isn’t so. A very good adaptive damping system will outperform this Aircross. To sum it up, the C5’s suspension is nice. Pretty much as good as that of the brand new Compass, I feel. Not higher.
Maybe it was the width of the automobile that made me really feel this, however the C5 Aircross dealt with fairly flat in my drive. There was some pitch below onerous braking, however laterally, it felt composed. The authority of the engine and management of the suspension make this a really ready and cozy triple-digit cruiser.
Must you purchase the C5 Aircross?
Citroen is new to most automotive patrons in India, and their gross sales and repair community is just now coming on-line. Rumours peg the Aircross at between Rs 25-30 lakh (ex-showroom), if no more. For that cash, I’m undecided if the worth is conclusively confirmed. Sure, there are premium touches, a novel design and a benchmark drivetrain, however the model values of Citroen are but to be successfully communicated and confirmed to the Indian viewers. We’d like to be stunned by an aggressive value after they’re introduced however ought to the C5 Aircross launch at its rumoured pricing, I feel patrons will be predisposed to buy round.
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