2022 Citroen C5 Aircross Review: First Drive

The Citroen C5 Aircross gets a sprinkling of fresh styling, a spoonful of new technology and a hefty increase in price. Its rivals are better equipped and more affordable, which begs the question – is the 2022 Citroen C5 Aircross a practical choice? We get behind the 'wheel to find out.

By Karan Singh | on September 24, 2022 Follow us on Autox Google News

The Citroen C5 Aircross gets a minor facelift, more equipment and a bigger price tag.

The Citroen C5 Aircross sits in a niche space – luxurious, five-seater SUVs that aren’t as expensive as entry-level offerings from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo and yet, have more space inside. It’s a rather specific segment, crowded by the likes of the Volkswagen Tiguan, Hyundai Tucson and the C5 Aircross. For 2022, Citroen has given the C5 Aircross a fresh face, a redesigned interior, slashed the entry-level variant, and hiked up prices to Rs 36.67 lakh. Is it worth the money? Well, let me start by telling you what the extra money gets you.

French Flair

The most obvious change on the 2022 C5 Aircross is the cleaner front-end design. Single-piece headlamps integrated into the grille, a revised bumper and errr… that’s about it. 

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross Front Dynamic

Down the side, you can spot a fresh design for the alloys and at the rear, the four squircle elements of the taillights are replaced by three slabs with a 3D effect in them. 

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross Rear Cornering

Not too much has changed here, and that’s not a bad thing. The C5 Aircross looks sharper than ever and is one of the only cars at this price point that can turn heads while being understated.

Inside out

Hop inside the new C5 Aircross and you’ll find quite a few more changes. The layout, for starters, is new with a floating 10-inch infotainment screen in the centre, sitting above new horizontal vents for the air conditioning. 

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross Dashboard

Below that, the gear stick has made way for a toggle-style selector, the drive mode switch is new and if you take a closer look at the digital instrument cluster, you’ll spot it has new graphics. I’m happy to report the clever storage spaces are still here, and the overall fit and finish are good.

While there’s nothing ‘new’ at the rear, the three individual seats remain and while that means the C5 is well suited for carrying three, it also means the two outer seats are slightly compromised. The knee room is tight for an SUV of this size, headroom is adequate though. Citroen has said the seats get a little more padding and they do feel plush for sure, though they are a bit narrow and might not fit everyone.

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross Rear Seat Space

Falling Behind

Where the C5 Aircross really falls short is in the tech department. Though fairly bright and colourful, the infotainment screen is a bit laggy, has a fussy menu layout, and runs CarPlay / Android Auto on a cropped central area. There are also no physical AC controls and it is (at the very least) a two or three-step process to change something as simple as fan speed. The digital instrument cluster has legible layouts and a clean design but isn’t nearly as customisable as the Virtual Cockpit on the Tiguan.

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross Infotainment Screen

While we’re on the topic, there’s no wireless CarPlay / Android Auto, the USB ports are all Type-A, there aren’t any ventilated seats, the lumbar support is manual and there’s no climate control or fan-speed control for the second row. 

That said, the C5 does get a blind-spot monitor, hill-descent control, a wireless charger and a panoramic sunroof. But the most important ‘feature’ of the C5 Aircross is how it drives.

Comfort First

In terms of driving, the C5 Aircross is unchanged. It rides supremely well over all kinds of surfaces, soaking up imperfections, sharp potholes and even the notorious pebbled streets very very well.  The steering is light. Very light. Light enough that you can do three-point turns with just a finger, and I’m not saying that as a negative. The C5 Aircross is geared for relaxed driving and when you are taking things easy, why wrestle with a hefty steering?

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross Front Cornering

Through corners, the C5 Aircross is sure-footed but lacks the ‘on-rails’ feeling of the Tiguan. It does have body roll, but also a lot of grip. It stays planted at highway speeds and, even if the surface is peppered with bumps and undulations, it tracks straight while keeping you comfortable inside.

Under the hood, the 2.0-litre diesel continues to do duty in the C5, putting out 174.5bhp and 400Nm to the front wheels via an 8-speed automatic. There’s no AWD and no petrol. The diesel engine has lots of grunt though and while it is quite loud on the outside, only a hushed noise creeps inside. The 8-speed automatic shifts gears quickly, kicks down when necessary and the different drive modes help you tailor it to your driving scenario.

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross Front Side Motion

The C5 Aircross is best driven at six-tenths, with lots of torque from the diesel motor propelling you forward and the ride quality helping you keep up speed even when a rough patch comes up.


The C5 Aircross looks a bit nicer than before, gets a few tech updates inside and is still the benchmark in its segment when it comes to ride comfort. At Rs 36.67 lakh though, it is Rs 3.88 lakh more expensive than the Tiguan and Rs 2.13 lakh dearer than the top-spec Hyundai Tucson.

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross Front Three Fourth Static

Both those SUVs have a much bigger feature list, comparable quality levels, better second-row space (when carrying two) and at least the option of AWD. The C5 Aircross then, isn’t the practical choice. However, it is very stylish, extremely comfortable and, if you like standing out from the crowd, the C5 Aircross is ideal.

  • 2022 Citroen C5 Aircross Shine

Engine: 1,997cc / Four-Cylinder / Turbocharged

Fuel: Diesel

Transmission: 8-Speed AT / Front-Wheel Drive

Power: 174.5bhp @ 3,750rpm

Torque: 400Nm @ 2,000rpm

Price: ₹36.67 Lakh (Ex-Showroom)

X-Factor: The C5 Aircross might be expensive, but is still the benchmark in the segment when it comes to comfort.

• Ride quality
• Fit & finish
• Plush seats

• Lacks features
• Pricey

Also read:

2022 Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara Review: First Drive

2022 Hyundai Tucson Review: First Drive

Tags: Citroen C5 Aircross C5 Aircross Citroen

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