After the success of Peugeot, Shangrila Motors has finally brought yet another French automotive brand to Nepal. Citroen entered the Nepali market with its midsize SUV, the C5 Aircross. The 5-seater SUV in just one trim level at a price of Rs 13.5 million, and only available in automatic transmission. It was globally unveiled in 2017 in China and production has continued since.
We were able to get behind the wheels of the all-new C5 Aircross. Here’s what we have to say:
The new C5 has taken a different approach in terms of design. The SUV is attractive and unique with Citroen’s signature chevron logo integrated in the middle of two chrome stripes that flow across the front of the car. The DRLs on both ends highlight the chrome stripes even more. Right below you will see LED projector headlamps and a funky looking grille. The two trapezoid air intakes on the lower part of the fender grabs your attention and makes the car look quicker from the front. You will also find fog lights at the extreme corners of the bumper.
Moving on to the sides, you will find the trapezoid pattern carried out from the front. The side profile is sleek and simple with very few creases and lines. The thick black cladding and the roof rails give the SUV a masculine appearance. The C-shaped chrome surrounding adds to the elegance of the vehicle. The smart-looking 18-inch alloy wheels lift the styling of the car. The rear gets a pair of attractive looking rectangular tail lights which house four rectangle LEDs. However, faux air and exhaust outlets could have done better. Overall, the SUV stands out from the crowd, thanks to its quirky and funky design elements that are appealing.
Interior and Features
Like the exterior, the interior also looks new and refreshing. The cabin has an upmarket appeal. The piano black and chrome accents, strap sewn into the dash and the flowing lines across the dash give it an elegant and premium feel. The door panels also feel very different with multiple layers and textures. The materials used on the seat are top notch and the seat itself is broad and highly dense making it very comfortable.
The fully digital instrument cluster right in front of the steering wheel shows gear indicator, speedometer, tachometer, odometer and stereo infos but it’s a bit fiddly to use at first. Right in the middle of the dash you will see an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via wire. The infotainment system is navigated through touch sensitive shortcuts and the climate control is integrated into the system, which I am not a fan of. I would prefer buttons and knobs for controls which are easier to use while on the go. Enhancing the experience of the cabin is the electrically operated panoramic sunroof.
Moving to the rear, you will find plenty of head, shoulder and knee room. Even tall people can easily feel comfortable. The best thing about the rear seats is that there are three individual seats that can slide and recline. Although the rear seat misses out on the centre armrest, it still offers A/C vents and a USB charging port.
The C5 Aircross is also packed with features such as air quality control, dual zone automatic climate control, power operated boot, wireless charging pad, navigation system, keyless entry, voice command, electrically operated driver’s seat and more but the car lacks on heated and ventilated seat and wireless smartphone connectivity.
Driving and Safety
The 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine on the C5 produces a maximum power of 165hp and 240 Nm of torque. The 1596 cc 4-cylinder petrol engine is mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine is very refined and powerful. You won’t feel any vibrations inside the cabin even at higher RPMs. The power kicks in from around 2,500 rpm revving all the way up to the redline. The car happily goes to a triple digit number without much effort. The 6-speed transmission is very responsive, and there is no delay as well.
Another good thing about the C5 Aircross is the comfort. Citroen’s advance ‘Dual Progressive Hydraulic Cushions’ deliver immense comfort to both the driver and passengers. The suspension soaks up large as well as small bumps pretty well. The suspension also manages to take the vehicle around the corners with very less body roll. Whereas the handling could be a bit better as it is set up on a lighter side.
Talking about safety, the car is equipped with six airbags, ABS, EBD, Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, 180-degree rear view camera, Blind Spot Monitor, Hill Descent Control, etc.
Although Citroen is a newcomer in the Nepali market, the brand is well-recognised across the world. If you want to stand out from the crowd, then the C5 offers it all. The car itself is a style statement. Additionally, the car offers lots of features, ample power, comfortable ride quality and a good amount of space.