Citroen C5 Aircross interior
The Citroen C5 Aircross’ interior comes with plenty of soft materials, a slick design and a decent amount of tech as standard but alternatives come with better infotainment systems
The Citroen C5 Aircross’ interior isn’t quite as eye-catching as its exterior, but it’s still very stylish and looks far more interesting than the rather drab cabins you get in a Volkswagen Tiguan, Hyundai Tucson or SEAT Ateca.
The central touchscreen sits nestled between two tall air vents like in a Skoda Kodiaq, but in the Citroen it looks and feels like a more integral part of the C5 Aircross’ cabin. Below that you get two rows of slick glossy buttons and around all this is a soft-padded surface that helps make the cabin feel plush and upmarket.
There are a fair few of places where the quality feel is below what you’d find in a German alternative such as the top of the dashboard, the whole area around the glovebox and the door cards which flex if you push on them even with one finger.
As standard, you get two-tone grey cloth upholstery but you can personalise the Citroen C5 Aircross’ cabin with one of two interior design packs. Pick a Flair or Flair Plus model with the Metropolitan pack and you’ll get classy grey and black partial leather seats with an added contrasting stripe on the seatbacks. Pay a little extra for the optional Hype Brown Ambience pack and the seats come trimmed in Brown Nappa leather with contrasting faux leather patches and a grey suede-like Alcantara stripe.
The Hype Brown Ambience pack also comes with brown dashboard padding instead of the standard grey and adds a black and brown leather steering wheel as standard.
Unlike its look-at-me exterior, the Citroen C5 Aircross’ interior isn’t awash with orange and white highlights. Instead, you get a more grown-up palate of greys, blacks and browns
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Every Citroen C5 Aircross comes with an 8.0-inch central touchscreen that controls almost all of the car’s onboard functions – including the heating and ventilation, which we’ll get onto in a moment.
It’s bright enough to see clearly in direct sunlight but the system’s red and white graphics could do with a splash of colour to make it much easier to tell each icon apart quickly. Thankfully, the screen is nice and sharp, so you won’t find yourself squinting to read some of the smaller menu text.
Unlike some touchscreen systems, the Citroen C5 Aircross’ infotainment display comes with a row of shortcut buttons to help you access key features easily. Sadly, these aren’t physical buttons, rather they’re touch-sensitive pads with icons that glow at night. As a result, they aren’t quite as intuitive to use as the switch-style buttons in a Hyundai Tucson. It’s also rather frustrating that the volume knob for the stereo is tucked away under the dashboard next to the controls for the heated rear windscreen.
Equally awkward is having to use the Citroen C5 Aircross’ touchscreen to control the heating and ventilation. Rather than just turning a dial, you have to press a button on the dashboard to load up the correct menu, then swipe up or down to change the temperature and fan speed.
You can use the Citroen C5 Aircross’ voice controls to change the cabin temperature, though. This system works pretty well and also lets you input an address into the sat-nav without taking your hands – or eyes – off the road.
Speaking of sat-nav, it comes as standard on all but entry-level Feel versions. You do get Apple and Android smartphone mirroring as standard across the range though, so you can use your phone’s navigation apps through the car’s built-in screen instead.
If you do pick a Flair or Flair Plus model, you’ll get a TomTom navigation system as standard. Entering an address is a little tricky because the on-screen keyboard is laid out alphabetically rather than in a conventional qwerty layout, but once you’re on the move it delivers concise, clear directions.
It also alerts you with a little beep whenever you’re approaching a speed camera, which is useful if driving in unfamiliar areas. The map graphics aren’t a patch on what you get in the VW Tiguan or Skoda Kodiaq, but at least they’re bright and easy to read.
On the plus side, the Citroen C5 Aircross comes with a digital driver’s display as standard – unlike almost all other mid-size SUVs. This 12.3-inch screen replaces conventional dials with a customisable display that lets you choose exactly what information you want to see. It’s easy to read and even lets you view upcoming directions from the sat-nav system, but it doesn’t show you road names like the optional digital dials in a VW Tiguan do, so it’s not as useful.