Why I bought the Citroen C5 Aircross: Likes & dislikes after 18 months

My options were the Skoda Superb, Skoda Octavia, Toyota Fortuner and Innova Crysta.

BHPian mathew.door recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

We got home our Tijuca Blue C5 on December 21.

Key considerations were:

  1. Must have a good suspension considering that my wife and I both have vulnerable backs and the 2 XUV5OOs that we owned from 2014 till 2021 nor the roads of Bangalore only added to our agony
  2. Needs to be a diesel given that on average I do around 2k to 3k per month both within the city and long trips to Kerala and Hyderabad.
  3. Spacious boot to throw in everything in our weekend trips to our farmhouse 80 km from Bangalore
  4. Should be aesthetically well designed
  5. Must be a well-built car. Having owned and driven 20+ various cars in the last 25 years, I was looking for a car that doesn't rattle after 50k on the odo.

(PS: The cars I owned were a 1971 Ambassador (My Dad's), a 1992 Premier Padmini, Tata Estate 1996, a Zen 1997, Ford Escort 1997, Daewoo Matiz (Dont remember the year), Indica V2 2003, Indica Vista 2009, Ford Global Fiesta 2012, Mahindra XUV 500 2012, Mahindra XUV 2017) Fords were the worsts cars I owned and the XUV 500 2017 was one of the best, I still have it. The only real problem with this car is its suspension that throws you all around.

I waited for the Tucson to be launched, The Kodaiq was not available at that point in time. Was not sure of an entry-level Merc or a BMW (The GLA was just launched) because for a middle-class family a luxury brand comes with its own obligations and I didn't want to go for an entry-level luxury badge and didn't have the budget for a GLC or an X3.

My options were the Skoda Superb, Skoda Octavia, Toyota Fortuner, and Innova Crysta. My family didn't want the Crysta, I didn't like the Fortuner (Overrated car). Interestingly the Citroen was not even an option. For some reason, I went with my wife to the Citroen Showroom in Ecity and took a casual test drive, while I loved the way the car drives, I wasn't very impressed with the interiors and the features. Ruled it out. After driving the Skoda Octavia which was a disaster. The tires felt so rigid and we could feel the slightest of undulations. Test drove the Superb, liked the car, the problem was it was only available in Petrol (Which doesn't work for me). So, we were stuck. We decided to go for the BMW X1 and went to the showroom, no test drive car, no demo car and we didn't like the attitude of the sales guy there. Dumped the idea.

We explored the idea of used luxury cars and went to a few dealers but didn't muster the confidence. We decided to give the Citroen a second chance. Went back to the showroom along with our daughter this time, and we took a test drive through slush, highways, and non-existent roads and were mighty impressed with how this car tackled all of it. The sales guy was eager to sell and I managed a good bargain. Booked the Shine variant in Tijuca Blue. Retrospectively, this was a wise decision.

Living with the Citroen C5 Aircross

I am driven to the office, and I drive during the weekends. Every time I drive this car I thank myself for ignoring all the negative comments on the Internet and putting my money on this car.

The car is powerful, the gearbox is a dream, Suspension is amazing. You can do some amazing speeds on this car and you will not know unless the 120 km beep gently nudges you. Have had my share of brushes with an Idiotic driver of a Bolero reversing hard into the front of my car. To my surprise, from behind the steering wheel, it felt like the front was severely damaged, it only resulted in a minor dent on the front bumper and a few clips coming off. That's the moment I felt that this car was built well. There were a few more such incidences but each time the car proved that it was built strong. In crazy Bangalore traffic, the car still gives 12-13 km per litre.

On highways, I can drive for the whole day and still not feel tired. That's the best part of this car. The boot is cavernous and the mileage is around 14-15 while driven at 100-120 km on the highway

Service costs are between 9-13k per service so far. Service experience has been good.

The not-so-good stuff:

  • The battery gave up in the 14th month, the service guys were considerate to give a 50% off on the new battery which is quite expensive at 16k.
  • While the car is exceptionally good, there are a few adjustments I had to make. The back seats are not as comfortable as the front and therefore in the front even while being driven around by my driver.

All in all, I am happy with the car. Happier that there are not many around and even after 18 months I still get appreciative/inquisitive glances and a few enquires at the fuel stations on how the car is. All in all, very happy with the car.

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