The new C5 Aircross SUV is Citroën’s first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, marking the start of a move to have an electric option for every car and van in its range by 2025.
Following our test of the BlueHDI diesel version last year, we are now putting the Hybrid version though its paces to see how it will suit fleets and company car drivers.
The car is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 180PS, a 13.2kWh battery pack and an electric motor mounted to the gearbox. This powertrain produces a total power output of 225PS and 360Nm, which goes to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Most of that torque is available from standstill – which is a powerful reason why this front-drive-only model’s generous retinue of driver aids (lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors, colour reversing camera) needs to be topped by a very effective traction control.
Citroën says this set-up is capable of 168mpg, although drivers are likely to see a lower figure in real-world driving. We'll report back on our experience once we've covered a few more miles in it.
CO2 emissions are rated at 32-33g/km dependent on specification, with a claimed pure-electric range of 34 miles - placing the car in the 10% benefit-in-kind tax bracket (11% after April 2021).
The battery can be fully charged using a 7kW wallbox in two hours, with a charger plugged into a domestic socket taking six. It can also be topped up on the move via regenerative braking or using the car's engine.
Inside, Citroën’s ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats are standard, along with the fully adjustable sliding rear seating bench found in the conventionally-powered C5 Aircross, which allows for individual seats to be folded.
The Shine model, which we're testing here, costs a very reasonable £34,320, considering it comes with equipment like climate control, keyless entry and traffic-monitoring navigation.