A spacious interior is obviously a prerequisite for a car to compete in this class, but we also expect an upmarket feel, sensible costs, and top-notch comfort and refinement.
In many ways, the C5 Aircross is the archetypical Citroën, with distinctive looks and a super-soft ride. It’s particularly good on A-roads and motorways; there’s none of the annoying fidget that blights models at the sportier end of the large SUV spectrum. And while there is a bit of side-to-side sway over undulations, this is very gentle; it’s rather like being rocked back and forth in a comfy hammock.
The cost of this comfort is that the C5 doesn’t like to be hurried down a twisty B-road. But it grips well enough, and it’s only the plug-in hybrid version that feels genuinely cumbersome, due to the extra weight of its batteries.
Refinement is another C5 strength; it keeps you very well isolated from wind and road noise, and the petrol engine we recommend is a smooth operator that offers all the performance you need.
True, some rivals have seven seats rather than the five that you get in the C5, with the closely related Peugeot 5008 among them, but that will cost you thousands more. For value, the C5 is astounding.