REVIEW | The 2020 Citroën C5 Aircross is a clever Android

06 August 2020 - 15:37 By Phuti Mpyane
The C5 Aircross offers a nice balance of practicality and performance and its frontal styling with double chevrons is the stand out feature. Picture: DENIS DROPPA
The C5 Aircross offers a nice balance of practicality and performance and its frontal styling with double chevrons is the stand out feature. Picture: DENIS DROPPA

The more I live with the Citroën C5 Aircross we have on long-term test, the more I discover about its talents and outstanding driving characteristics.

It offers a nice balance of practicality and performance and its frontal styling with double chevrons is the stand out feature among its segment peers.

I’ve taken it on a number of local and extended trips, loaded plenty inside its 1,610l of cargo space left when the easy to flip seats are flattened.

Now it’s time to share information on facilities found inside its interior that is roomy with plenty of light thanks to a panoramic sunroof fitted as standard if chosen in our car’s top-of-the range Shine specification.

Starting with the ergonomics, it’s very much the standard take of the segment with a  digital interface. A neatly laid-out 30.2cm touchscreen display acts as the gateway to its facilities where you control audio, vehicle settings and more.

The Citroën C5 Aircross interior is classy and comfortable with innovative infotainment and communication tools. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Citroën C5 Aircross interior is classy and comfortable with innovative infotainment and communication tools.    Picture: SUPPLIED

You also control climate control here, which is not the ideal and safest way to fine-tune cabin air on the move. Volume control is via steering wheel-mounted buttons but I use the circular button more as it’s an easy reach and a better moderator of acoustics.

The driver’s instrumentation screen is also digitised and you can use a toggle button to choose between different display styles, from minimal, detailed and sports.

Tech-savvy individuals will appreciate that the C5 Aircross is enabled with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I’m now accustomed to using the Artificial Intelligence assistance that is awakened when you plug your cellphone into the USB port. You need only utter the words “Hey Google” and she replies with a welcoming “How can I help you?”

It’s mostly for calls but another convenience of this system is the reading out of text messages from SMS and WhatsApp through the car’s speaker systems when Bluetooth is enabled. You can also reply to texts using voice commands and the digital lady musters all her linguistic and typing skills to make sense of my SA English accent sentences with hilarious results.

At times her mishaps become tedious and I opt to reply to messages when seated on the house couch. Voice calls are also clear and audible.

Waze or Google Maps on your mobile can be mirrored onto the display screen for easier piloting through a larger screen with voice prompts. More apps available on the move are music streaming and calendar to ensure virtual hands-free usage of your cellphone as you drive.

Foibles? I’ve picked up on a puzzling tendency of the display screen to switch off mid-operation without discernible reason. This could be a cellphone-led flaw as the old ringer gets on. Otherwise our Citroën C5 Aircross has clever enough tech to satisfy appropriate safe driving rules of the country.  


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