Review – Citroën C5 Aircross PHEV 180 and mild hybrid (2023)
The Citroën C5 Aircross entered the market in 2019 as the successor to the C4 SpaceTourer in particular and has been the brand’s family car ever since. With success. Electrification doesn’t escape the C5 Aircross, either. Thus, it was available early on as a 225 Plug-in Hybrid, accounting for 29% of sales in Europe so far this year. After the C5 Aircross already underwent a facelift last year, now the engine lineup is also being updated with new electrified versions.
New: Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid 180
The biggest news for the Citroën C5 Aircross is the arrival of the Plug-in Hybrid 180, complementing the Plug-in Hybrid 225. A less powerful version, then, but mainly a variant that brings down the starting price of the plug-in hybrid version. Indeed, the Plug-in Hybrid 225 has a starting price of 44,330 euros and the new Plug-in Hybrid 180 is on the price list from 42,830 euros.
The C5 Aircross 180 e-EAT8 Plug-in Hybrid combines a 110 kW (150 hp) strong 1.6 PureTech gasoline engine and an 81 kW (110 hp) electric motor, good for a system output of 132 kW (180 hp) and system torque of 360 Nm. The all-electric top speed is 135 mph.
The new powertrain also features an updated version of the familiar eight-speed automatic transmission and a new generation 12.4 kWh battery. Thanks to a new chemistry, this battery delivers even better performance. Thus, the all-electric range is 58 km (WLTP). That’s more than in the existing plug-in hybrid version.
The existing Plug-in Hybrid 225 also gets the new generation battery. With a capacity of 14.2 kWh, the battery is also slightly larger than that of the Plug-in Hybrid 180. Below the line, the all-electric range of the 225 Plug-in Hybrid increases by about 15% from 55 to 64 kilometers (WLTP). On both plug-in hybrid models, the battery is fully recharged (with a regular charging station) in just over 1.5 hours. That’s a little faster than before.
Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid 180 in practice
We drive the new Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid 180 on a route through the hilly countryside north of Paris. The route has everything from bits of highway to country roads and urban areas. So it gives a pretty good idea of an average ride.
The route is 69 km long, making it longer than the all-electric range in any case. Yet the battery lasts an exceptionally long time and the fuel engine does not switch on until near the end of the drive. The theoretical all-electric range is thus just about met. The fuel engine also shifts gears at times when a lot of power is required, such as when merging onto the highway. On the long merge lanes of the Netherlands, you could slow down the acceleration a bit and thus merge fully electric.
After the drive, we note a practical consumption of 2.0 l/100 km, although in a plug-in hybrid that is not saying much. The practical consumption of a plug-in hybrid really depends very much on how long your trips are and how often you charge. Thus, during an extended test period in the Netherlands, with a pre-facelift Plug-in Hybrid 225, we achieved a practical consumption of just 0.9 l/100 km. The official WLTP consumption of the new Plug-in Hybrid 180 is 1.5 l/100 km. If you charge the car properly and do not drive too long distances, it is perfectly feasible in practice.
Citroen C5 Aircross mild hybrid
There is also a new unplugged electrified model: the Hybrid 136, with new six-speed automatic transmission. The new Hybrid 136 replaces the PureTech 130 gasoline engine with eight-speed automatic transmission. The gasoline engine will still be available with manual transmission. That name Hybrid may be a bit misleading, as it is a mild hybrid. The wheels are not driven by an electric motor, but the gasoline engine is supported by a kind of large electric starter motor. So it’s not really hybrid, but every little bit helps.
Specifically, despite the extra power, the Hybrid 136 has an official WLTP consumption of 4.8 l/100 km (1 on 20.8), compared to 7.3 l/100 km (1 on 13.7) for the slightly less powerful gasoline engine without any form of electro-support. Still, a significant difference. After a 65-kilometer test route over varied road types, we recorded a practical consumption of 6.0 l/100 km (1 in 16.6). Still a neat value and a marked improvement over the non-mild hybrid.
The Citroën C5 Aircross price list still starts with the already existing PureTech 130 S&S gasoline engine with manual transmission. That model has a starting price of 37,900 euros. The new Hybrid 136, which is more powerful as well as more economical, is available starting at 41,640 euros. Plugging in is now possible from 42,830 euros for the also new Plug-in Hybrid 180. A relatively small additional cost in exchange for even more power and – if you charge just right – very low fuel consumption. The existing Plug-in Hybrid 225 is available starting at 44,330 euros.