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  • Adam 16:04 on 15.04.2019 Постоянная ссылка |
    Метки: Cars, , ,   

    ‘There’s palpable relief that Citroen has kept its sense of fun’: Erin Baker takes a spin in the new C5 Aircross 

    Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto Trader, gives us an exclusive look into Citroen’s freshest offering, the C5 Aircross

    C5 Aircross

    Words by Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto Trader

    French car brand Citroen has an admirable history of making quirky cars with left-field design married to little luxuries like sumptuous hydraulic suspension. The company’s latest family SUV, the C5 Aircross, aims to keep a sense of weirdness, while putting comfort at the heart of the driving experience.


    From the outside, there’s palpable relief that Citroen has kept its sense of fun. Our test car had bright red roof rails and splashes of red round the side bumpers, as well as crazy front lights that split option as strongly as Marmite.

    The C5 Aircross sits high off the ground; it’s chunky with plenty of room for the wheels to move across rugged ground.

    Inside, aside from some red stitching, the C5 Aircross is disappointingly… well, normal. There’s none of the whacky storage solutions you get on the Citroen C4 Picasso, which is an MPV and also a very decent family car, like storage above your head, or hidden in the dash. There’s an absolutely massive central cubby hole under the central arm rest, but that’s about it.


    Boy, does Citroen play its trump card here. For a car costing about £30k, you get a really impressive set-up. The digital read-out behind the steering wheel is very funky, with the speed going horizontally across the top of the screen like a tickertape. Flick a switch on the steering wheel to change what you see on the screen: you can have the satnav map filling your view, or nothing but a massive speedo when you select “minimal”. There’s Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, plus USB ports.

    We had the “Flair Plus” version, which gives you a special bit of tech called ConnectedCAM Citroen – an inbuilt camera fitted behind the rear-view mirror. It will take photos or record a video for up to 20 seconds, so you can capture your superb driving (or film dangerous driving in front of you). You download the footage via an app into your phone.

    Flair Plus also gets you voice recognition for the DAB radio, satnav and phone, as well as wireless smartphone charging.


    While the tech on the car is superb, Citroen is pushing “comfort” as the selling point. The C5 Aircross has “hydraulic cushions” which basically means liquid chambers in the suspension that soak up the bumps before they reach you. For families on long journeys, believe me, this is a huge tick.

    The car is also quiet on the motorway, which should never be underestimated when your six-year-old is desperate to explain at length why “Cloud” is the answer to “something beginning with S” in a game of I-Spy. It saves a lot of tension, believe me.

    We took the car to Legoland for an overnight stay (I know, never again) and there was plenty of space in the boot for overnight bags for two adults and two children, plus good leg and head room for four. The panoramic sunroof is a welcome addition, and the electric button to open and close the boot comes in handy with armfuls of Lego.


    Don’t expect much – we tested the 1.5 diesel engine with 130 horsepower which is enough to boot you past a slower car, but not enough to whang it uphill at motorway speeds. What you do get, though, in return for moving more slowly, is better fuel consumption – we got 48mpg and we haven’t seen that for a very long time.

    There are proper off-roading buttons in the car but only the front wheels have power sent to them, so you’re limited to grassy fields rather than desert sand dunes…. buy a camel if that’s your bag.


    A very fair £30,825 will get you into a C5 Aircross with the 8-speed automatic gearbox and the full Flair Plus spec. We also had metallic paint (£545, don’t bother) and Grip Control in case you want to go charging through sand and snow (£395, don’t bother). You also get a three-year/60,000-mile warranty.

    The post ‘There’s palpable relief that Citroen has kept its sense of fun’: Erin Baker takes a spin in the new C5 Aircross appeared first on Marie Claire.

  • Adam 15:06 on 15.04.2019 Постоянная ссылка |
    Метки: Cars, , ,   

    Test driving the new XE: ‘Jaguar’s baby saloon has had a facelift’ 

    Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto Trader, lets us in on the secrets behind Jaguar’s new XE, one of the most handsome estates to hit the market.


    Words by Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto Trader

    Jaguar’s baby saloon, the XE, has had a facelift. While it may not look very different, inside it’s all new, with a load of tech that’s standard at entry level. There’s a simplified choice of engines and equipment, making decisions easier in the dealership.


    The new XE looks very similar to the old XE: only new bumpers and lights distinguish it. We tested a bright blue model with tan leather interior, which was a pretty swish combo. The XE is in fact one of the most handsome estates on the market: in our opinion it’s better looking than the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class which it competes against.

    Inside is where all the changes lie, however, and here it looks like a very different car.


    This is where all the improvements are. Although the new XE is pricier (by about £2,000) than the previous version, you get a load of new kit as standard, including Apple CarPlay, front and rear parking sensors and reversing camera.

    If you order the Touch Pro Duo set-up, you get the swanky two touchscreens that are in the new electric I-Pace SUV; they control satnav, ventilation, music, phone, driving modes and more.

    You can also order ClearSight, which for a few hundred pounds transforms the reflection in your rear-view mirror into a live feed from the rear-mounted camera, giving a wider, clearer view.


    The important question here is: is a saloon the right choice for you? Few people other than those choosing a company car buy a saloon the days, preferring SUVs, hatchbacks or estates. But saloons often look better, and always handle better, than SUVs, with big boots and plenty of room for four adults inside. If you don’t have kids, or at least don’t require a big tailgate for a pram system any more, it’s worth trying out a saloon.

    The XE has electrically adjusting leather seats as standard, and an enormous boot for suitcases or a month’s shop. It’s also incredibly quiet inside on the motorway.


    You have the choice of a diesel engine (the D180) or one of two petrols (P250 and P300). There’s only one gearbox: an eight-speed automatic, but you can choose rear-wheel drive, for more sporty handling, or all-wheel drive for extra grip on slippery surfaces like wet grass.

    We’d suggest the P250 as the pick of the bunch – it’s fast (0-60mph in 6.2 seconds), smooth, quiet and more economical than the P300; the diesel sounds gruff and has little appeal. The numbers, by the way, denote the power output of each engine.


    The XE starts at £33,915, which puts it up there with the BMW 3-Series, a well specified Land Rover Evoque, the Volvo S60… it’s worth trying a few different makes, models and body shapes. For example, compare an XE with a top-spec Volvo XC40: one’s a saloon and one’s a baby SUV, but a small, active family who like their creature comforts would be happy in either. The choice is yours.

    The post Test driving the new XE: ‘Jaguar’s baby saloon has had a facelift’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

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