Tuesday, January 25, 2022

RAY MASSEY: More mature makeover, for Citroen C5 Aircross

The popular C5 Aircross from Citroen has moved firmly upmarket with a more mature makeover, but it still retains its distinctive French looks. 

The comfortable sports utility vehicle has been given a New Year facelift plus upgraded tech, but without messing with the essentials that make it a practical family-friendly proposition. 

Key stylistic changes include new headlights and running lights and its original curves replaced by more ‘structured’ lines, to make it look more grown-up, confident and imposing. 

Refreshed: The C5 Aircross has sharper looks on top of enduring performance

Refreshed: The C5 Aircross has sharper looks on top of enduring performance

The refined and refreshed dashboard features a new 10in main central infotainment touchscreen — up from 8 in. A more discreet, flush-sitting gear-selector replaces the original grip-style version. 

Orders open in a few weeks ahead of the first UK deliveries in June. 

Meanwhile, stock of the existing run-out model is being sold off. Priced from £24,630 for the petrol manual and from £34,375 for the impressive plug-in hybrid (PHEV), there may be haggle-hard bargains to be had. 

Citroen won’t be changing the petrol, diesel and PHEV line-up for now, nor its engineering. 

Handy, as I’ve been driving the existing PHEV e-EAT8 PureTech 180 in Shine Plus trim with £2,500 in ‘extras’ including black Perla Nera paint (£545), raising the price to £38,250. 

Riding on 19 in black alloys, it’s a smooth yet engaging drive, with flexible seating, sat-nav, privacy glass and a big boot. 

Its 181hp 1.6-litre inline four-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine and 81kW electric motor together create 225hp, linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It does rest to 62 mph in 8.7 seconds. Top speed is 140mph. 

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Charging from my home wall box takes a couple of hours for a claimed pure electric range of 34 miles, also boosting hybrid fuel economy to between 157 to 222mpg, with low CO2 emissions of between 32 to 41g/km. 

I’ve driven it on all manner of roads, and loaded it up on trips to the rubbish dump and Ikea. It proved a very flexible friend. 

I suspect the smart new upgraded version will be, too.

Sony looking to rival Tesla 

You’ve got your Sony TV, hi-fi, camera, Playstation and other assorted electronic gadgets — but what about a Sony electric car? 

The firm looks set to pip the mighty Apple in the race to launch a rival to Tesla. 

Driving force: Sony looks set to pip the mighty Apple in the race to launch a rival to Tesla

Driving force: Sony looks set to pip the mighty Apple in the race to launch a rival to Tesla

At the recent Consumer Electronics in Las Vegas, Sony showcased a second prototype 5G-connected car — called Vision-S 02 (left) — a sleek seven-seater crossover SUV challenger to Tesla’s Model Y. 

The original Vision-S, shown in 2020, is built by Austrian specialist Magna Steyr, which manufactures Jaguar’s electric I-Pace under contract, and now being tested on public roads. Sony says that in the spring it will set up a new arm called Sony Mobility Inc to ‘explore entry into the EV market’ and harness artificial intelligence and robotics.

Councils leaving drivers in the dark 

Councils switching off street lights to go ‘green’ and save cash are leaving drivers in the dark and putting lives at risk, experts warn. 

A poll of 1,000 motorists by UK road safety charity IAM RoadSmart (­iamroadsmart. com) found lack of visibility, hitting a pedestrian and breakdown were the biggest concerns about night driving. 

Department for Transport figures show 102 deaths and 849 serious injuries from 2016 to 2020 on unlit roads where street lights were present. In areas without street lights, it rose to 1,599 deaths and 7,649 serious injuries. 

  • The electric 2016 Nissan Leaf has emerged as the UK’s fastest-selling used car in 2021, taking an average 17 days to leave forecourts, according to sales website AutoTrader. It was followed by the petrol hybrid Toyota Prius and the Mazda CX-5 diesel manual, both of which took 19 days to sell.


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