CITROEN have revealed they are getting offensive.

Don’t worry, they’re not going to shout and swear at you. Just a bit cross.

This is the new C5 Aircross, revealed in Shanghai this week, and it’s part of their “SUV offensive” as it joins the C3 crossover into showrooms in the coming year.

Not having an SUV to launch these days is like Sarah Jessica Parker turning up at a Sex in the City bash without a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes on.

Citroen C5 Aircross

Citroen C5 Aircross

An SUV, whether a fake one or genuine off-roader, is nowadays an essential part of a brand’s fashion kudos.

Citroen took a while to the motoring SUV party. But now they have arrived in their own very chic way.

It’s based on the same platform as the DS7 Crossback, Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland X, which we revealed yesterday. They all pretty much have the same physique.

The rest of it really comes down to what floats your boat. This Citroen gets the usual double chevron quirkiness with hovercraft-like suspension on ‘Progressive Hydraulic Cushions’. In other words, a comfy bouncy castle on four wheels.

Citroen C5 Aircross

Citroen C5 Aircross

Citroen also say the C5 Aircross is “people minded”. That’s nice to know. We’d like to think other cars are too because they too usually contain, er, people.

Away from the marketing guff, this is quite a handsome beast. Citroen have a unique way of appealing to all kinds of buyers with a clever mix of chic and chunky.

On the inside is where the French really get inventive. There’s a 12.3in screen replacing conventional dials, while navigation, media and so-on are handled by an 8in central screen. There are tons of the latest active safety systems like adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warnings.

Citroen C5 Aircross

Citroen C5 Aircross

Under the bonnet like the DS and Peugeot, the C5 will eventually get a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 300bhp, all-wheel drive and a near-40 mile electric-only range. But to start with it will get the normal petrol and diesels.

The SUV motoring party keeps getting busier. But this Citroen adds a new type of fizz.

Phil Lanning

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