RAY MASSEY: more mature makeover, for Citroen C5 Aircross

Citroën’s popular C5 Aircross has hit the market with a more mature makeover, but still retains its signature French look.

The comfortable SUV has been given a New Year’s facelift plus improved technology, but without messing with the essentials that make it a practical family-friendly proposition.

The main stylistic changes include new headlamps and running lights and the original curves have been replaced by more ‘structured’ lines, to make it look more mature, confident and imposing.

Updated: The C5 Aircross has a sharper look and long-lasting performance

Updated: The C5 Aircross has a sharper look and long-lasting performance

The refined and refreshed dashboard features a new 10-inch central infotainment touchscreen – higher than 8 inches. A more discreet, recessed gear lever replaces the original grippy version.

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

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

For the time being, Citroën will not change anything in the petrol, diesel and PHEV range, nor in the technology.

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

Riding 19 in black alloys, it’s a smooth yet engaging ride, with flexible seats, sat nav, privacy glass and a large trunk.

Its 1.6-litre four-cylinder 181 hp turbo petrol engine and an 81 kW electric motor deliver 225 hp, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It rests from 100 km/h in 8.7 seconds. The top speed is 140 km/h.

Charging from my home wall box takes a few hours for a claimed pure electric range of 54 miles, which also boosts hybrid fuel economy to between 157 to 222 mpg, with low CO2 emissions of between 32 and 41 g/km.

I’ve ridden it on all kinds of roads and loaded it on trips to the dump and Ikea. It turned out to be a very flexible friend.

I suspect the clever new improved version will be too.

Sony wants to compete with Tesla

You have your Sony TV, hi-fi, camera, Playstation and other miscellaneous electronic gadgets – but what about a Sony electric car?

It looks like the company will lead the mighty Apple in the race to launch a rival to Tesla.

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

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

Driving force: Sony looks set to beat 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 — dubbed Vision-S 02 (left) — a sleek seven-seater crossover SUV challenger to Tesla’s Model Y.

The original Vision-S, shown in 2020, was built by Austrian specialist Magna Steyr, who manufacture Jaguar’s electric I-Pace under contract, and is now undergoing road testing. Sony says it will set up a new branch called Sony Mobility Inc in the spring to “explore entry into the EV market” and leverage artificial intelligence and robotics.

Municipalities leave drivers in the dark

Municipalities that turn off street lights to go ‘green’ and save money leave drivers in the dark and endanger lives, experts warn.

A poll of 1,000 drivers by the British road safety organization IAM RoadSmart (iamroadsmart.com) found that lack of visibility, hitting a pedestrian and breakdown were the top concerns when driving at night.

After dark: A poll of 1,000 motorists found lack of visibility, hitting a pedestrian and breakdown on the road were the top concerns about driving at night

After dark: A poll of 1,000 drivers found lack of visibility, hitting a pedestrian and breakdown on the road were the top concerns about driving at night

After dark: A poll of 1,000 drivers found lack of visibility, hitting a pedestrian and breakdown on the road were the top concerns about driving at night

Figures from the Department for Transport show 102 dead and 849 seriously injured from 2016 to 2020 on unlit roads where streetlights were in place. In areas without streetlights, 1,599 people were killed and 7,649 seriously injured.

  • According to sales website AutoTrader, the 2016 electric Nissan Leaf has emerged as the UK’s fastest-selling used car in 2021, with an average of 17 days to leave service stations. 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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