2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Citroen C5 Aircross facelift comparison review

Tuhin Guha Published: October 04, 2022, 11:24 AM IST

Last year, the Citroen C5 Aircross was our clear favourite if you wanted a large, five-seat SUV that offered an elevated driving experience but didn't need you to reach out for the full-fat luxury brands.

But the Citroen, itself quickly reworked for its mid-cycle update, now has the new Hyundai Tucson to contend with. A much-awaited entrant that promises quite a bit. So it's only fair that we put the two together to see what gives.

2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Citroen C5 Aircross facelift: Styling, dimensions

Unsurprisingly from Citroen, the French brand has gone against the grain and replaced the C5 Aircross' split headlamp look with a more traditional face. It still looks as classy as ever with the DRLs flowing into the etched lines on the grille. There's great attention to detail with the chevron-themed detailing in the lamps spilling over to the grille and down to the large new air dam.

The bodywork hasn't changed but the new Eclipse Blue shade and the crisp new alloy well design work great with the sheer presence of the C5 Aircross. It looks larger with its 104mm width and 45mm height advantage over the Tucson and the nuanced look drives that point home well. This fact is also highlighted by the great 3D detailing of the new taillamps.

The Hyundai Tucson is notably longer than the C5 Aircross with an added 130mm. But that's the last thing you will notice considering the Tucson's styling. There's not a soft edge to be seen anywhere and Hyundai's designers have thrown out the car design manual with cuts and triangles everywhere you look. The large grille is imposing enough but the neat hidden DRLs with their nickel-chrome coating are quite the party trick.

We hope the low-mounted LED headlamps are useful enough since you don't get front fog lamps but the rest of the design means that it will be quite difficult to not stand out in a crowd with the Hyundai. The angled crease on the front door and the blade-like haunches are the most striking details in profile, paired with the more raked roof. Enough to take attention away from the relatively plane 18-inch alloys. At the rear, the light signature is again distinct with the jewelled effect to the full-width light bar and clawed clusters. If anything, the position of the indicators could have been more thoughtful but this is a minor complaint. If announcing your presence is a priority then both these SUVs have you well covered but in two entirely different ways.

2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Citroen C5 Aircross facelift: Interiors, space, features

Step inside the Hyundai Tucson and the contrast is stark. The boldness of the outside gives way to a far more straightforward space. Yes, you do have some of the flair from the outside with the cowled dash design and its seamlessly-integrated air vents(you even get a diffused airflow option through these) along with the floating centre stack. But otherwise, the Tucson is as straightforward as any modern Hyundai. The Citroen hasn't changed all that much so the cuboidal theme is still individualistic. There's that crisp use of materials like the blue contrast stitching and aluminium highlights that's uplifting.

Fit and finish levels have gone up noticeably from the last generation in the Tucson. Like the Citroen, most touch surfaces are soft and there's not much switchgear shared with lesser Hyundai cars. In terms of sheer build quality, the Citroen has it covered, the Tucson still can't match the heft or solidity of the Aircross. The Citroen's doors feel substantial and every button or control has a weight to it that's reassuring, right down to the new toggle gear-shifter.

While both could do with more physical controls, the Tucson's touch panels are easier to use with their more logical orientation. The Citroen doesn't get physical AC controls while the Hyundai does have large touch panels with quite a bit of functionality, although neither do the job as well as physical buttons. The screens in the Tucson are far more natural to use and vibrant to look at. The menus are more logical, and getting used to them isn't too difficult with a more natural UI. The Citroen gets a larger screen with this update, but the interface hasn't changed so switching between functions isn't any easier than before. The clean, minimalistic instrumentation continues but maybe some more customizability could have been added. Both SUVs also offer good interior storage, except for the truncated glove box in the Citroen. The Tucson has a more usable boot with its squarer shape although there is no centre split to carry long objects like in the Citroen.

If it's sheer cabin space you're after, the Hyundai Tucson is a clear choice. Its wheelbase may only be 25mm longer than the Citroen but the difference feels greater in practice. The light interiors of the Hyundai lend it a far greater sense of space, accentuated by the expansive dashboard and large windows. The 15mm of added padding to the Citroen's already very comfortable seats give it the edge but the Tucson has better adjustability with powered lumbar support.

The Citroen may also be the better choice if you carry five people regularly, the three separately adjustable rear seats don't make the middle passenger feel shortchanged but that also means that if you are chauffeured regularly you will be restricted to one of these three seats. That isn't the case with the Tucson. The outward cushioning is great in terms of under-thing support while the Hyundai does noticeably better in terms of leg, knee and headroom. There is also a far greater sense of space, much like the front. Both rear seats recline too, but again the Hyundai does it to a more comfortable degree.

Both SUVs here get auto headlamps and wipers, a powered driver's seat, full LED lighting, telescopic/tilt steering, a panoramic sunroof, a powered tailgate, wired Android Auto/Apple Carplay and wireless charging. The Tucson goes over this with a powered front passenger seat, 64-colour ambient lighting, connected tech, branded speakers and ventilated seats. A great addition to the Citroen is the acoustic glass which genuinely enhances its already more refined feel on the move. The traction modes are another useful addition, one that Hyundai too should have added to this 2WD Tucson considering the lesser Creta gets them.

2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Citroen C5 Aircross facelift: Driving impressions

The Citroen C5 Aircross and the Hyundai Tucson are identical in their mechanical orientation. Both are front-drive and powered by 2.0-litre diesels which pair with 8-speed torque-converter automatics. They are also closely matched in outputs, the Citroen makes 177PS/400 Nm while the Hyundai makes 186PS/416 Nm.

When we first drove the Citroen, we came away impressed with the motor's sheer refinement, along with its brisk pace and smooth power delivery. The eight-speed Aisin automatic too was a great complement to this, with its unfussy shifts and general intuitiveness. The motor also happens to have a slight edge in terms of efficiency, both offering great figures for the perforamance and size to contend with.

Much of this still holds, but the Hyundai moves the game along significantly. It's exceptionally refined, there's still some diesel clatter coming through into the cabin with the Citroen while the Hyundai restricts this to higher revs. The Hyundai also seems to access its torque better and be generally more energetic in most situations. The gearbox hardly misses a step with its changes which helps with this sense. The effect is that the Tucson is a quick car by any measure with some great overtaking ability and potent straight-line performance.

These traits help with it being a good companion in traffic too. You flow along seamlessly with the light but precise steering making commutes largely fuss-free. The Citroen could do with slightly less heft at lower speeds but does a marginally better job with its drive modes. The Eco mode in the Tucson does what it says, lightening responses and feel, but could still be a bit too close to the briskness of the Comfort and Sport modes. However, the Citroen's gearbox can sometimes get caught out at middling double-digits speeds as our kickdown times suggest.

In terms of ride, the Citreon is still the top dog. The hydraulic bump stops and the generally plush tuning mean few cars match the C5 Aircross in terms of sheer comfort. Aside from the sharpest of bumps and potholes, even those thud through heavily filtered, the Citroen glides over everything our roads can throw at it. At higher speeds, this turns into a sense of solidity and poise that makes longer journeys feel effortless.

There is a price to this, the Citroen rolls and dives noticeably even though there seems to be quite a bit of grip present at all times. This does mean that you will need to be a bit more conscious say around a hilly road. It could also do with a more progressive brake pedal.

The Tucson finds a middle ground that also feels fairly convincing. It's not the most engaging SUV to drive but is still competent dynamically with a safe, predictable nature to it around bends with better body control than the Citroen. It could do with a more pliant ride though at lower speeds. The Hyundai feels a touch European in the way that imperfections thud through into the cabin at lower speeds. This fades away as speeds ride where the Hyundai too feels quite steady and composed. Although, the last degree of straight-line poise still isn't quite there yet, most apparent above three-digit speeds.

2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Citroen C5 Aircross facelift: Safety

The Tucson has a 5-star Euro NCAP rating while the pre-facelifted C5 Aircross managed four. But the Tucson has a distinct advantage here with the ADAS it offers. More specifically, this system seems to be one of the better-calibrated ones we've experienced in Indian conditions.

The adaptive cruise control manages speeds naturally, the lane keeping system sees even faint road marking while the collision avoidance systems too aren't hamfisted in their intervention. The Tucson will bleed speed gradually and not brake abruptly to avoid obstructions. As a bonus, it's also straightforward to control these interventions through the instrumentation.

In terms of passive safety, both offer front, side and curtain airbags, TPMS, stability control, hill hold and hill descent control.

2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Citroen C5 Aircross facelift: Verdict, price

In the end, the Hyundai Tucson edges out the Citroen C5 Aircross with its performance, features and tech it offers. The C5 Aircross is still hard to beat with its sense of luxury, sheer comfort and refinement but its bloated price tag is its biggest disadvantage, making the Tucson look like a great deal. The Hyundai Tucson in this version costs from Rs 39.70 lakh while the C5 Aircross is priced at Rs 44.40 lakh.

2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Citroen C5 Aircross facelift: Real-world mileage, performance

hyundai tucson vs citroen c5 aircross mileage performance

2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Citroen C5 Aircross facelift: Scores

Text: @tuhinguha
Images: @anis.shaikh.media 

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2022 Hyundai Tucson launched in India, prices start from Rs 27.69 lakh

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 31.3 Lakhs
Max Power(ps)
Max Torque(Nm)
18.6 Kmpl
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 27.69 Lakhs
Max Power(ps)
Max Torque(Nm)
12.95 Kmpl