If you’re looking for an allegory for the C5 Aircoss, consider this: if you nudge the windscreen wiper stalk down for a one-flick wipe of the screen, you also activate – or deactivate, if they were on – the automatic wipers. So to give the windscreen a one-flick wipe but revert to the original automatic wiper state, you must push the stalk twice.
Similarly, want to turn up the temperature gauge by a degree while the bold, attractively designed central touchscreen is showing, say, the media or navigation? It’ll be four presses in different places before you’re back to where you started.
The Aircross’s infotainment system is what happens when you put an overdependence on touchscreens, even though there is a supplementary set of shortcut buttons beneath the 8.0in screen, and a row of real buttons below that on the dashboard, plus another couple on the centre console.
Given those supplements, you’d think it would be possible to contrive an easily navigable set of functions, but alas no. As a rule, Citroën’s menus are more complex to fumble around than, say, Volvo’s all-touch version, or our regular benchmark, BMW’s i-Drive. All you’d want – DAB radio, navigation, personalisable 12in instruments and so on – are present but the system is slow to respond, and if you’ve selected reverse to bring up cameras, it’s then impossible to bring up another screen until you’ve driven off forwards. And to put the temperature control in one of these menus is unforgivable.