Citroen design didn’t float my boat for a long time.

Not until the C4 Cactus came along. It’s not that I think it’s the best looking car on sale but I respect that Citroen took a risk to create something different looking – a regular criticism of some of today’s most successful car makers. And in that quirkiness, the French car maker also managed to address practicality with those much-discussed air bumps. 

Citroen C5 Aircross revealed at Shanghai motor show

And it paid off. It’s done wonders for the firm, outselling the far more conventional C4 (71k units versus 47k in Europe, in 2016.)

Then the new Citroen C3 arrived, keeping some of the Cactus’ themes and all the better for it.

So what then has happened to this C5 Aircross? The concept looked brilliant but the final product has been dumbed down to an unremarkable SUV. There’s a nod to the airbumps on the side skirts but it’s lost all the fun and cheekiness of the concept.

With this SUV crucial to Citroen’s success, the brand’s retreat from bold design may backfire yet. Time will tell.