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Launch report: Citroen C4 Aircross





8 June 2012


Citroën C4 Aircross – the headliner

 

Pictures of the C4 Aircross have been readily available for some time, so we’re sure everyone’s had a look and made their minds up already. Don’t let 2D images fool you, however, because while the looks may be “unique”, the car truly fits into the current small SUV offering in SA very well. Who knows – this may be the alternative you were looking for.

 

It was only debuted in Geneva in March, so the launch of the Citroën C4 Aircross in SA this week was a rarity. This is the first SUV for Citroën in the local market, if you discount the Mitsubishi ASX it’s based on, and we headed up the coast to Mozambique to drive it through the sand and coconuts. Peugeot’s 4008 also shares the underpinnings of the ASX, and was released later in June.
Still, it’s not quite the same car. Yes, shared platforms make for a very similar ride and layout, but the Aircross is so Citroën, you couldn’t mistake it for anything else.

 

The Aircross is a five-seater available in either 4×2 or 4×4, and comes in three derivatives. Unlike many manufacturers, Mitsubishi included, Citroën has not opted to drop the expensive drive train. Instead they’ve made a larger range available, suiting a variety of pockets and needs.

 

Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and a CVT auto ’box. All derivatives are powered by a 2,0 litre petrol engine, with an output of 113kW and 198Nm of torque. The manual transmission is smooth and gearing is long, but the five-speed is limited at higher speeds and a sixth gear for extra overdrive would have been much appreciated.

 

As for the 4×4 system, available on the range topping Exclusive model only, power split is variated between the front and the rear to suit conditions. A central diff lock is also fitted for that extra grip, locking wheels down in a 50:50 split. Drive is alternated by a simple dial in the centre consol, which is becoming more and more commonplace in the luxury SUVs. That said, 4×4 is quite capable through thick sand, and once you’ve locked the gears in first, you’re quite able on most surfaces. The “lock” option, which anchors the power distribution at 50:50, would then only be required when driving over loose rocks or gravel at an angle.

 

(Read of our motoring scribes’ adventure through the coconuts in the Leisure Wheels magazine later on this year – and a total tyre failure!)

 

Suspension consists of Macpherson struts at the front and a coil-sprung multi-link system at the rear, incorporating a 18mm diameter anti-roll bar. The Attraction and Seduction trims are fitted with 16” Flinders-style alloys, and the Executive sports 18” Kanji-style wheels (which is one of the few exterior indications that you’re in a 4×2 or 4×4 model).

 

Other specifications include a 12V socket, USB and aux ports, Bluetooth functionality and an optional upgrade on the sound system. Options include the Cielo package (sun roof, roof rails, chrome trims) and a Leather package (leather trim and seats, heated seats). All models have fog lamps and ABS, EBD, EBA. The electronic stability programme and hill start assist are fitted to the Exclusive model only, and airbags vary across the range with the base model being fitted with two front airbags only, and the flagship seven.

 

The now distinctively-Citroën row of vertical LED daytime running lights are found on the Seduction and Exclusive models, and all models have front fog lamps. The Exclusive is fitted with Xenon headlamps, which are automatically adjusted (headlamps are manually adjustable in the other models)

Prices, which include a three-year / 100 000 km warranty and a five-year / 100 000 km service plan, are as follows:

2,0 4×2 Attraction R269 900
2,0i 4×2 Seduction R294 900
2,0i CVT 4×2 Seduction R309 900
2,0i CVT 4×2 Exclusive R344 900
2,0i CVT 4×4 Exclusive R369 900

 

The Citroën Aircross range is covered by a 3-year/100 000km warranty and a 5 year 100 000km service plan with the option to upgrade the warranty to 5-years/100 000km, while FreeDrive, includes the extended warranty and also incorporates a 100 000km maintenance plan.