Citroen pric­ing like an or­di­nary car

A new-broom price-re­align­ment makes the cost of Citroen own­er­ship in New Zealand more like it is in Europe, writes Dave Moore.

South Waikato News - - MOTORING -

The Citroen brand has had all man­ner of re­launches over the years in New Zealand, but the lat­est one, which comes about with the an­nounce­ment of Syme Darby as its dis­trib­u­tor looks like it may ac­tu­ally stick.

With help from the fac­tory, Syme Darby has re­aligned prices across the Citroen lineup, with the C3 and C4 ranges in par­tic­u­lar show­ing starter stick­ers very much in line with what you’d pay for re­spec­tive Ja­panese and Korean prod­ucts. The com­pany will con­tinue to treat the DS-se­ries ver­sions of its C3, C4 and C5 as the niche play­ers they ir­refutably are. How­ever it seems that the new dis­trib­u­tor re­alises what most car fans have known for many years, Citroen is very much a maker of or­di­nary cars too, with models in Europe that match, both in terms of spec­i­fi­ca­tion and price, those of­fered by Ford, Vaux­hall/Opel and Toy­ota.

Now you really can be on a Jazz/Yaris or Corolla/Fo­cus bud­get and opt for a Citroen.

The C3 range starts with a five-speed man­ual 1.2-litre three­cylin­der model at $23,490 in so-called ‘‘se­duc­tion’’ spec, while a sim­i­lar spec­i­fi­ca­tion four-speed au­to­matic 1.6 can be had for $25,990, with the top of the range ‘‘ex­clu­sive’’ ver­sion ask­ing $27,490.

Pos­si­bly the bargain of the new Citroen lineup is the base or ‘‘se­duc­tion’’ 1.6-litre 88kW ver­sion of the C4, which asks $25,990, in man­ual form, while the au­to­matic ver­sion of the same car is $28,990.

The all-the-fruit au­to­matic C4 ‘‘ex­clu­sive’’ is $31,490, which still puts it deep into Ja­panese and Korean mid-sized hatch­back ter­ri­tory.

That’s not quite the case with the Mon­deo­sized C5 at $54,990 to $67,990, but with very high spec­i­fi­ca­tion lev­els and unique pow­er­train choices like a 2.0-litre tur­bod­iesel four and a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 diesel, it shouldn’t be a sur­prise that the C5 price is fairly high, al­beit re­duced, by up to $7000. Also the spa­cious C5 wagon will be an in­dent-only prospect if you want one.

How­ever, those want­ing a Citroen load­car­rier will now be able to tap into Citroen’s C4 Air­cross a joint-ven­ture cross­over car with Mit­subishi which starts at just $36,990 in twowheel-drive form, top­ping-out at $38,990 and $43,990 with ‘‘ex­clu­sive’’ spec­i­fi­ca­tion and two and four-wheel-drive re­spec­tively. All Air­cross models have CVT trans­mis­sions.

Mean­while, in the more rar­i­fied at­mos­phere of the DS models – named af­ter the gor­geous and gen­uinely iconic Deyesse, or God­dess, launched in 1955 – the prices have also eased a tad.

The DS3 starts with the four-speed au­to­matic 1.6-litre 88kW car at $36,990, while a tur­bocharged 115kW ver­sion with a five-speed man­ual goes for $38,990. A cabri­o­let ver­sion of the DS3 will also ar­rive be­fore the end of 2013 with prices of $40,990 abd $42,990 for the same en­gine and trans­mis­sion choices.

Mean­while the DS4 is avail­able as a ’So Chic’ 120kW turbo 1.6-litre five-door at $44,990 with six-speed au­to­matic and as a more pow­er­ful 147kW tur­bocharged six-speed man­ual ‘‘Sport Chic’’ at $48,990.

Tow ver­sions of Citroen’s strik­ing new DS5 are on of­fer. The 115kW Sport Chic tur­bocharged petrol ver­sion of this car, with six-speed au­to­matic is $59,990, while a 120kW 2.0-litre tur­bod­iesel ver­sion of the same ve­hi­cle will be $62,990 when it gets here in June. The DS5 line-up will be added to later in the year with the ar­rival of a hy­brid 4 full-hy­brid diesel ver­sion with 155kW and all-wheel-drive and an emis­sions rat­ing of just 99g/km. In­ci­den­tally, the av­er­age CO2 rat­ing for the Citroen range as a whole is the clean­est in Europe at just 122g/km. Driv­ing the DS5 – the crisply-de­tailed ex­te­rior with its sculpted five-door shoul­ders and sliv­ers of met­allised gar­bish­ing is as orig­i­nal and unique as you’ll get th­ese days, where road fleets can be a bor­ing ag­gre­ga­tion of same­ness.

In­side, the Citroen cel­e­brates too, with a gor­geous cen­tre con­sole that places switches and con­trols into their own neatly-shaped re­cep­ta­cles. There’s good room for up to five and hand-on-heart it would take a real sad­sack not be de­lighted with the gaz­ing and gaw­ping at­ten­tion the car at­tracts from other road users.

No Citroen has turned this many heads since the 1950s.

Re­launch­ing again: Citroen an­nounces a real French treat.

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