The three bland mice …
Lerato Matebese and Mark Smyth compare three models that are actually the same
ECONOMIES of scale, play an integral role in the vehicle manufacturing segment with the cross-sharing of technology, and, in this instance, three technically indifferent models cloaked in different suits.
Mitsubishi’s ASX, a crossover vehicle in the mould of the Nissan Qashqai et al, which was launched locally last year, has spawned the Citroen C4 Aircross and the Peugeot 4008. Thankfully, each manufacturer has its own take on the model’s aesthetics with the Mitsubishi perhaps the least flamboyant, an accolade that the Peugeot gets instead.
That is not to say the Citroen is not attractive, far from it in fact, but the pug’s rendition seems to crack the nod with has a wider range and presents the best value for money of the trio.
Badge engineering, is a nasty phrase that many car makers would prefer to see left in the annals of 1980s and 1990s motoring history. Just think back to the Ford Fiesta and Mazda 323 that effectively sealed Samcor’s fate. In reality, though, the trend was way ahead of its time and while today it is called platform sharing, or collaboration, in many respects it is effectively the same thing.
While the Toyota brand pushes up sales of the diminutive Aygo every month, this car is in fact exactly the same car as the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107, built in the same factory by the same people and robots using the same parts.
Platform-sharing has spawned three models that are too similar in their identities, with the Peugeot 4008, above, barely distinguishable from Mitsubishi’s ASX and the Citroen C4 Aircross, top.
Except for minor details, the interiors are all virtually the same on the Citroen, top, the ASX, above, and the Peugeot, at bottom left.