Citroen head into the big SUV battle
Citroen is about to launch an assault on the popular compact SUV market and last week I got the chance to have a look at their new offering.
The French manufacturer brought the new C3 Aircross to Scotland to let motoring journalists have a preview - not a drive - before it goes on sale at the start of November.
Prices for the new model will start at a tempting £13,995 rising to £19,720 for the flagship.
It will be available in three trim levels, Touch, Feel and Flair and it comes with highperformance PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines as well as the latest generation of the PSA group’s EAT6 fully automatic gearbox.
Slightly larger than the new C3 hatchback launched by Citroen earlier in the year, the Aircross is aimed at young fashion conscious motorists whose cars have to be trendy as well as practial.
Personalisation options include an amazing 90 different colour combinations, five interior finishes and a Venetian blind style slatted back quarterlight.
It’s a stand out feature available in a variety of colours and gives the Aircross a distinction of its own - a styling cue in similar vein to the Airbump ‘bubble wrap’ protection panels Citroen fitted to the C4 Cactus before slimming them down for the new C3 hatch along with a factory installed dash cam.
The slatted blind pattern covers the outside of the back quarter window and will be a feature of all but the basic models.
Technology includes full Apple and Android compatibility, sat nav with TomTom traffic, a seven-inch touchscreen and a head up display for the driver.
It is also the first Citroen to offer wireless phone charging which is fast becoming a must have feature on modern motors. Other features include lane departure and blind spot warnings, emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and a driver fatigue sensor.
The Aircross takes Citroen into the fast-growing compact crossover market with a car that makes maximum use of interior space.
Not only is the cabin styled in contemporary fashion with snazzy trim it is also of family proportions with plenty of headroom, sliding rear seats and boot space ranging from 410 to 1,289 litres.
Built in Spain, the Aircross will be available with two versions of Peugeot-Citroen’s award winning three cylinder PureTech petrol engines with power outputs of 130 and 110ps and two diesels rated at 120 and 100ps.
It offers seven inches of ground clearance – almost an inch more than the regular C3 – so the Aircross has a proper SUV stance.
Skid plates are fitted front and rear, the body lines are chunky and there’s protective mouldings around the wheel arches. As a result the ‘go anywhere’ image is not purely for show and higher grade models will be fitted with Citroen’s electronic grip control and a hill descent system.