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by Tim Beissmann

The Citroen C4 AirCross is now on sale in Australia, finally giving the French manufacturer a competitor in the booming local SUV market.

The C4 AirCross is available in a single specification, Exclusive, which features a 2.0-litre petrol engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The entry-level front-wheel drive is priced from $31,990 before on-road costs, while the optional all-wheel drive system adds $2000.

The pricing makes the C4 AirCross the most expensive of the PSA-Mitsubishi compact SUV triplets, with the Citroen positioned above the mechanically identical Mitsubishi ASX and Peugeot 4008.

The entry-level ASX is priced from $28,490 in FWD CVT form and $32,490 as in AWD, making it $2500 and $1500 cheaper than the Citroen respectively, while both equivalent variants of the 4008 are $500 less than C4 AirCross.

Like its siblings, the Citroen C4 AirCross’s 2.0-litre petrol engine produces 110kW of power (at 6000rpm) and 197Nm of torque (at 4200rpm). All three are identical in terms of fuel consumption, with the FWD drinking 7.9 litres of premium unleaded per 100km and the AWD slightly thirstier at 8.1L/100km.

Accelerating from 0-100km/h takes 10.2 seconds in the FWD and an extra seven-tenths in the AWD, which is 65kg heavier at 1460kg in total.

The C4 AirCross is 4341mm long, 1799mm wide, 1625mm tall, and rides on a 2670mm wheelbase. The boot has a capacity of 416 litres, which expands to 1193 litres with the rear seats folded forwards.

Justifying the C4 AirCross’s price premium is its equipment list, which trumps both the ASX and the 4008. Standard exterior features include 18-inch alloy wheels (with a 16-inch steel spare), automatic headlights and wipers, LED daytime running lights, front and rear foglights and rear parking sensors, while the cabin scores a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, climate control with pollen filter, and a six-speaker audio system with AUX/USB inputs and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

The C4 AirCross’s comprehensive safety kit includes a range of active and passive systems, headlined by electronic stability control, hill-start assist and seven airbags: dual front, side, curtains, and a driver’s knee bag.

A panoramic glass roof ($1500), xenon headlights ($1500) and black leather trim ($2000) are available as options.

The Citroen is covered by a three-year/100,000km warranty, which matches the Peugeot but trails the Mitsubishi by two years and 30,000km.

The C4 AirCross joins the ASX and the 4008 in the small SUV category, which has grown by 68 per cent so far this year. The ASX has a 12.8 per cent share of the market, trailing the Nissan Dualis (20.9 per cent), Hyundai ix35 (19.7 per cent), Subaru XV (17.2 per cent) and the Volkswagen Tiguan (14.2 per cent). The 4008 made a modest start to sales in June, with 60 vehicles delivered around the country.

 

2012 Citroen C4 AirCross manufacturer’s list prices:

  • Exclusive 4×2 – $31,990
  • Exclusive 4×4 – $33,990



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