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The Citroen C4 Aircross is the French brand's response to the booming small-SUV segment, where people are no longer synonymising SUVs with large, cumbersome four-wheel-drives but economical and city-friendly cross-roaders.
Despite being a brand new entrant to the Citroen model range, the C4 Aircross may seem familiar. If it does, it’s because underneath the skin it’s a Mitsubishi ASX. Before you jump to any conclusions, that’s not such a bad thing.
The design team has given the Citroen C4 Aircross a French feel and jazzed up the safe-looking ASX. LED running lights and a monster grill dominate the front end, while the rear features Citroen’s trademark curved tail-lights. A floating C-pillar is also unique to the C4 Aircross, blending in to the body work and giving the C4 Aircross a sporty look.
Available with just one petrol engine, the C4 Aircross is available in two grades – front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. Under the bonnet is Mitsubishi’s 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine. Coupled to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the C4 Aircross uses a combined 7.9L/100km in front-wheel-drive guise and 8.1L/100km in all-wheel-drive form.
While the C4 Aircross won’t set the world on fire in terms of pace, with a 0-100km/h time of 10.9 seconds, it does offer useable power and smooth motoring courtesy of a refined CVT. It also delivers in the handling department with very little body roll and excellent composure.
Our review is based on a UK drive as a test car hasn't been available locally, but the multi-link suspension soaks up bumps and the steering is heavier than usual but adds to the sporty feel. In the all-wheel-drive model, a switch in the centre of the car allows the driver to move between two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive, offering the flexibility of both traction levels.
Inside the cabin, it’s all ASX. Everything from the switchgear to the satellite navigation has been transposed from the Mitsubishi ASX. In the ASX, the materials look and feel good, but err on the side of plastic with easy scratching material used on the dashboard and doors. The C4 Aircross steps it up a notch with soft-touch covering on the dashboard and doors, helping justify the price increase on the ASX.
Leg and head room up front is very good, with enough room to stretch out and relax on long drives. Rear seat passengers are slightly more cramped, but there is ample room for young kids or short trips for adults.
Boot space is very usable, with 416 litres on offer. It can extend to 1,193 litres with the rear seats folded down, which is 33 litres more than the Nissan Dualis on both counts. A ski port is built into the seat to allow stowage of longer objects that would otherwise require the seats to be folded down.
Starting from $31,190 for the front-wheel-drive C4 Aircross, the all-wheel-drive is $2000 more at $33,190. The C4 Aircross misses out on the five-year warranty offered with the ASX and has a three-year warranty instead.
Even though the Citroen C4 Aircross is essentially a Mitsubishi ASX under the skin, Citroen designers have worked hard to create a great-looking SUV. Interior improvements also boost the C4 Aircross’ appeal, giving it a higher class feel, which justifies the higher asking price.