Friday 20 April 2018

Citroen take SUV route with the new Aircross

Citroen Aircross
Citroen Aircross
The interior of the Citroen Aircross
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Another MPV morphs into an SUV. With the new C3 Aircross, Citroen has made an SUV out of what would have been the C3 Picasso people carrier in the normal course of events.

But these are not normal times - everyone seems to want a Crossover or SUV. And Citroen are only happy to oblige, it seems.

Revealed this week, the Aircross ticks lots of boxes as it sets out to woo buyers from the car that sets the pace in the smaller SUV segment, Nissan's ubiquitous Juke.

The Aircross is due to arrive in Ireland in November, I'm told, but prices will be announced a fair bit in advance - in September.

The interior of the Citroen Aircross
The interior of the Citroen Aircross

There are suggestions that prices will only represent a slight increase on the old Picasso, but we'll have to wait and see about that.

It may be a funky-looking motor, but there is a lot of practicality behind the façade, with Citroen claiming "class-leading" space in the cabin.

The French marque says it wants to "migrate" people across from the Picasso to the Aircross SUV/Crossover.

And their executives say they, naturally, also want to attract younger buyers.

One big improvement is the less-cluttered dash - a major criticism of the current/old C3 Picasso.

That is mainly thanks to the presence and scope of the 7ins touchscreen infotainment system.

It embraces smartphone integration and sat-nav among other functions.

The Aircross may only be 15mm longer and 75mm taller than the Juke, but it manages to eke out 410 litres of boot space - and that extends to 1,289 litres with the seats folded.

The experts say that's 100 litres more than the Nissan. There's a removable luggage shelf and 'double' floor too.

The 60:40-split rear bench can slide forwards and backwards by up to 150mm depending on the need for more luggage or passenger space.

They're promising three PureTech 3cyl engines (108bhp to 128bhp) and three diesels (89bhp to 118bhp) from the get-go.

Among the elements giving the Aircross (4.15m long) its SUV looks are raised ground clearance, front and rear skid plates, a high-set driving position, large wheels and wing extenders.

You can also have their Grip Control system, which boosts traction.

There will be a spread of driver assist technologies, depending on individual model specification, I presume.

They will include the likes of reversing camera, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring, as well as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and a driver fatigue sensing system.

Indo Motoring

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