So I recently attended a launch where Citroen was re introduced to the country, and they have launched three models to celebrate this. Much excitement was generated by their chief Xavier Gopille, formerly of Renault and Nissan, but the disquiet remains, how long are they her for this time? It’s a fair question, as Citroen left the country about two years ago, leaving many unhappy car buyers, and have now come back in arguably the most difficult retail market in a long time. Time will tell.
So one of the models we drove is the C3 Aircross, a crossover that looks quite attractive, with its cross matching colour styling in red roof rails and white body. The difference between sister brand Peugeot and Citroen, is in the styling, although the latter is a much older automotive brand, it has been re positioned to cater for the younger set. So they are out of the ordinary with multi colour combinations and alternate styling accents.
The problem is the devil you know, and the devil you don’t, Citroen know they need crossovers, but the C3 Aircross plays in the same segment as the Ford Eco-Sport, and the rapidly gaining, VW T-Cross, so frankly, it has a mountain to climb.
The Aircross looks good, with its contrasting colours and attractive roof rails, it has a relatively high drive position and front and rear skid plates, large wheels and wing extenders. At the front, the New C3 Aircross sports Citroën’s classic graphic signature with two-tier lights. The headlamps strengthen the expression of the front end and confirm kinship with the Brand’s latest models. The upper part consists of LED daytime running lights connected to the chevrons via a double chrome strip, serving to express the entire width of the car.
The 3D-effect rear lights spell out the family connection with the new C3 and the C-Aircross concept car.
The sophisticated light units are complemented by Gloss Black inserts in the tailgate featuring the two-tone C3 Aircross badge and Gloss Black chevrons. It comes with 16 inch wheels and 17 inch in the shine model.
The Aircross has a plethora of storage spaces in the cabin, which is also quite generous in terms of space. The C3 Aircross has the most advanced modular design in its category with a 60/40 split-folding rear bench with folding seat backs and seats in two independent parts sliding through 150 mm. (on the Shine model) These adjustments are extremely simple. At 4.15 m long, 1.76 m wide and 1.64 m tallit is well proportioned.
Informed by the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, the New Citroën C3 Aircross was also designed for seamless use. To that end, it is equipped with intuitive technologies for peace of mind and safety at the wheel thanks to a complete range of technologies serving to make each trip easier and safer:
Keyless entry and start: a hands-free access and start system that allows the driver to open and start the vehicle without getting the key out. (on the Shine model).
Lane Departure Warning System: to fight against drowsiness at the wheel or a simple moment of inattention at over 60 km/h. The system detects any accidental crossing of road markings (continuous or dotted) with the indicator not activated and warns the driver with a sound signal and message on the instrument cluster
The New Citroën C3 Aircross Compact SUV is available with a 1.2 PureTech 81kW engine which is coupled to a 6-speed automatic gearbox for maximum driving pleasure and comfort. It has a nice drive feel, and the gearbox is smooth. Not huge on power, but the auto is convenient around traffic.
To make your car an extension of yourself and stay connected, the C3 Aircross features the Mirror Screen function, with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay™ and MirrorLink®. (on the Shine model)
You can enjoy the multimedia content and apps of their smartphones in complete safety by replicating and controlling them via the 7-inch touchscreen (Available on the Shine Model).
1. 5 – Year / 100 000 km:
Warranty & Service plan across the range
Feel- R239 900.00
Shine- R289 900.00
The Aircross will find some buyers, as the pricing is quite good, and many previous brand buyers might opt for new models. The management say that they are signing up new dealers, but the damage will be difficult to repair, from leaving the country, and restoring the sense of confidence. For my part, I hope they do, as they build good car