5 Jun 2012


Chris Harris, Drive, June 5th 2012

Citroen's ASX-based C4 Aircross arrives next month.

Citroen will make a belated entry into Australia's popular compact SUV market next month with the arrival of the C4 Aircross.

The French car maker has yet to announce local pricing for its latest model, but the C4 AirCross is likely to come close to its recently launched and mechanically identical compatriot, the Peugeot 4008, which ranges between $28,890 and $38,490.

Based on Mitsubishi's ASX soft-roader, both vehicles are powered by a 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine that develops 110kW of power and 197Nm of torque, or pulling power. As with the 3008, the C4 AirCross will not be offered with a diesel variant, which is only available with a manual transmission.

By contrast, their Japanese donor vehicle is priced between $25,990 and $36,990 for the 4WD Aspire 2.0-litre petrol and 1.8-litre diesel variants.

The C4 AirCross will also compete against the likes of the Nissan Dualis, Hyundai ix35, Volkswagen Tiguan and may even steal sales from larger rivals including Nissan's X-Trail and Toyota's RAV4.

As with the ASX and 4008, the C4 AirCross will come with the choice of two - or four-wheel-drive configurations and mated to either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission.

Citroen says all-wheel-drive variants offer a choice of three drive modes - two-wheel drive for maximum economy, four-wheel drive for difficult conditions and 4WD Lock "for the toughest conditions".

The company's latest model brings the C4 family to four models, joining the C4 hatch, C4 Picasso seven-seat people mover and the funky DS4 premium hatch.

Its Mitsubishi tie-up is a result of an alliance between the Japanese manufacturer and Citroen parent company PSA, which also owns Peugeot.

The French brand's Australian importer Ateco Automotive told Drive last year that it couldn't make a business case for the brand's larger, Mitsubishi Outlander-based C-Crosser that went on sale in Europe in 2007.

Citroen Australia general manager Miles Williams says that despite the four C4 models sitting in the same size category says, each C4 is a distinct model in its own right.

"By providing them with their own platforms and differing drivetrains, Citroen has allowed them not to be variants of one model and carry the restrictions in their abilities that this would cause, but to be much more capable vehicles designed to meet the specific needs in each of their own market sectors and offer Citroen customers a wider range of choice," he says.