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Citroën C4 Aircross: the brand's first SUV

The Citroën C4 Aircross, the brand's first SUV, seen from three-quarter front

Although Citroën has had several SUVs in its range for several years now, this has not always been the case, as the brand has been a little late to the SUV party. However, it did make its first foray in 2012 with the C4 Aircross, presented in partnership with Mitsubishi. In fact, a few years ago, PSA Peugeot Citroën signed an agreement with Mitsubishi to produce several of its vehicles adapted for the Peugeot and Citroën brands.

We thus had the first electric Ion and C-Zéro, then the C-Crosser and finally the C4 Aircross, the only vehicle of the three to benefit from real styling work to move away from the Mitsubishi base and integrate the codes of Citroën stylistics in force at the time. Marketed from 2012 to 2017, the C4 Aircross remains a recent vehicle, many examples of which are available second-hand and allow you to access SUVs at affordable prices.

A style more in keeping with Citroën

It was at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show that Citroën unveiled its first SUV to the public, aptly named C4 Aircross, joining the C4 range and introducing the Aircross name in Europe, which has since been adopted for all the brand's SUVs.

This C4 Aircross is the most elaborate of the three vehicles resulting from this collaboration with Mitsubishi and reveals a style close to what Citroën was offering at the time. At the front we find the chevrons that extend to the headlamps that surround the turn signal, while at the rear the tailgate is slightly more rounded and the lights create a boomerang effect that corresponds to the C3 and C4 of the time, showing the desire to integrate the C4 Aircross into the Citroën range and the C4 range, the latter being very broad, from the 5-door saloon to the 7-seater minivan, including the SUV.

If the exterior aesthetic modifications made it possible to erase the appearance of the Mitsubishi ASX, it was inside that the differences diminished, as the C4 Aircross adopted the dashboard of its Japanese counterpart, which was its main fault, as the style had nothing to do with what Citroën was doing at the time. This led to a lot of criticism from the French media, as only the logo on the steering wheel was different and the interior was not up to the best of the time.

With a length of 4.34 metres, the Citroën C4 Aircross has a long wheelbase, which ensures a good level of spaciousness worthy of a car in the higher segment. The same goes for the 442-litre boot, which is still up to date and will allow future owners to transport the family's luggage with ease.

The Citroën C4 Aircross, a style related to the second generation C4

A wide and well-equipped range

Marketing of the C4 Aircross began in 2013 with three engines, including a 1.6 115 petrol and diesel of identical power from PSA, while a third engine, also a 1.8l diesel and 150 bhp, was supplied by Mitsubishi. There are three trim levels (Attraction, Comfort and Exclusive) with a good level of standard equipment since the C4 Aircross offered 7 airbags, manual air conditioning or even electric mirrors from the first trim level.

To better meet the needs of Citroën's customers, the brand has made some technical developments to its compact SUV with the introduction of 18-inch wheels, which have required the creation of specific tracks, but above all differently tuned suspensions, aimed at approaching the comfort expected by the brand's customers. The C4 Aircross has a softer ride without losing the dynamic qualities of the Mitsubishi ASX, a compromise between comfort and handling in line with Citroën and the small bulbs.

Unfortunately, despite its obvious qualities, the career of the C4 Aircross was mixed due to its production in Japan, which made it too expensive due to a yen/euro conversion unfavourable to the European currency. Thus, Citroën's first SUV was priced between €3,300 and €5,000 more than its Japanese equivalent, the weight of the brand image and a superior network specific to Citroën. Production ceased in April 2017 after 26,000 units were sold in France, with the C4 Aircross being significantly more widely available than its Peugeot equivalent, the 4008 (just 7,500 units). There are still plenty of used C4 Aircross models available, a car that will appeal to families, but which has not found its audience due to an interior that is too close to the ASX. Since then, Citroën has returned to the SUV segment with vehicles of its own design; the C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross have enjoyed successful careers.

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