The first impression
SUVs are cool! So cool in fact, there are more and more to choose from these days. They really are what a modern day family car is all about. They are practical, functional, safe and pretty able too.
A growing family is no longer a good enough reason to buy a SUV. Road surface and a desire to feel safe are some of the main factors for buying 2WD SUVs. Let’s face it that our roads are a mess, particularly in Johannesburg. Cape Town is a different story all together. The only way we could mimic their success, would be to hire the ball-breaking duo from the DA, Helen Zille and Patricia de Lille. A quicker and more likely solution would be to get a 2WD SUV. Compact is the way to go, and CITROËN’s latest entrant into this category is the C4 Aircross. Don’t be fooled as this car isn’t a raised C4, but rather a completely different car all together.
The CITROËN Aircross is in fact a Mitsubishi ASX in French suspenders and garter belt. It’s an attractive looking car: With its imposing chevron logo taking centre stage, and framed by its super-mod headlights and sparkly vertical CITROËNNESIQUE LED daylight running lights. Walk around the Aircross and you will notice it’s larger than most CITROËNS. The sharply raised window line as you approach the rear doors is a unique touch. The rear-end design gives the car a rounder feel which makes the car look more compact. Though this is a Japanese Tuna hand roll, the French have waved their Magi Mixer and transformed it into a Nicoise salad, visually so to speak. But truth be told, it is really still Japanese sushi.
The C4 Aircross passes the looks test, faring better than most of its rivals (par the Kia which really is a great looking vehicle). The Aircross has a 200mm ground clearance which is actually pretty handy for semi off-road use, yet easy to get in and out of without needing a platform. The car is well proportioned inside and can quite comfortably seat five adults. There is well sized boot which becomes class leadingly well-endowed when the back seats are flattened. The front seats are comfortable and the driving position spot-on. The midrange Seduction model is well appointed with all the mod cons: Climate control, blue tooth connectivity, rear park distance control, auto lights and a rather charming gesture of good manners. As you switch off the vehicle, the Aircross bids you a farewell: “See you”, through its instrument cluster.
Where the Aircross disappoints is in the mechanics of it all. French cars have flair and "ja de vive". To paraphrase the writer and performer, James Braly, "She has a face like one of those French war bond posters; it's the kind of face that makes you want to invade." When you sit in the Aircross you notice something is weird, it's strangely familiar yet it speaks another language. The interior of the car is very Japanese, it works and does as it should but not in a French way. The drive of the car is accomplished and it handles the highways and speedy corners well. The Aircross will comfortably mount shopping centre sidewalks, and if you opted for the range topping 4WD version you will have some fun off road too, but it's not a hard core 4x4.
The extra stuff
The CITROËN Aircross range is covered by a 3 year/100 000km warranty and a 5 year/100 000km service plan with the option to upgrade the warranty to a 5 year/100 000km. FreeDrive includes the extended warranty and also incorporates a 100 000km maintenance plan.
The Aircross is mechanically one and the same as its cousin the Peugeot 4008, which share most of their parts with the Mitsubishi ASX. So from a comparative perspective, we have three cars that look different but are well the same. The Aircross is the arguably the better looking of the three and is the best value for money. The Nissan Qashqai was launch in 1997. It was a pioneer in the segment and is a lovely car, but a bit long in the tooth after six years on our roads. Lastly the Korean duo: Kia and Hyundai being serious contenders, but if I was to pick one of the two, it would be the space buggy Sportage.
2.0 Attraction - R270 892 incl. VAT
2.0i Seduction - R295 892 incl. VAT
2.0i CVT Seduction - R310 926 incl. VAT
2.0i CVT 4x4 Exclusive - R371 114 incl. VAT
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