Citroën's Sportage rival lands in SA

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IOL mot ST jun6 citroenaircross i

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Based on the Mitsubishi ASX, the Citroen C4 Aircross will go head-to-head with the Kia Sportage petrol models.

Another day, another 'angry' softroader crosses the oceans to reach South African shores and today that crossover is the new Citroën C4 Aircross.

It may not appear obvious at first, but the C4 Aircross is actually something of a Japanese model in a French dress. In fact the only thing C4 about it is that badge on the tailgate.

Like its Peugeot 4008 sibling, the C4 Aircross is closely based on the Mitsubishi ASX but it's more than just a cheap logo engineering job where some dude with a box of badges tosses coins at the end of the assembly line - this one's been given a decent dose of Citroën's design language.

As far as we can tell, the only external body panels shared with its Japanese cousin are its front and rear doors. Front and rear styling - and even that 'floating' roof effect over the C-pillars are all Citroën's doing.

Inside the C4 Aircross shares its dashboard with the Mitsubishi, but the steering wheel and some instruments are different and the materials in the French car look a little fancier. Same goes for the seats.

Built on a unibody platform and available in either front-wheel drive or permanent all-wheel drive guises, the C4 Aircross is aimed squarely at softroaders like the Kia Sportage and Ssangyong Korando. The AWD model boasts a centre locking differential.

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All versions are powered by a naturally aspirated 2-litre petrol engine that puts out 113kW and 198Nm and it's mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT continuously variable transmission.

THREE FLAVOURS

The line-up offers three trim levels, starting with the Attraction that's equipped with air conditioning, height adjustable driver seat, four-speaker CD/MP3 audio system linked to steering controls, electric windows and mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual front airbags and ABS brakes.

The mid-range Seduction, available in manual and CVT guises, adds automatic climate control, cruise control, six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth and USB socket, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers as well as side, curtain and driver-knee airbags.

Opt for the flagship Exclusive trim, which is the only model with all-wheel drive, and the features list grows to include heated black leather seat trim, 18-inch alloys and ESP stability control with hill start assist.

The cabin seats five people and offers 384 litres worth of luggage space, which is expandable via the 40:60 split rear seats. The vehicle also has a full-sized spare wheel.

THE DAMAGE

2.0i Attraction 2WD manual - R269 900

2.0i Seduction 2WD manual - R294 900

2.0i Seduction 2WD CVT - R309 900

2.0i Exclusive 4WD CVT - R369 900

This includes a three-year/100 000km warranty and five-year/100 000km service plan.

ALTERNATIVES

Honda CRV 2.0 Comfort (110kW) - R309 900

Hyundai ix35 2.0 GLS (122kW) - R289 900

Kia Sportage 2.0 Ignite (122kW) - R261 995

Mitsubishi ASX 2.0 Classic (110kW) - R279 900

Renault Koleos 2.5 Dynamique (126kW) - R289 900

Ssangyong Korando 2.0 (110kW) - R249 995

VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI Trend&Fun (90kW) - R278 000


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