Citroën is celebrating its centenary year this year and with that they are back in the country with three new models to celebrate with South Africans.
Die heart French auto connoisseurs will remember that the Citroen brand was established back in 1919 by André Citroën with the double chevron logo being the key link to the brand over the years. Over these years Citroën has lead innovation in the automotive sector as the first to introduce front wheel drive in cars in 1934, the Citroën DS was the first European production car with disc brakes and this happened back in 1955. Technology has been at the forefront of the company with its primary need being to make cars that fit the needs of consumers.
The Citroën C3, C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross are no different, now being the manufacturers new kids on the block. The Citroën C3 and C3 Aircross are very similar apart from the size, and some key features that do distinguish them apart quite significantly.
Zooming in on the C3 hatch, at first glance you’ll notice that it is quite bold and has a SUV like appearance with the unmistakable two-tone body, whilst the C3 Aircross can be characterized by its larger size, lower grille, skid plates on the front and rear and raised grown clearance. The Citroën C5 Aircross is the flagship of comfort that boasts the impressive progressive hydraulic cushioning.
Both the C3 & C3 Aircross, including the Citroën C5 Aircross, come in two packages; The “FEEL” and “SHINE”.
The Citroën C3 has a five-speed manual transmission with a 1.2L 60kW PureTech engine on the FEEL option and a six-speed automatic transmission with a 1.2L 81kW on the SHINE.
On the other hand, the Citroën C3 Aircross only comes in the 1.2L 81kW Pure Tech engine and a six-speed automatic gearbox. The drive in both cars is exceptionally smooth with the Aircross coming out top of the two models due to its added engine performance. The spaciousness also contributes the added levels comfort and this particular model is better suited to tackle both urban driving and long distance with greater ease.
On the connectivity side the cars are equipped with MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to make your navigation and music experience more enjoyable and seamless. The C3 has hill-start assist for those nasty hills, active safety braking and coffee break alert. In addition to this the C3 Aircross also has the lane departure warning and keyless entry and start which is only available in the SHINE option. Unfortunately, the signature Airbump that helps to protect your car from unwanted parking lot bumps and scratches is only available in the SHINE options. Not that you care, anyways.
The Citroën C5 Aircross is the manufacturers new flagship SUV that claims to be the most comfortable in the segment. This is because of the Citroën Advanced Comfort programme, Progressive Hydraulic Cushions suspension and advanced comfort seats.
The C5 Aircross also boasts three individual sliding, folding and reclining rear seats. This helps when you want to increase boot space when loading up for your getaway. With the seats in a regular position you’re looking at 520 liters and can expand to upto 720 liters. While the seat having been slid forward only a short adult a child can sit comfortably this will also depend if the driver or passenger seat configuration. The Citroën C5 Aircross has been fitted with a 12.3-inch digital panel behind the steering wheel and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
The biggest win is the standard feature that all the models come fitted with six airbags and five year or 100 000KM warranty and service plan. I would have however, loved it of the Airbumps were a standard feature on the C3 and C3 Aircross.
Citroën has also limited the colours available in these cars for instance they are only available in Soft Sand, Natural White and Platinum Grey. This was a let a down as one would expect Citroën to pop the market with expressive colours.
Pricing for the C3 starts at R239 900 for the Feel derivative, R339 900 for the C3 Aircross and R469 900 for the C5 Aircross Feel.
Words by Tshego Mmahlatji
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