The PSA Groupe is all set to make a return to the Indian market with the Citroen brand. The group was supposed to release its first SUV by the end of 2020 but now due to the pandemic, the launch has been postponed to the first quarter of 2021. The French manufacturer has already set up a factory in Hosur, Tamil Nadu and the factory has been manufacturing engines and transmissions. Citreon is known for its quirky design, features, high-quality cabins and the upcoming C5 Aircross is no different. In fact, the SUV was spied testing on our Indian roads without any camouflage in February last year. Here are some things that we know about the Citroen C5 Aircross:
Citroen C5 Aircross dimensions are 4,500mm in length, 1,840mm in width, 1,670mm in height
which means it is larger than the Jeep Compass. It is also taller and longer than the Hyundai Tucson. The wheelbase of the C5 Aircross is 2,730mm which is more than the Compass and Tucson so it should offer more cabin space than both the SUVs. The ground clearance of the C5 Aircross is 230mm which is significantly better than its competition.
The C5 Aircross has been designed to look quirky and modern. It boasts split LED headlights and LED tail lights with short overhangs and coloured accents all around. The side profile will get 18-inch alloy wheels and the A and B-pillar have been blacked-out that gives a sense of continuous glass surface. Adding to the sportiness of the SUV, Citroen has given dual exhausts at the rear. There is no doubt that the C5 Aircross does look like butch SUV when compared to its rivals.
The design of the interior may not please everyone because some people will find it too funky with squared-off elements and unconventional design. The driving position is set high with a lot of glass area to increase the visibility and there is an electric adjustment for the seat. The SUV driving feel is enhanced because Citroen has used double-air vents, two-spoke steering wheel and a flattish dashboard layout which gives the cabin a rugged look. The dashboard has a dual-tone layout with leather upholstery and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system which should come with Android Auto and Apple Car Play. In the International market, the driver also gets a 12.3-inch customizable TFT digital instrument cluster instead of traditional dials.
Internationally, there are three engine options to choose form. There are two turbo diesel engines and one turbo petrol engine. The 1.2-litre turbo petrol produces 130hp, the 1.5-litre turbo diesel produced 130hp and finally, there is the engine that is coming to India. Citroen has confirmed that they will be using the 2.0-litre diesel engine that is capable of producing 180hp which makes it as powerful as its competition. The engine will come only mated to an 8-speed torque converter automatic gearbox as standard.
The price of the C5 Aircross can be on the higher side because the 2.0-litre diesel engine will be a direct import. However, the manufacturer is trying its best to keep the costs down by producing the C5 as a CKD (Completely Knocked-Down) unit. Citroen will also start slowly localizing the manufacturing of the SUV and that will help bring the cost of the SUV further down. In fact, the manufacturer aims a high localization level of 90-95 percent for India. Initially, Citroen will launch only one fully loaded variant that should be priced around Rs. 20 lakhs.
We have seen MG, Kia and Jeep take off in our market by introducing their first vehicle as an SUV and that is the same thing that Citroen is trying to do with the C5 Aircross. There is no denying that Indians loves SUV and because of that Citroen will be targeting the people who want a premium SUV that is different from everything else that is currently available in our market. Once launched, Citroen C5 Aircross will be competing with the MG Hector, Hyundai Tucson and the Hyundai Tucson.