Citroën C4 Aircross: A Modern take on Compact SUVs

Citroën C4 Aircross

Now since 3 on The Tree is a family based car blog I was very interested when French car maker Citroen has released details of their new C4 Aircross SUV, see the below info from Citroen.

The Citroën C4 Aircross is a fresh take on conventional compact SUV design, combining design with technological innovation. The qualities of this new body style make it a perfect fit with contemporary lifestyles, introducing a sense of escape into everyday activities:

  • strong, elegant styling drawing upon brand DNA;
  • transmission to suit all requirements; all-terrain traction, when needed, with three manually selected modes (2WD, 4WD and Lock);
  • architecture combining compact lines and a vehicle length of just 4.34 m, generous interior space and, in particular, boot capacity of 442 litres;
  • the comfort and driveability that ensure the success of Citroën hatchbacks and saloons;
  • a sense of onboard comfort and relaxation, with a raised driving position, panoramic glass roof and an intuitive driving position that places the emphasis on driving comfort and easy everyday use;

Strong styling that draws upon Citroën’s DNA

A styling heritage: breaking with conventional 4WD design, the C4 Aircross combines the elegance of a sedan with the more muscular lines of an off-roader. Viewed from the front, the wide chrome grille proudly displays the chevron badge, giving the vehicle a strong identity. Viewed from the side, the inverted shark fin, first seen on the Hypnos concept car, features a chrome compass, identifying this car as a member of the Marque’s SUV family. The wide 18-inch alloy wheels and rear lights, inspired by the C4 hatchback and Hypnos concept car, were designed to optimise air flow and cut CO2 emissions.

A unique personality: accentuating the vehicle’s compact looks, the horizontal lines of the front end feature aerodynamic vents at the extremities. The contours of the bonnet, visible from the driver’s seat, the wide wheel arches and reduced overhang all reinforce the impression of strength and performance conveyed by this original body style.

Attention to detail: the C4 Aircross combines style and efficiency. At the front, the daytime running LED lights are integrated vertically into the aerodynamic vents. In the same way as on the C3 and C1, the lights make up a vertical light signature, visible by day and by night. The door mirrors have built-in indicator repeater lights, while the rear light clusters feature light guides. A rearview camera is concealed in the chrome trim of the tailgate. The chrome trim on the lower side panels and tailgate and the dark-tinted rear windows add a further touch of elegance.

An intelligent vehicle with transmission to suit all needs

With its four-wheel drive transmission, the C4 Aircross delivers impeccable roadholding and a relaxing, enjoyable drive. Taking account of driver input, road conditions and vehicle speed, this proactive technology distributes torque optimally between the front and rear wheels at all times. Compact and lightweight, this system also minimizes fuel
consumption by using low-viscosity oil in the transfer box.

Transmission to suit: depending on the situation and their needs, drivers can manually select one of three possible transmission modes using a control behind the gear lever:

  • 4-wheel drive (4WD) mode automatically distributes torque between the front and rear axles. To optimise fuel consumption, a greater amount of torque is transmitted to the front wheels (around 98%), whenever road grip is sufficient. In more difficult conditions, torque may be equally distributed between axles, 50% on each one.
  • “Lock” mode maximizes traction in extreme conditions, increasing the torque transmitted to the rear wheels by 50% compared with 4WD mode.
  • 2-wheel drive (2WD) mode minimises fuel consumption by reducing the number of moving parts (only the front axle is engaged).

The C4 Aircross is available with a 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol engine that produces 110kW of power and 199Nm of torque. The C4 Aircross comes in either two-or four-wheel drive versions mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This 2.0-litre engine features 16 valves, an aluminium cylinder block and variable valve timing.

  • An electronically controlled alternator recovers energy during braking and deceleration. The energy stored up is then used when the vehicle is idling, accelerating or driving at constant speed, in order to limit power generation by the alternator, reducing magnetic friction and thus engine load.
  • Electric power steering only consumes energy when the steering wheel is turning.

Compact, spacious and nimble

With its compact dimensions (4.34 m long, 1.80 m wide, 1.63 m tall) and turning circle of just 10.6 metres, this is a car very much at home in towns and cities. The C4 Aircross is surprisingly spacious, with a cabin worthy of the next class up. With five seats and a boot volume of 442 litres, it easily satisfies the demands of contemporary life.

Convenient in day-to-day use, the rear seat is 2/3-1/3 split/fold and includes a ski flap. The seat can be folded easily to free up additional loading space with a flat floor.

Driving pleasure worthy of a saloon

The running gear was developed to deliver a drive that is faithful to Citroën’s values, expressing the ideal compromise between comfort and roadholding.

The C4 Aircross is fitted with MacPherson type front suspension and a multi-link set-up at the rear associated with wide tracks and an anti-roll bar measuring 18 millimetres in diameter. The front and rear suspension spring settings control body movement while setting high standards in comfort. The 2.67 metre wheel base, close to that of vehicles in the next class up, also contributes to stability and roadholding. These characteristics optimise ride and handling on the C4 Aircross in all situations, for an exceptional level of active safety.

This result is reinforced by the 18-inch wheels shod with 225/55 R18 Bridgestone tyres.

By combining driving aids such as ESP with skid control ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, hill-start assist and electronically controlled four-wheel drive, the C4 Aircross delivers the traction and handling necessary in all situations.

To ensure driving pleasure, particular emphasis was also placed on the electric power steering, which is calibrated to steer a precise course and provide accurate feedback.

Onboard ambience: comfort and relaxation

The C4 Aircross features a raised driving position, giving drivers a clear view of the road for a relaxed driving experience. This impression of onboard comfort is accentuated by a cabin that is surprisingly spacious for a compact SUV.

The functional, ergonomic driving position features a rational layout for easy use. The driver gains a leather-covered steering wheel, adjustable for height and reach, with controls for the audio system, cruise control and hands-free kit.

The steering wheel has a glossy black trim on the hoop. This “black cosmos” finish is also found on the central fascia and window-lift plates.

The driving position is designed for intuitive use, with each function clearly displayed. On the instrument cluster, the shape of the dials with their chrome surround and the overall design of the instruments underline the dynamic character of this compact SUV. The binnacle, which is made of flexible material, is pleasant to touch. Accentuating the harmonious on board design, the transmission mode knob and air conditioning controls also feature chrome surrounds.

The front seats provide excellent support and multi-way adjustment (height, fore-and-aft, rake). They are available in electric and heated versions. For passenger comfort, the rake of the rear back rest can be adjusted to two positions.

Automatic headlights, automatic wipers and an electrochrome interior door mirror also contribute to driving comfort and convenient day-to-day use on this compact SUV.

The cabin includes a host of storage compartments. Their capacity and design reflect the emphasis placed on passengers, and the importance of practical features. The large glovebox is lit and chilled (linked to the automatic air conditioning), while the front and rear central armrests feature two ergonomic beaker-holders and a compartment equipped with a 12V socket, a USB port and auxiliary audio jack.

A wide array of high-tech equipment

For comfortable driving and travel, the C4 Aircross features a wide array of equipment:

The vehicle is available with a top-level hi-fi system worthy of a saloon, developed by Rockford Fosgate, world specialists in audio equipment. Delivering total power of 710 watts, it comprises eight loudspeakers placed around the cabin and a 25-centimetre woofer with a dual voicecoil and 20-litre cabinet installed on the left-hand side of the boot.

A digital signal processing system optimises sound quality from all listening positions.

For easy manoeuvring and parking, the C4 Aircross has a rear camera with the screen mounted in the rear view mirror. Concealed in the chrome trim of the tailgate, this camera is activated automatically when reverse gear is engaged. Particularly useful in day-to-day operation, this function is associated with the rear parking sensors.

A USB jack in the central armrest stowage compartment lets passengers use portable multimedia devices or USB flash memory sticks. This function is very easy to use. The user simply plugs in the appliances and browses content using the audio buttons of the navigation system or steering wheel controls.

The C4 Aircross also includes a Bluetooth hands-free telephone function. This is a convenient and safe option for making in-car calls from a mobile phone, since drivers can make and receive calls without taking the phone out of their pocket. With this option, drivers can make calls using the voice recognition function (French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian) or the dedicated controls on the steering wheel.

With the audio streaming function, the C4 Aircross plays music stored on a smartphone or compatible audio drive using a Bluetooth wireless connection.

A high level of passive safety

The C4 Aircross has an extremely stiff body structure for precise ride and handling, keeping the car on course regardless of road conditions. A high level of passive safety keeps the survival cell intact and sets high standards in vibration comfort for all the occupants.

To make the body stiffer, “closed section” links are used between the pillars and roof and on the tailgate.

The body is designed to absorb and dissipate impact energy through controlled crumpling of the body in order to protect the occupants. The front side members are rectilinear with an octagonal section and crush box structure at the front. A triple leg bearing structure links the extreme rear end of the front side member to the dashboard central and lower cross members. The waist line has also been reinforced by welding the side members together.

The C4 Aircross is equipped with a safety system on the brake pedal. This function prevents protrusion of the brake pedal in the event of high-speed impact.

To reduce the consequences of possible pedestrian impact, the bonnet features a crumple zone (double bulge), the windscreen support has an open section and the front bumper is designed to absorb a significant amount of energy.

The C4 Aircross ships with seven airbags as standard: driver and passenger airbags at the front, with a function to deactivate the passenger airbag and install a child seat, two side airbags, two curtain airbags at the front and rear, and a knee airbag for the driver.

Limited weight

By using a high proportion of high-strength steel, the brand was able to reduce vehicle weight while increasing stiffness, with grade 590 MPa steel used for 14% of the structure, and grade 980 MPa for 5%. The body panels were slimmed down by using blanks in which multiple layers of steel of different thickness are welded together before
forming, with optimised reinforcements for the doors.

Citroën Automobiles Australia have announced some competitive entry prices for the C4 Aircross, these prices which will be available for a limited time mean huge savings for buyers.

The C4 Aircross Exclusive CVT 4 x 2 will be priced at $31,990 drive away and the C4 Aircross Exclusive CVT 4 x 4 will be priced at $33,990 drive away, these prices equate to a savings of approximately $3800 for the 2WD and $3890 for the 4WD.

For more information on the C4 Aircross or other vehicles in Citroen’s range visit their website http://www.citroen.com.au/home/

Citroën C4 Aircross

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