Citroen Ireland announces arrival of new versatile B-SUV for November
Today, Citroen Ireland held the static launch of the new Citroen C3 Aircross. Unfortunately, no test drives were available as the vehicle is yet to be fully released to our market. In fact, it is currently on display on a wall at the IAA 2017 in Frankfurt. However, we've been told that the first international test drives will be happening from next week in Corsica, and national test drives will follow shortly after.
Citroen Ireland tells us that this new car will be available in Ireland from November, with order books to open in early October. First impressions based on the appearance of the car is that this vehicle will look nice on the Irish streetscape. The Chevron sits proudly in the raised SUV-like body and we particularly like the way in which the Chevron line meets the LED daytime running lights.
The new C3 Aircross is the start of an SUV offensive from the French manufacturer, and while it may be a little late to the market, it appears that all brands want a bit of the B-SUV segment – which currently accounts for 16% of the Irish car market.
The boot, which offers between 410 and 520 litres, is a good size for its segment. The size of the boot changes depending on how the passengers position the second row, which is on rails. The modular floor of the boot can be raised and lowered to two positions – which also aids in creating more boot space. There is also a false floor in which items can be stored. If the modular floor is moved to the highest position and the back seats are laid down, there is a flat floor. The front passenger seat also lays flat.
The front cabin is spacious, and the high-spec model that we were sitting in offered excellent comfort, nice seats with a high driving position, and a premium dash experience. We’re told that entry level models will have the same seat shapes, but not the same upholstery. The model we viewed also had a 7-inch touch screen which offers MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The display model had a reversing camera that offers a 180° view through the touch screen. Also available is a panoramic sunroof which opens – according to Citroen Ireland, this is the first in its class that does this.
Of course, we haven’t driven the C3 Aircross yet, but one of the features available with it is Grip Control with Hill Descent Assist. All these vehicles are two-wheel drive, but Grip Control is an advanced traction control system and it allows the car to tackle some four-wheel drive obstacles. We have driven this system briefly before in the new Peugeot 3008 SUV and it is impressive.
There will be three engines to the Irish market. The Puretech petrol engines offer 82hp and 110hp and this range of engines has won Engine of the Year for 2015, 2016 and 2017. The diesel version is the BlueHDi with 100hp. Ireland appears to be shifting back towards petrol, and this was pointed out to us at the event this morning when Louise Murphy, Marketing Director of Citroen and DS Ireland, explained to us that of the 397 new C3 models that sold this year, 75% of them have been petrol models. So, we are expecting this to be similar with the C3 Aircross.
As of yet, no prices have been confirmed, but we expect that it will be similar to the Opel Crossland X – which starts from €22,695. We will confirm prices when they are released to our market.