A french feel, yes, read that right! Finally, Citroen C5 Aircross has been revealed. GM India became the past master of the badge engineering game. Pinning the Chevrolet bow tie on cars, the brand making it more Japanese, Korean and Chinese than American. The MG Hector tends to wear a British badge but is mainly Chinese, French. If you take for example Duster and Lodgy, they are badge-engineers Dacias. On the other hand, the little Kwid mainly presents to be more Indian than being French.
Sharing badges, platforms and components is not that necessarily a bad thing. This is because the result could be the product of matching well to the Indian Market. With all the fusion and classics, there could be the dilution of the DNA of the brand.
This becomes one of the most important reasons to discover the C5 Aircross looks and feels just like a proper Citroen. Launched in India in the second half of 2020, the funky crossover could be well plucked off the streets of Paris, we say.
Citroën’s debut model for India has professed the responsibility of defining the 100-year-old brand. It is the job of C5 to showcase its unique styling and the typical French marque. The question stands if the Indian buyers are going to embrace this midsize premium crossover!
C Stand For Chic?
The C5 portrays itself to be a crossover than a complete SUV. It stands out from rest with a design that is unique and distinctive. It professes with funky detailing like ‘Airbump’ protective panels at the bottom of the doors and around the wheel arches.
You can also go through the dummy oblong intakes in the lower bumper and also the side panels. The window lines are enhanced with the implementation of C-shaped chrome finish and blackened pillars. It creates a floating roof effect.
The C5 structure comes with the headlight cluster. It is integrated with a two-part grille that looks quite original. It announces the welcome break from the big grilles that admire the mainstream SUVs these days.
Speaking of the size, C5 is a little bigger than the VW Tiguan and also its natural rival in the country. You will be able to delve into cheaper SUVs in the market. This mainly puts in Citroën’s debut model at a backlash. It could mainly be compared in terms of the size versus price context.
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The general idea of the Indian mentality is that they seek for a big looking vehicle that is worth the price. This becomes one of the main reasons as to why MG Hector acquire such an outstanding response.
The C5 Aircross might have not had huge mass outlook but there is the presence of the unique design that as played the dice of the Indian SUV buyers. If you g through the dashboard, there are a nice design and finishes but the plastic quality put up there does not give that much of a higher feeling.
The cabin tends to have a functional design. There are quite beautiful factors involved at the same time. The proper digital instrument cluster and the unconventional gear lever, add a smouldering effect of the car.
The huge digital speedo makes it easier to read but the tachometer is a laid back. To make a clear point for the same, it is not a sports car. The rev tacho bar graph is pretty small, so you nearly have to quint to go through the same.
The way the dashboard tend to follow the contours of the air vents gives a nice feel in formulating the dash less slab-like outlook. There is an 8.0-inch touchscreen that is placed higher up and becomes easier to read. The absence of the physical buttons for conducting important functionality is not present. As it is touch-sensitive, the controls are present on the black panel which are pretty intuitive for operation.
Heading forward to the cabin quality, you will not find it goes well with the Germans. The feel of the space and outlook is pretty good though. There is the presence of soft-touch plastics, brushed chrome finishes as well as slick operating switchgear.
If you tend to lower down the cabin, you will be able to find the incorporation of the swathes of hard plastic which s quite alluring to the eyes. The cabin has been designing and developed with a thoughtful carved out cubbyholes and bins.
You will be able to see properly where Citroën has spent most of their money. You get to see the same when you slide into the seats which tend to be the most comfortable you get to feel. They are not heavily contoured yet you would get the feel of a sofa. Also, they can be electrically adjusted in widen ways.
The most eye-catching thing is the cushion foam density, which fits right in. You tend to sit on the initial layer of softness, as you tend to think that you are sinking lower down into the sear, you tend to hit a firmer level of cushioning. This gives you the support that you seek. The seats have been properly engineered to keep you more comfortable for the longer house behind the wheel.
The rear seat cushions give it a better feel. But as you go by the design, the C5 Aircross is a better five-seater than becoming a four-seater. Citroën has fitted the C5 with 3 equal-sized seats right at the back. And all of these could be easily adjusted for length as well as individually tilted.
It turns out to be great if you are regularly travelling five up to as the middle passenger will no longer have to be the one drawn from the straw. But if you are making it all equal to the three, the 2 seats are not that wide enough.
If you are mainly travelling in the back alone or with another person, you will be missing out the extra width. This full five-seater configuration might be a win-win situation in Europe where the C5 Aircross is mainly a family car. But in India, at the price it is sold, this car will be chauffeur driven and owners would be looking for a bigger one. They would feel like more armchair like pair of seats along with armrests to lounge in.
Enhancing the comfort quotient in the C5 Aircross’ paves the incredible ride quality. This softly sprung SUV glides over tarmac just like a cushion of air. When the road tends to be rough, the sharp edges thump though. But the entire body control is pretty well. It will not be going all over the place on a bumpy ride.
It will wallow through the corners and the light steering too, not offering the great feel. But there is sufficient body control for giving the assurance to cruise at motorway speeds without having to concentrate hard.
Speaking of the Indian roads, the superlative ride has been greatly appreciated. Apart from all of these, the established Citroën’s comfort-oriented heritage has long been the selling point of the French Brand. It has also established pretty legendary cars like the Traction Avant, 2CV and the DS.
The C5 Aircoss is packed with 4 engine options – 1.2- and 1.6-litre petrol, and 1.5- and 2.0-litre diesel. For maintaining the Indian market, Citroën will be offering only one engine. The choice has been narrowed down to the 131hp 1.5-litre diesel and the potent 180hp 2.0-litre diesel.
Another confirmed factor is that this Indian specified car will come for only with a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. It will be used by both the shortlisted diesel engines. There will be no reasons for manual features and no petrol options. Citroën at the beginning will be limiting the number of variants for the Indian market for keeping things simple and cost-effective.
The 1.5 diesel has got a low-down grunt. It is featured to the smooth and fairly responsive 8-speed gearbox. The C5 tend to keep up well with the traffic. Light controls and all-round visibility is great. It tends to create the pace of the urban credentials.
Coming to the motorway, the small diesel is not that allur8ing. 1.5 needs to be worked hard. Acceleration is compliment worthy. Pushing the engine hard also further showcases its flaws. It is noisy at high revs, that will take you to have a backlash and hold on to a relaxed pace.
One year left to be launched, the prices are not yet finalised. The minimal local content planned for Citroën’s first product in India is not going to be cheap for sure. Prices are expected to range at Rs 30 lakhs. Citroën needs to have a bigger 2.0-litre diesel if it has to compete on equal terms.
Other than features the question mark surrounding the choice of engines, Citroën’s first stab at the Indian market tends to be promotion. Easy to use, provides great comfort and comes with a distinctive design lets it stand out from the cluttered SUV clan. So basically, Citroën C5 Aircross is completely fresh. It has got the novelty of a new brand for sure.
Utsha Roy is an aspiring writer who has been gaining knowledge on various genres. Delving into the different cars and gadget news, she has also engaged herself into showcasing latest vehicles and gadgets news and reviews over Autonmobiles.com
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