Back in 2016, Groupe PSA had revealed that it will make a comeback to the Indian market. Now, four years down the line, the French carmaker’s plans are taking shape – its plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, has begun producing engines and transmissions for the brand, and its SUVs have been spied testing in the country. While the DS7 Crossback SUV was spotted testing in India last year, Groupe PSA will actually be bringing the Citroen C5 Aircross SUV to our market. The C5 Aircross was first showcased in the country in February 2019, when the PSA Group revealed that its return to the Indian market will be led by its Citroen brand.
We tell you all you need to know about the what the SUV could mean our market:
Citroen C5 Aircross: Exterior
A good looking urban SUV, the C5 Aircross sports a split headlamp setup at the front, short overhangs at the front and rear, and typically chunky SUV-like styling. The high bonnet line and sweeping grille do lend it presence on the road. However the front-end may polarise potential customers.
Citroen C5 Aircross: Dimensions
Measuring 4,500mm in length, 1,840mm in width, 1,670mm in height and 2,730mm in wheelbase length, the Citroen in 25mm longer and 10mm taller than Hyundai Tucson, and has a wheelbase that is 60mm longer. It sits rather high up too, with a 230mm ground clearance. Based on the same Groupe PSA EMP2 platform that underpins the DS7 SUV, the C5 Aircross it is nearly as big overall as the larger SUV.
Citroen C5 Aircross: Interior
Internationally, the C5 Aircross gets a funky, modern-looking two-tone dashboard, which is the centrepiece of the C5 Aircross’ cabin, replete with split air-con vents that look unique. There are plenty of features on offer, too, with the SUV, including safety kit like multiple airbags, blind spot assist, smart headlamps with an auto high beam feature, attention assist, cross-traffic detection and hill-hold assist, among others. The interiors also feature an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, an automatic AC, steering-mounted buttons and a digital instrument binnacle. As Citroen will only bring a single fully-loaded trim to our market, most, if not all these features will be present on the Indian model.
Citroen C5 Aircross: Engine details
In international markets, Citroen offers the C5 Aircross with a petrol motor and two diesel engine options – a 130hp, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol; a 130hp, 1.5-litre turbo-diesel; and a 180hp, 2.0-litre turbo-diesel. We can confirm that Citroen will bring the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine to our market mated to an 8-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.
This decision has been made because the brand believes the performance offered by the larger and more powerful 2.0-litre engine will be more in-tune with C5 Aircross’ premium positioning in our market.
However, unlike the 1.5-litre turbo-diesel unit that is produced at the PSA-CK Birla joint manufacturing facility in Hosur, the 2.0-litre unit will be fully imported, hence making it more expensive. Although, as the C5 Aircross will be brought to India via the CKD (completely knocked-down) route, Citroen should be able to keep the costs in check.
Citroen C5 Aircross: India launch
The French carmaker had originally planned to launch the C5 Aircross towards the end of this year, but due to the COVID-19 crisis, the SUV’s India launch has been delayed to Q1 2021. The C5 Aircross is Citroen’s flagship SUV and will act as a brand-builder, with prices likely being over the Rs 30 lakh mark. It will rival the likes of the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace and Skoda Kodiaq. Also, Citroen has plans for more mass-market models joining its model line-up soon and has already confirmed that the launch of its first vehicle “designed, developed and made in India” is on track is slated for next year.
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