There is, perhaps, no other brand that has quite the same history as Citroën in the South African market – loved by many and not so much by others, the marque nevertheless continues an envbiable tradition set by its founder, André Citroën.
Now, relaunched for the third time, the brand comes into the market with the C3, C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross, each offering the same set of values of comfort and design ingenuity instituted by the brand founder and with the more modern quirkiness that sets it apart from competitors.
More significantly, as part of the entire restructure of Peugeot and Citroën in South Africa, the new cars come with ‘Serenity’ in the form of a comprehensive five-year, 100 000 km warranty, 10 000 km Service Plan, roadside assistance and a full Customer service.
The Serentiy package includes 5-year / 100 000 km Warranty and Service plan across the range, Courtesy Car, Citroën Parts Basket, Complimentary Vehicle health check, Microdot, dedicated Apps connected to the car and Safety Film and Tracking solutions (optional).
The revised customer experience offers a 24-Hour Customer Care Centre, Licence Renewal reminder, Roadside Assistance, Service plan and warranty expiry notification.
“Citroën Serenity will give prospective customers’ confidence in purchasing a Citroën and reinforces the commitment both Citroën South Africa and Groupe PSA have in the local market said Xavier Gobille, MD of Citroën South Africa.
“It also underscores our confidence in the new generation of Citroën products we are introducing.”
Gobille emphasised although Peugeot and Citroën would share the same premises, the two brands would retain their individual identities with dedicated and trained sales staff for each.
“The benefits of the five-year 100 000 km warranty and service plan will allow Citroën new car owners to plan their motoring budget accurately with no hidden costs to worry about during the plan period. Providing Peace of mind and an enjoyable driving experience, while transferable to the new owner.
“’Citroën Serenity” also extends to ensuring every Citroën vehicle is professionally maintained, using only Citroën original parts, which will enhance the ownership experience through product and service excellence and, also boost resale value.
“We are moving forward in creating a new and exciting future, one that produces great opportunities for our customers.”says Gobille.
At the media launch venue, several iconic Citroën models from yesteryear were on display – models that highlighted the massive motoring innovations made by André Citroën – including launching the first vehicle finance company in 1922 (Sovac), the creation of large sales and service network (5 000 by 1925), the first all-steel automobile in 1924 (Citroën B10), and the Traction Avant launched in 1934 which pioneered the front-wheel drive engine, independent suspension and a steel monocoque chassis.
Citroën’s lasty withdrawal from the South African market happened shortly after the local launch of the C4 Cactus and was the softest of moves – many dealerships carried the Citroën logo and the cars in the market were fully supported and serviced so much of the public was not really aware the marque had taken a back step.
Carrying on the design trend introduced by the Cactus, the new C3 is – says Gobille – “brimming over with an exuberant freshness and optimism that will rock the market. Its unique morphology and original graphic features express energy and confidence. Audacious by design the interior is carefully thought out to make driver and passengers feel comfortable, to make each journey a pleasurable experience.”
The C3 an affordable mid-range model addressing a broad sector of the population and, from the two-tone exterior, the red roof, red foglamp surround, red wing mirrors, rear C pillar graphic and Airbumps sets itself apart from the ordinary.
The design was guided throughout by the Citroën Advanced Comfort programme, which charts an up-to-the-minute approach to Citroën’s time-honoured supremacy in motoring comfort.
The sensation of superlative comfort starts with the seats, visually as well as physically comfortable, the passenger compartment flooded in light, the ingenious stowage features, with generous space allocations.
Advanced driver assistance systems include lane departure alert and Driver Attention Alert as well as a Coffee Break Alert.
The C3 offers PureTech petrol engines availableas a 1.2 PureTech 60 kW naturally aspirated engine fitted with a 5-speed manual transmission and 1.2 PureTech 61 kW Turbo engine charged and fitted with the latest generation 6-speed EAT gearbox.
Particularly agile thanks to its 10,7 m turning diameter of radius, the new C3 measures 3,99 m and offers compactness in town. It has 5 doors and 5 seat places making it practical in all circumstances.
Inspired by the C-Aircross concept car presented at the Geneva Motor Show 2017 and featuring classic Citroën design cues, the New C3 Aircross brings a breath of fresh air to the compact SUV segment. Outside, it stands out with its unique body styling which gives it an assertive personality.
Inside, it innovates through its comfort as part of the Citroën Advanced Comfort programme for enhanced spaciousness, modular design and brightness. Firmly contemporary, the New C3 Aircross is eminently connected and equipped with a range of technologies that make life easier in the city and on the road.
The new Citroën C3 Aircross is a compact 4,15 m long SUV distinguished by body styling fully representative of new Citroën models and all the attributes of a robust and protective SUV, including raised ground clearance, a high-set driving position, front and rear skid plates, large wheels and wing extenders.
The C3 Aircross is available only with a 1.2 PureTech 81 kW engine.
The cabin is home to broad and comfortable seats and offers class-leading spaciousness (best ceiling height, generous leg room), unrivalled modularity (sliding bench in two independent parts, and exceptional boot volume (410 litres and up to 520 litres (on the Shine model).
Travelling well-being is also conferred by a light-bathed cabin.
The Citroën C3 Aircross Compact SUV was created through the inspiration of the design teams headed by Alexandre Malval, Styling Director at Citroën. The design is unique to the segment with its muscular bonnet, both short and high-set. It conveys a sense of robustness and underscores the front and rear light signatures while remaining free of aggression through its horizontal balance and generous forms.
The C3 Aircross is fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels with the option of stylish 17-inch diamond-effect aluminium wheels on the Shine model.
Safety features include keyless entry and start, a hands-free access and start system that allows the driver to open and start the vehicle without getting the key out (on the Shine model), Lane Departure Warning System along with multiple crash bags, anti-lock braking with EBD and traction control.
The C3 Aircross features the Mirror Screen function, with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink (on the Shine model), where drivers enjoy the multimedia content and apps of their smartphones in complete safety by replicating and controlling them via the 7-inch touchscreen (Available on the Shine Model).
The new C5 Aircross comes in as the range flagship with attendant technology and on-road off-road driveability.
It is the most comfortable model in its segment, thanks to the Citroën Advanced Comfort programme, Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension and Advanced Comfort seats. Hydraulic buffers at either end of the suspension setup have all but eliminated bounce from the car’s drive
New Citroën C5 Aircross SUV is designed to provide advanced soundproofing with reduced road noise and wind noise thanks to double-glazed laminated front windows with an insulated layer, bringing its occupants exceptional, cocoon-like soundproofing. Particular attention was paid to the soundproofing of the engine compartment.
There is space inside for five, with the variable boot size thanks to the three, individual sliding/reclining seats in the rear – it starts at 520 litres and expands to 720 litres. With the seats folded down there is 1 630 litres of space to play with.
New C5 Aircross SUV features a 12,3-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) digital instrument cluster and an 8-inch touchscreen, plus latest-generation driver assistance technologies. The new, model can be equipped with Wireless Smartphone Charging and ConnectedCAM Citroën on the Shine models.
The new C5 Aircross is powered by a 1,6-litre THP 121 kW petrol engine coupled to Citroën’s EAT6 automatic gearbox.
Park Sensors, Coffee Break Alert, Keyless Entry and Starting, Electric Parking brake, Reversing camera with rear 180°camera, Fog lights with static corner function, Active Safety Break, Active Lane Departure Warning System Driver Attention Assist, Active Blind Spot Monitoring and Hill Start Assist are some of the functions – some available only on Shine models.
“New C5 Aircross SUV is Citroën’s new flagship and a key lever for the international growth of the brand.” Says Linda Jackson, Citroën CEO.