Citroen to unveil India-spec C5 Aircross on February 1
Almost two years of suspense regarding the C5 Aircross will finally abate with Citroen’s official announcement
After whetting our appetite back in 2019 with news of the C5 Aircross' entry, Citroen will finally officially unveil its debut product on February 1. Originally set for a launch in 2020 (which was massively delayed due to you-know-what), the C5 Aircross was part of the brand’s India offensive which was also going to include the C4 compact SUV at a later date.
Starting with the biggest part of the puzzle, the powertrain: while initial reports had pegged its engine to displace anything between 1.3 and 2 litres, the Indian C5 Aircross will most likely get a 2-litre diesel making about 170bhp and 400Nm (similar to its European iteration). However, it is unclear at the moment which (if at all) petrol engine it will get.
We’ll now skim over the exteriors, as there aren’t many changes from what we already know. A spilt LED DRL and integrated headlight occupies the front of this mid-size SUV, with the grille running through the width of the car. At the side, the five-spoke alloys add some heft to the otherwise shapely design, complimented by the floating roof design. The rear, though, seems very functional with the high-set wrapround LED taillights.
The interiors, however, seem to be where the brand will put in its focus, with a long list of prospective features headlined, of course, by a 12.3-inch digital cluster and 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an option for wireless charging. Creature comforts include a powered driver seat with cooling function for the passenger seat as well, a panoramic sunroof and dual zone climate control. The safety features, too, will leave no stone unturned with six airbags, ABS with EBD and Electronic Stability Control (along with the de rigueur speed-sensitive warnings). Besides, the C5 Aircross already comes with proven crash-worthiness credentials.
Manufacturing of the Citroen C5 Aircross will take place in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, with Citroen having partnered with CK Birla group for manufacturing and distribution and TCS for engineering. Despite the local assembly, however, the C5 Aircross won’t be coming in cheap, with prices set to start around the Rs 30 lakh mark. Now, though the overall quality as well as amount of kit available may offset the sticker shock, it still might be a bugbear for an SUV with the dimensions and performance that set it up against the Tata Harrier, Mahindra XUV500 and Jeep Compass.
Lastly, the Indian auto scene shares a bit of a history with French conglomerate Groupe PSA, considering Peugeot, one of the brands under its umbrella, had a short stint in India selling the 309 sedan in the 1990s. After Peugeot’s exit, the TUD-5 engines from the 309 were briefly used in the Maruti Suzuki Zen D. Hence, Groupe PSA’s Indian entry could help restart the equation from a clean slate, and considering the sheer number of brands in its portfolio (including Peugeot and Opel) we do hope their plans are set for a longer, productive stint (meaning people buying more cars!) this time around.