LIFE was so much easier when you could buy one of Henry’s Fords in any colour you like, as long as it’s black. Citroen’s new C3 Aircross comes with 83 colour combinations, a daunting choice for any user chooser.
However, it is something of a USP for the brand in the highly competitive B SUV segment.
Or should that be another USP? Citroen is pushing home a number of points as it looks to increase its sales into the small business sector leaving its Peugeot sister brand to deal with the larger fleets.
Product manager Daniel Bullimore said that when it came to replacing the Citroen C3 Picasso it soon become very clear that the new model had to move from an MPV to an SUV.
“That’s where the market is and what we have with the C3 Aircross is a good mixture of the two, a proper crossover. It’s a ‘people-minded’ SUV.”
The aim is to win new customers without alienating existing Picasso owners – people the company wants to remain with the brand. Bullimore said: “What we have is the best of both worlds. The design and performance of an SUV along with the functionality and space of an MPV.”
At 1.64m tall and with a wheelbase of 2.6m, Citroen is claiming best in class rear passenger space along with a top of the class 410 litres of boot space.
Bullimore said: “The rear seats can slide, recline or fold flat so the load space can increase to a massive 1,289 litres and we think this will appeal to younger, active lifestyle user choosers.”
It is these people, he said, who currently go for the Nissan Juke or the Fiat 500X with their funky designs. It could be argued that such designs tend to polarise, you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Is there a chance that the colourful and quirky C3 Aircross could do the same?
“Well,” said Bullimore, “The Juke sold more than 60,000 models last year so I’ll be happy with that sort of polarisation.” His expectations are somewhat lower, however – 13,200 in its first full year in 2018.”
The sales split is expected to be 56% retail to 44% business customers. He added: “We expect business buyers to mostly go for the diesel option and around 63% are expected to pick the Flair trim with the standard navigation and sliding rear bench.”
As well as the mind boggling choice of colours – and by the way, 95% of Picasso customers went for a two-tone option – there are three trim levels, Touch, Feel and Flair and four interior options. Bullimore said: “Just as compelling is price which starts at £13,995 for the lead-in Touch, £15,100 for the Feel and £16,900 for the Flair.”
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