The updated Citroen C5 Aircross will arrive in Australia before the end of the year, but the smaller C3 Aircross won’t come back this generation.
Citroen has yet to confirm pricing, but says the single Shine variant in the current C5 Aircross line-up will be replaced with a new Sport model featuring a new powertrain.
Government approval documents published earlier this year revealed three powertrains had been approved for sale: two turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol four-cylinder engines, one with 121kW of power and one with 133kW, plus a 130kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four.
Given the current C5 Aircross is offered in Australia only with the 121kW/240Nm petrol four – not available in Europe – and the brand has moved away from diesels locally, it therefore seems likely we’ll see the 133kW/250Nm turbo-petrol four.
The powertrain change could also see the C5 Aircross gain adaptive cruise control and lane-centring.
Previously revealed changes include revised front-end styling, new wheel designs and tail light graphics, a tweaked dashboard with a larger 10.0-inch (instead of 8.0-inch) touchscreen, and the brand’s new Advanced Comfort seats with additional foam padding.
The Sport is likely to be more expensive than the current model.
Following a July 1 increase, the C5 Aircross Shine is now priced at $52,300 before on-road costs. The updated model could potentially edge closer to the sleeker C5 X, priced at $57,670 before on-roads.
Citroen hasn’t indicated whether it’ll bring the plug-in hybrid here, which means the PHEV version of the C5 X – due here in the second half of 2023 – is likely to be the brand’s first such model in Australia.
The C5 Aircross facelift was revealed in January, coming around 12 months after Citroen revealed a mid-life update for the C3 Aircross.
The smaller crossover was axed later in 2021, with Citroen Australia citing the need to “re-evaluate our range to ensure our product offering closely aligns with consumer expectations” – though Citroen Australia said the facelifted model was being evaluated.
Now, Citroen has closed the door on bringing the updated version of the light crossover here.
“There definitely is an opportunity in that segment for Citroen,” said Kate Gillis, managing director for Peugeot Citroen Australia, noting, “It’s definitely a segment that we’re interested in.”
“As to what that looks like for the future, that currently is under evaluation. It’s a bit more of a mid-term product development, and something that Australia has definitely put their hand up to be a part of.”
“Even though there’s opportunity there, we’ve got to make sure it’s the right product that we bring in at the right time,” added Chloe Fraser, group public relations and corporate communications manager.
Citroen isn’t entirely without a model at this end of the market, however, with the new C4 straddling the small car and small SUV segments with its high-riding hatchback styling. It’s classified as a small SUV in VFACTS industry sales data, while the C3 Aircross was a light SUV.
An electric version, the e-C4, is still officially under evaluation for Australia, but the company says it’s looking favourable.
Carscoops reports the next C3 Aircross will grow in size, with length increasing to 4.3m, in order to distinguish it from the next C3 due in 2024.
For context, the C3 currently measures just shy of 4m long, while the C4 is 4.35m long. The current C3 Aircross sits in between at 4.15m long.
Within the sprawling 14-brand portfolio of Stellantis, Citroen is being positioned – along with Fiat – as a ‘Core’ brand.
That puts it below Opel/Vauxhall and Peugeot, classified as ‘Upper Mainstream’ brands.