The Citroen C4 Aircross is the type of person who goes along with the crowd but manages to fit in and ultimately receives high grades because it was a group project. A car that didn’t make much sense at launch but sold well due to its association with the group.
I don’t know where to start with the Citroen C4 AirCross because I need to explain why it came into existence at such a bad yet brilliant time, and currently I’m more confused than in the early days of Pokemon Go! launch when everyone was running on the streets with their phones, and we were closest to world peace. And if you want to feel old, Pokemon Go! was launched in July 2016, practically 7 years ago.
Why so much confusion?
Primarily because the mission of the Citroen C4 AirCross was to be the successor to the C-Crosser, the slowest-selling member of the Outlander – 4007 – C-Crosser trio. However, the French decided to move into the crossover segment instead of SUVs. Thus, the Mitsubishi ASX – Citroen C4 Aircross – Peugeot 4008 trio was born, and the C4 AirCross is essentially an badge engineered ASX. This is the main reason why the C4 AirCross sold so well, as it rode on the reputation and success of the ASX.
On the flip side, during the same period (specifically in 2014), the C4 Cactus was launched, and its commercial success needs no further elaboration. The C4 Cactus competed with the C4 Aircross, but in a way, it also helped because if you went to the Citroen section and saw the C4 Cactus, you might also notice the C4 Aircross, which was priced similarly but was more practical and less visually intense than the Cactus. So, the C4 Aircross entered a rather peculiar time in the automotive industry. To add to the oddity, the Citroen C4 Aircross is loosely related to the Jeep Patriot and Dodge Caliber.
So, why pick a Citroen over an ASX?
It’s obvious that the French focused on the aesthetics because that’s where they had the freedom to do so, while Mitsubishi took care of the mechanical aspects. This is felt in the characters of the cars, with the Mitsubishi ASX being the most basic, the C4 Aircross being the most stylish and well-equipped, and the Peugeot 4008 falling somewhere in between. This is also evident in the limited range of engines the French presented. They only offered the 1.6 HDi diesel, while the rest were Mitsubishi engines. Technically, only the 1.6 HDi diesel was a Citroen creation; the others were Mitsubishi engines, but you get the idea. Additionally, engines larger than 2 litres which are available in the ASX, were missing on the french variants, and it’s unclear whether Mitsubishi wanted to keep them exclusive for the ASX, or the French believed they wouldn’t be in high demand in this category of cars and prices. What is certain is that the C-Crosser theme continues, and the C4 AirCross tends to be the most well-equipped, well-maintained, and the most expensive in the trio.
Citroen C4 Aircross Engines
- 1.6 4A92 of 117 horsepower – The 4A92 engine is an old-generation motor, introduced on December 16, 1598, when Admiral Yi-Sun decided to install this experimental engine to defeat the Japanese fleet during the Battle of Noryang Point. So, it doesn’t have issues with the intake gallery like the engine in the Pajero Pinin. However, it is prone to occasional oil consumption issues, typical for Japanese engines.
- 2.0 4B11 of 156 horsepower – Developed jointly with Chrysler/Chevrolet and Hyundai/Kia, this engine is reliable but noisy, as known from Hyundai and Kia. So, yes, the Citroen C4 Aircross is somewhat related to the Kia Magentis and Hyundai Santa Fe. It is decently reliable but rare. The only real reason to choose it over the 1.6 is the optional automatic transmission, but it’s a CVT so you haven’t missed out on anything, and you might as well stick with the 1.6.
- 1.6 HDi DV6C of 114 horsepower – Here comes the only contribution from the garlic eaters, this Gerard Depardieu of engines. It has specific issues with injectors and the oil filtre from the turbocharger, so I wouldn’t lean too much towards this engine, especially since there’s a better alternative.
- 1.8 4N13 of 150 horsepower – The alternative is the Mitsubishi 1.8 D-ID engine, also sold by other companies but usually with 116 horsepower. The Citroen C4 Aircross gets the 150 horsepower version, and it only has the typical issues of Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel engines, namely the EGR valve and the particle filter if used mostly in the city. But if used in mixed driving conditions, it’s all the diesel engine you need.
Citroen C4 AirCross Reliability Issues
- Even though the Citroen C4 Aircross tends to be better equipped than Kat Dennings…sorry, the ASX, it still has complementary issues related to poor sound insulation and squeaky interior plastics.
- The rear brakes and the parking brake have a shorter lifespan than expected.
- Returning to the diesel engine theme because it’s possible not to have fully grasped how serious it is. If you only drive it in the city, you risk clogging the particulate filtre, the EGR valve, and contaminating the oil with diesel if you don’t let the DPF regeneration cycle finish.
Citroen C4 AirCross Verdict
I don’t know which one looks better – the C4 Aircross or the 4008? I only know that these are honest cars that you can buy at very good prices, and they are among the first compact crossovers. If I think about it, their real competition is the Fiat Sedici/Suzuki SX4 and perhaps the Qashqai. So, if you want a reliable, slightly taller car that looks good and doesn’t break the bank, the Citroen C4 Aircross is a very inspired choice. Which is quite strange to say about a French car.
Which engines do I recommend? For petrol, I’d keep things simple and not venture beyond the 1.6 MIVEC 4A92 with 116 horsepower, and for diesel, I’d go with the Mitsubishi recipe and their 4N13 1.8 D-ID with 150 horsepower.