Citroën beats up an SUV with a Cactus stick

Following the critical and commercial success of the C4 Cactus, Citroën figured it might as well try applying the same theme to a larger crossover and created the Aircross Concept.


(Slightly) less polarizing then its smaller sibling, the Aircross features plenty of the design cues that make the Cactus stand out: Air Bump inserts, funky lights and wrap-around glasshouse on the outside, minimalist dashboard design with a separate screen instead of an instrument binnacle on the inside.

What I’m really curious about, though, is whether any production model this concept may spawn will also benefit from the unique engineering approach that made its little brother so appealing: lighter weight, smaller engines, smaller components, simple solutions. Seeing as this car is more likely to be aimed at China (Citroën’s largest single market (!), with over 25% of their sales) where solidity is valued more then efficiency and clever engineering I am pessimistic, but I’ve said that before and time and time again Citroën proved me wrong. Hope they do so again!

  1. Hello !

    You say that the C4 Cactus is a commercial success but I’ve read a lot of contradictary opinions regarding this point.

    For example the french newspaper “Le monde” wrote an article about Citroen’s blurred strategy today :

    They said that the Cactus was sold at 55,000 which is okay but kinda far from Peugeot 2008 and Captur. ( BTW you don’t put the C4 Cactus in the B-SuV segment like many others, why ?)
    So at the end, Cactus, success or mixed results ?

    And mystery remains for this concept, as the C4 Aircross is just 3 years old !

    1. Hi Dens,

      I think the Cactus is indeed a success for Citroën, as it consistently outsells the brand’s mainstream compact hatchback C4. It’s the brand’s third best selling car at more than 6.000 units a month. Comparing it to the Peugeot and Renault is unfair, as Citroën is simply a smaller player than those brands. Compare sales of the C3 vs the 208 and Clio, and you see what I mean.

      I personally don’t consider the Cactus an SUV or crossover, as I think it looks more like a regular hatchback, despite its individual styling. However, input from my readers is always welcome, so if I get more requests from readers to reposition the Cactus, I’d be happy to do that.

      The C4 Aircross is a slow selling rebadged Mitsubishi ASX, and I can imagine Citroën wants to take this fast-growing segment seriously and replace it with a model they’ve designed and developed themselves.

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