Citroen Australia is banking on new products to turn around its shrinking sales, led by the C5 X.
The new C4 won’t be the only hatchback/wagon/SUV chimera in Citroen Australia’s line-up, with the C5 X locked in for an Australian launch in the third quarter of 2022.
However, Citroen has ruled out a return of the Berlingo as the brand focuses only on passenger cars and SUVs.
“Now whilst we have been challenged as a brand in 2021, we have an absolute driven commitment in the Australian market,” said Peugeot Citroen Australia general manager Kate Gillis.
“Over the last number of years we have seen those sales start to decline, bearing in mind that we no longer have the Berlingo in the range, we have concentrated our LCVs to our Peugeot LCV lineup.
“However, with the launch of the C4 and… the new C5 X which is coming through in 2022, we’ve got some real ambition of growth plans within the market.
“The introduction of the C4 helps us to build a new audience again for the brand and allows us then to extend that story again as we get into the C5 X next year.”
The company hasn’t confirmed which C5 X variants will make their way Down Under but said the plug-in hybrid variant is “absolutely on the table”.
The C5 X offers a choice of three powertrains, including a 96kW 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a 134kW 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
The plug-in hybrid mates the 1.6-litre turbo with an 81.2kW electric motor and a 12.4kWh lithium-ion battery, for a total system output of 165kW and a claimed electric range of 50km on the stricter WLTP standard.
That’s 5km down on the Peugeot 508 GT Fastback Plug-In Hybrid, albeit with the same power output. The plug-in Pug is priced at $76,990 before on-road costs.
Citroen’s hydropneumatic suspension may be gone, but the C5 X uses the company’s latest Advanced Comfort suspension.
While this lacks the trick hydropneumatic spheres of old, it uses progressive “hydraulic cushions”, or two hydraulic stops to separate from the springs and dampers – one stop for compression and the other for rebound.
Plug-in hybrid models go one further with Advanced Comfort active suspension, which electronically adjusts the ride depending on the drive mode you select.
In recent years, Citroen has limited each of its local model ranges to one or two variants each, so expect a similarly focused range for the C5 X.
The company said it’s also evaluating the updated C3 Aircross.
Citroen removed its small SUV from local price lists earlier in 2021.
“The Citroen C3 Aircross has been removed from the Australian line-up as we re-evaluate our range to ensure our product offering closely aligns with consumer expectations,” said a spokesperson for Citroen Australia earlier this year.
Citroen says it’s working on an awareness campaign and will use a mix of media, PR and “experiential activations” to get the brand back in the public consciousness as it expands its line-up and re-enters segments it had previously departed from.
The previous C4 was discontinued in Australia in 2016, though the new model is a different beast with more of a small SUV positioning.
Likewise, the C5 wrapped up its run in Australia in 2016, though the previous generation had no crossover aspirations. It was the last model to use Citroen’s famed hydropneumatic suspension.
MORE: Everything Citroen C4