What is the Citroën C-Crosser?
Let’s forget about the unfortunate name for a moment (does it swim?) and consider the Citroën C-Crosser on its merits. Technically, it’s a Mitsubishi Outlander with a Citroën grille and badge and some minor differences to its detailing; it’s also a sister model to the identically derived Peugeot 4007. So it has some cred — Mitsubishi has a long history of making tough and practical 4x4s and SUVs. The C-Crosser is a family crossover-type vehicle with selectable torque-on-demand four-wheel-drive and enough off-road ability for towing most light-to-medium caravans or trailers.
Using a dial on the dashboard, four-wheel-drive can be “locked” with torque distributed 50:50 to the front and rear axles, helping the C-Crosser pull away from a standstill on slippery surfaces, though the first two gears are quite high-ratio; the ground clearance is also relatively low, so think of this as a soft-roader for occasional and undemanding off-tarmac usage rather than hardcore green-laning and agricultural duties. The C-Crosser is roomy and versatile, and it seats up to seven — there are five full-sized adult seats, an extra pop-up rearmost pair for children, plus up to 1,700 litres of load-space.
It’s a strong on-road performer with the torquey Peugeot-Citroën 2.2-litre HDI diesel engine (156bhp) found in most examples, reasonably refined, and an easy, responsive and enjoyable drive with body roll well-contained and steering well-weighted. This is one of the sportier SUVs of its type, and despite its high-riding stance and high centre of gravity, it rarely feels less than secure or stable. The ride’s on the firm side, though.
A 2.4-litre petrol engine was offered for a while, but the 40mpg diesel’s a far better option and this was available with automatic transmission (a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox with paddle-shifts, from 2009) as well as an excellent six-speed manual option. An update in 2009 brought a better-quality cabin finish — addressing criticisms of the cheap plastics in the early models — and tweaks to the engines to lower carbon dioxide emissions and improve fuel economy. Equipment was also upgraded, with top-spec Exclusive versions gaining Bluetooth connectivity. Front, side and curtain airbags are fitted, plus stability control, although the Outlander achieved only a four-star score in the Euro NCAP crash tests when it was evaluated in 2007. (The C-Crosser was not tested.)
Production of the C-Crosser ceased in summer 2012 when Mitsubishi withdrew from car-making in Europe and closed its NedCar factory in the Netherlands.
What to look out for when buying a used Citroën C-Crosser
Citroën tends to score below average in customer satisfaction surveys, but the C-Crosser was built by Mitsubishi in the Netherlands and is generally pretty tough. Some clutch problems have been reported in towing vehicles, however, because the first and second gears are high-set. There have been recalls for engine stalling, possible diesel fuel leakage, braking assistance faults and electrical short-circuiting, too: do your research and make sure all these issues were addressed.
The One to Buy
Citroën C-Crosser 2.2 HDi Exclusive
- 2179cc, four cylinders
- 156bhp @ 4000rpm
- 280 lb ft @ 2000rpm
- 6-speed manual
- 0-62mph in 9.6sec
- Top Speed:
- 42.2mpg (combined)
- Road Tax Band:
- L 4645mm W 1805mm H 1670mm