"Well equipped, comfortable and spacious, the C-Crosser is a good first effort by Citroen at a 4x4."
Citroen has always been good at making big, comfortable cars, and the C-Crosser is no exception. It's practical, too, with seven seats and plenty of space for driver and front-seat passenger - although the two seats in the third row are only really big enough for children. The Citroen handles well for a big 4x4, and is comfortable on the motorway. What's more, it has a large amount of standard equipment, so it's good value for money. Citroen dealers will often give discounts on the company's large cars, so it's possible to net a bargain.
There's only one engine option - a 2.2-litre HDi diesel - which is very smooth. It has 156bhp, enough to get the C-Crosser from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds - or 11.1 seconds if you opt for the automatic version. The big Citroen is good to drive, especially when you consider its size and weight. The steering is responsive and there isn't much body roll, either. There's plenty of grip thanks to the four-wheel-drive system, and it's possible to switch between front-wheel drive for normal road use and four-wheel drive for slippery conditions.
The Citroen's diesel engine is silky smooth – and remains quiet even under hard acceleration. There's very little wind noise, either at low speed or on the motorway. The C-Crosser is designed more for on-road use than off, so the ride is firmer than that of most 4x4s, but the Citroen still absorbs bumps very well, and it's never uncomfortable.
Citroen's reputation for reliability is improving. What's more, the C-Crosser is based on the Mitsubishi Outlander, which has a strong reputation for reliability. The cabin is sturdy and feels well put together. Citroen finished 18th out of 27 manufacturers in the 2010 JD Power Satisfaction Survey, which is just shy of the industry average, but not a bad result overall. All C-Crossers come with electronic stability control, six airbags and Isofix child seat mountings in the middle row of seats.
As a five-seater, the C-Crosser is superb. There's loads of room for front and rear seat passengers and the two parts of the rear bench seat can slide back and forth and recline independently of each other. The two rearmost seats are very short on space and only suitable for small children - they eat into the boot space, too. With the rear seats in place, there's a paltry 184-litre boot, but there's a maximum of 1,686 litres available with all the back seats folded down. The split tailgate is very useful, too.
Value for money
For a Citroen, the C-Crosser is quite expensive, but it makes up for that by being cheaper than the Mitsubishi Outlander on which it's based, and it has plenty of standard equipment. Climate control, automatic headlights, alloy wheels, cruise control and more all come with the entry-level VTR+ model. Go for the Exclusive spec and you get leather seats, xenon headlamps and an electrically adjustable driver's seat, among others. The downside is that big Citroens lose their value quite quickly, but dealers are aware of this and offer discounts on new cars to compensate.
The 2.2 HDi diesel is quite cheap to run. Expect 40.4mpg from the six-speed manual version, while emissions of 185g/km means Road Tax costs £200 per year. The automatic is dearer to run with 38.7mpg and 189g/km, which nudges it into the next Road Tax band, so you're looking at £235 a year. Insurance will also be quite pricey as the Citroen sits in group 37.