Crossing the divide with Citroen SUV

Iain Dooley, PA senior motoring writer, looks at buying a used Citroen C-Crosser sport utility vehicle.

Engines – As with any large sport utility vehicle the default engine choice for many is diesel. It's no different with the C-Crosser, with the 2.2-litre diesel outperforming the 2.4-litre petrol motor by a considerable margin in the economy stakes. It's a better choice for towing and off-road duties too, although the petrol alternative is considerably quieter.

Exterior – A chunky-looking car by Citroen's usual standards, the C-Crosser certainly fits the SUV bill visually. It's also a tall car, which means you'll need to climb up into it and the load lip at the rear is a little higher than your average family hatchback.

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Interior – The cabin is full of dark, hard-wearing plastics, although you can specify a posh leather upholstery option if you know you won't be working the car too hard. Its family-friendly credentials stretch to seven seats, although the rearmost pair are really only suitable for children.

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Driving – With its switchable all-wheel drive system, the C-Crosser is a versatile machine for both on and off-road driving duties. Opt for the auto gearbox and you've got an easy-to-drive vehicle that's equally at home in the city. It's surprisingly capable off-road thanks to the parts it shares with Mitsubishi's near-identical Outlander.

Ownership – Although a large car, the C-Crosser is no more difficult to drive and park than your average seven-seat people-carrier. The advantage of the car's lofty driving position shouldn't be underestimated, while the durable nature of the cabin should prove advantageous if you've got a family to transport. Opting for diesel power is a no-brainer here due to fuel consumption considerations.

What to to look for – Some C-Crossers – like so many mid-size SUVs – have never seen mud but will have been used as urban taxis. As such, look closely for parking dents and kerbed wheels. The latter can prove more expensive to fix on complicated all-wheel drive cars. A tatty-looking interior should have you looking elsewhere and it's important to visually inspect a car's underside for damage from over enthusiastic off-roading. And if a tow bar is present, ask what it's been used for as too big a load could have resulted in some damage.

Model history – 2007, Citroen launches a new SUV, the C-Crosser, based on Mitsubishi's Outlander. Petrol and diesel engines offered, along with a good level of standard equipment. Genuine off-road capability backed up by switchable all-wheel drive system.

Reasons to buy – Off-roading and towing ability, good value, proven technology.

Reasons to beware – Cabin design is more Mitsubishi than Citroen, diesel engine can be a little loud when pushed.

Pick of the range – C-Crosser 2.2 HDi Exclusive.

What to pay – 2007 07 �13,545; 2007 57 �14,070; 2008 08 �15,155; 2008 58 �15,720; 2009 09 �17,210; 2009 59 �17,680; 2010 10 �19,600; 2010 60 �20,330. Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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