Contrary to what the name might suggest, the C-Crosser’s not a boat but Citroën’s new SUV. Imagine you’re a greengrocer. You sell a good selection of homegrown fruit and vegetables: apples, strawberries, cauliflower, cabbage. But there’s a sudden rush on bananas. What do you do: attempt to grow them yourself? Not in Blighty. No, what you do is buy a few in and flog ’em as your own.

That sums up Citroën’s approach to SUV-making. Having recognised the current boom for 4x4s, parent company PSA has gone in with Mitsubishi to develop the Outlander soft-roader for Europe. It has taken that car, given it styling to suit the brand’s avant-garde image and chassis tuning to suit European roads. The result is the C-Crosser, and its PSA sibling, the Peugeot 4007. 

There isn’t much history in the C-Crosser’s closet, Citroën’s only other forays into the 4x4 arena being decidedly left-field offerings such as the BX and AX 4x4s, the C25 4x4, the Berlingo XTR+ and, of course, the never-to-be-forgotten Mehari 4x4 and the crazy twin-engined 2CV Sahara.

The C-Crosser concept itself was first displayed at the Geneva show back in 2001 and also happened to feature drive-by-wire steering. But that was very different from the car you see here, which is technically little more than a restyled, rebadged Mitsubishi Outlander/Peugeot 4007.

Top 5 Compact SUVs

  • A huge improvement over the old model and now among the class leaders

    BMW X3

    1
  • The new Land Rover Discovery Sport is the successor to the Freelander

    Land Rover Discovery Sport

    2
  • The Swede's XC60 compact SUV is a rival for Range Rover's Evoque

    Volvo XC60

    3
  • The Q5 is Audi's response to the Land Rover Freelander 2, BMW X3 and Volvo SC60

    Audi Q5

    4
  • Kia's seven-seat Sorento SUV is now in its third generation

    Kia Sorento

    5

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    25 May 2015
    Track drive of Lamborghini's astonishing limited-run special, the Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce
  • First Drive
    21 May 2015
    The DS 5 is hard to pigeonhole but it works as a package. Impressive French-style long-range cruiser, albeit at strong money for an unproven brand
  • Car review
    21 May 2015
    The industry's biggest power makes a plug-in hybrid for the masses
  • First Drive
    21 May 2015
    The 4C improves, and the Spider is a good conversion, but it remains dynamically troubled and absurdly expensive
  • First Drive
    21 May 2015
    More traction and nothing separating Jag's monstrous V8 mouthpiece from your ears. It's the shoutiest, priciest F-Type on sale, but is it the best?