If there is something that car buyers are looking for today, it is SUVs that are showy. The design is the main reason for purchase today and the crossover body type the one that triumphs the most among the popular public.
And precisely these two variables are brought together by the new Citroën C3 Aircross, the small SUV of the French brand that has always distinguished itself by personality and for an adjusted price that starts at 18,520 euros.
The Citroën C3 Aircross does not have a very long history. It was released in 2018 and quickly established itself as a great success for the chevron brand. At least that’s how it was at the sales level, ranking as one of the best sellers and adding more than 330,000 units today. A slight update recently hit the market to keep this model going strong. We put it to the test with its aesthetic touches, technological improvements and reinforced equipment.
Citroën C3 Aircross Feedback
We already said at the beginning that the majority of customers in the B-SUV segment are looking for a striking car, which will enter their eyes. That has always been one of the main strengths of Citroën and in this C3 Aircross it was not going to be less. The front is mainly updated, which has lines similar to those of the CXperience Concept prototype. We say it by those redesigned headlights that are separated into two parts, both being aligned with the chrome slats that start from the chevrons of the logo.
As in other models of the brand, the front is also characterized by having a very narrow upper grille and a more generous lower one, which is where the license plate goes. The bumper also changes slightly and introduces a metallic-looking protection. To accentuate its crossover character, all the underbody is in black plastic.
The wheels on this model can be 16 inches or 17 inches, while there is still interest in customization with three new body colors and four contrasting color packages, in addition to two shades for the roof. In total, up to 70 possible combinations.
The rear three-quarter view is one of the most powerful on the Citroën C3 Aircross. We say this by those roof bars that take center stage and by the characteristic shape of the C-pillar, which is adorned by a graphic. From behind, the rear window is small and the taillights are similar to the previous ones, although with a more recognizable light signature. The most notable thing is the lower part of the bumper, with that silver protection with integrated black plastic motifs.
The truth is that the measurements hardly change with respect to the car it replaces. It remains in a length of 4,160 mm, a width of 1,760 mm and a height of 1,640 mm; all this with a wheelbase that remains at 2,604 mm.
We already talked about the personalization on the outside of the Citroën C3 Aircross and the truth is that the same philosophy will be followed inside. Inside here you can choose between four different environments depending on the client’s taste. There is the one that comes standard, which is the simplest, and then the Urban Blue, Metropolitan Graphite and Hype Gray appear. In these, some details such as moldings and upholstery are specific in color.
The quality is quite correct in this model. It is a generalist model, something that can be perceived by the somewhat fair touch of some of the plastics, mainly those of the lower areas. Certain finishes are not convincing either, but it makes up for it with that color, with the good fabric upholstery and, above all, with the seats. They are the Advanced Comforts that we have praised so much in other models of the brand and that offer outstanding comfort to users.
Technology is one of the points that improves the most in the new Citroën C3 Aircross. In the center of the dashboard there is a 9-inch touch screen, which is larger than the previous one and is the nerve center of infotainment. It stands out for its good graphics and more than correct usability. Some buttons around it help for direct access to certain functions. In the upper finishes we have integrated navigation and also full connectivity thanks to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with cable, yes.
Ergonomics are not too good on the front of this model. Although simplicity is the trend to follow, with instrumentation that is mixed with a small TFT screen that acts as an on-board computer, it must also be said that it loses integers with the air conditioning controls on the screen. We have already commented that the seats are the most prominent part thanks to the comfort they offer and the driving position is elevated, as in any crossover. There are also a good number of storage spaces scattered around this cabin.
The habitability is quite outstanding for a small SUV thanks to the height offered by this Citroën C3 Aircross. It is noticeable mainly in the rear seats, where we find a generous hole for the head and a correct one for the legs, especially for someone like me who just exceeds 1.70 meters. Although this will also depend on the use we give to its longitudinal movement rear bench, which can be moved up to 150 mm in two parts.
That bench that we mentioned is also the one that makes the difference in the trunk, since it allows us to play with the space between the cabin and this surface. With it in the most backward position, it offers us 410 liters, which is not bad at all. But if we move it to the most advanced position, we gain a lot of space and it leaves us 520 liters of capacity, with very usable shapes and advantages such as hooks and nets to fix the load.
In the boot of the Citroën C3 Aircross there is a double bottom with a hole under the floor that makes it even more interesting. In the event that we need more space, the second row of seats can always be folded down to leave us up to 1,289 liters of capacity. Additionally, the passenger seat could be folded down to allow us to put long objects up to 2.40 meters in length.
The equipment of the Citroën C3 Aircross is divided into several levels. Already standard comes the Live Pack to benefit from EcoLED headlights, air conditioning, electric windows, heated mirrors, DAB radio and driving aids such as lane departure alert, signal reader and fatigue detector. Above is the Feel to add appearance with the Look SUV and Black Color pack, in addition to the 7-inch screen with connectivity and rear parking sensor.
In the middle area is the C-Series, a special edition that adds the 9-inch screen, Citroën Connected Box, specific decoration, automatic climate control and light and rain sensors. With the Feel Pack what is done is to complete the Feel with automatic climate control, light and rain sensors, integrated navigation, two-level boot or aids such as automatic braking in the city, pre-collision warning, pedestrian detector.
The top of the range is the Shine finish, the one that our unit mounts and that has 17-inch wheels, two-tone bodywork, driver’s armrests, specific upholstery, rear seat with longitudinal movement, sun blinds or front parking sensor. It can also be completed with some interesting options such as SmartBeam headlights, Head-Up Display, Hi-Fi sound system or Grip Control. The unit tested had pretty much everything.
One aspect in which the Citroën C3 Aircross does not evolve is in its mechanical range. Electrification does not appear anywhere in this model, which is left without versions with an ECO or ZERO label. The bet continues to be on traditional combustion engines with two diesel and two gasoline versions. If we start with the diesel, the protagonist is the 1.5 BlueHDI four-cylinder, which is available with 110 hp with the six-speed manual transmission or with 120 hp when equipped with the EAT6 automatic transmission.
If we look at the gasoline range, which is the one that is going to sell the most, we have the 1.2 PureTech three-cylinder as the spearhead. In this case there are also differences in power depending on the gearbox. The 110 hp can only go with the six-speed manual transmission, while the 130 hp is only linked with the automatic transmission with the same ratios. In any case, this C3 Aircross can only go with front-wheel drive, although the Grip Control system can be added to improve its behavior off the asphalt.
The test unit is a Citroën C3 Aircross 1.2 PureTech 130 hp EAT6, the most powerful petrol version with automatic transmission. We could start by saying that it is the ideal option for those who prefer that type of gearbox. I would probably choose the 110 hp manual for its lower price or to approve a lower consumption. However, after sharing a week with him we see that it has a series of advantages that are worth mentioning.
The performance of the three-cylinder engine is the usual one, standing out in the middle zone with the 230 Nm available from 1,750 rpm. It stretches well and its power level is more than enough for day to day. Of course, the benefits are somewhat fair and that is the top of the range. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 9.2 seconds and its top speed is 197 km / h. The negative part is that with the passage of the kilometers we detect that its noise level is high because not much work has been done on the soundproofing of the cabin.
Only the EAT6 automatic transmission is available with the 130 hp version. This is a six-speed torque converter gearbox that has its lights and shadows. It is very smooth, there is no doubt about that, but it has also seemed very slow in some cases. It has a Sport mode, although it is somewhat relative, it is not that it improves its response too much. What we really miss is that it included some paddles behind the wheel, because the sequential mode forces you to move the lever.
And the truth is that the simplicity of the Citroën C3 Aircross also extends to behavior, as there are no driving modes as in other rival models. You will not be able to play that trick, although it was not necessary either. Without Eco mode or anything like that, it achieves consumption that is quite balanced. After a week of normal use we mark an average of 7 l / 100km. One trick that we can play is that of Grip Control, a torque control system to get off the asphalt with various modes, which also has descent control on slopes.
The real key to this model is that it has been made to offer outstanding ride comfort. That premise is fulfilled above the rest, it does not matter if sportsmanship is lost, the first thing is comfort on the go. It is achieved with a suspension that has a very soft setting, which is perfect for passing bumps or uneven surfaces. However, on curvy roads its shortcomings come to light.
When he leaves the city you can appreciate his lack of agility and even the rocking that appears due to that smooth set-up. Support shifts are not smooth on this C3 Aircross and it is not a car that transmits next to nothing. The steering, which is very soft and not very communicative, also contributes to this, so that the user does not know what is happening on the wheels and makes him lose confidence. In short, easy to drive and comfortable, but not at all dynamic.
The Citroën C3 Aircross is a car that is very clear about its vocation and does not hesitate to exploit it. After the update, it turns to the client who is looking for a striking design, with many customization options and which is completed in the technological field. Since it was released on the market, its habitability has been surprising, recalling the concept that was distilled a few years ago when there were still small minivans.
As a curious note, the C3 Aircross is a pride of the national industry, a product “made in Spain” that is manufactured at the Stellantis plant in Figueruelas (Zaragoza) together with the Opel Crossland, which is what would be its twin brother. And, of course, another strong point of this model is the price. Part of 18,520 euros without discounts and a top-of-the-range unit like this can go up to just over 25,000 euros. A rate that can be reduced by visiting autos.com, with the best new car deals and financing conditions.