The mid-size SUV segment in India is bustling with options, but the Citroen C3 Aircross introduces a fresh perspective. With the potential for seven seats, it emerges as a versatile alternative to its five-seater counterparts like the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. In this comprehensive review, we delve into the Citroen C3 Aircross, evaluating its design, interior space, engine performance, driving dynamics, off-road capabilities, and more.
Citroen C3 Aircross Exterior Design and Styling
The Citroen C3 Aircross boasts a captivating and distinctive exterior, setting it apart within the segment.
Distinctive Front Profile
At the front, the split headlamp design, featuring LED daytime running lamps integrated into the bumper, exudes confidence. The chrome-graced grille and skid plates contribute to its SUV appeal. While it shares some similarities with its sub-4m sibling, the C3, the C3 Aircross maintains its distinct identity.
Muscular Side Profile
On the side, flared wheel arches, side cladding, and 17-inch alloy wheels establish the C3 Aircross’s robust stance. The rising window line meets the roof rails, and the off-center floating roof design adds character and uniqueness.
The rear showcases split tail lamps connected by a black band, accompanied by a chrome nameplate on the tailgate, contributing to its sophisticated appearance. Overall, the exterior design of the C3 Aircross sets it apart from conventional SUV designs.
Boasting dimensions of 4.5 meters in length, 1.8 meters in width, and 1.6 meters in height, the C3 Aircross commands attention. It is the widest and tallest among its rivals, with a substantial 2.7-meter wheelbase that enhances interior space.
Interiors, Comfort, and Features
Stepping inside, the Citroen C3 Aircross greets you with its characteristic quirky interior styling. However, how does its form align with its function?
Cabin Layout and Quality
The dashboard’s forward positioning imparts an open ambiance. While the unconventional shapes and lines draw the eye, there’s room for improvement in terms of material quality, as some hard plastics are evident on touchpoints.
Seats and Comfort
Front seats offer a well-contoured design, ensuring comfort during long drives. In the seven-seater variant, the rear seats feature reclining backrests. However, the absence of rear AC vents and charging ports is notable.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 10.2-inch touchscreen serves as the command center for infotainment functions. Seamlessly supporting wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the infotainment system ensures hassle-free connectivity. The speaker system delivers respectable sound quality.
The cabin provides sufficient storage space, including a sizable glovebox, door pockets, and a center console. However, the lack of grip in the phone storage cavity is a minor drawback.
Despite its strengths, the C3 Aircross falls short in certain areas. The absence of auto climate control, auto-dimming IRVM, and front parking sensors is unexpected. Additionally, the omission of features like an air purifier and sunroof leaves room for improvement.
Engine Options and Performance
Citroen equips the C3 Aircross with a single engine option in India – a 1.2L turbo-petrol motor.
|Citroen C3 Aircross Specifications
|6-speed Manual (6-speed MT)
|Not Available (NA)
The 110hp 1.2L three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine stands out for its smoothness and responsiveness. Tuned to deliver robust mid-range power, the engine facilitates effortless drivability.
While turbo lag is noticeable at lower RPMs, the engine gains momentum as the revs rise. Overtaking maneuvers are executed with ease, and reaching triple-digit speeds is a breeze. The engine maintains its refinement even at higher RPMs.
The C3 Aircross’s driving engagement is enhanced by its light clutch and smooth six-speed manual gearbox. Precise gear shifts contribute to an engaging driving experience. Notably, the absence of an automatic variant limits options, although Citroen plans to introduce one in the future.
Behind the wheel, the C3 Aircross impresses with its well-balanced dynamics.
The steering strikes a balance between adequate weighting at high speeds and light maneuverability at parking speeds. While steering feedback could be improved, it fulfills its role effectively.
Handling and Dynamics
Navigating corners reveals the C3 Aircross’s adept handling, featuring a controlled body roll. The chassis is finely tuned to tackle India’s varied road conditions.
Ride quality emerges as a highlight, with the suspension adeptly absorbing road imperfections and potholes. Although a hint of floatiness is experienced at high speeds, the low-speed ride is notably impressive.
The C3 Aircross boasts soft suspension, 200mm ground clearance, and Traction Control modes, equipping it with credible light off-roading capabilities. It confidently handles gravel, broken roads, and off-road trails. While it lacks hardcore 4×4 capabilities, its versatility shines through.
Flexible Seating Options
The C3 Aircross distinguishes itself with its availability in both five-seater and seven-seater cabin layouts.
Opting for the standard five-seater version ensures ample room for four adults, accompanied by luggage space. This layout prioritizes passenger comfort without compromise.
In the seven-seater variant, two additional seats are introduced in the third row. The middle row features 40:60 split backrests that recline, enhancing flexibility and comfort.
Third Row Space
While the third-row space is best suited for children or short journeys, it provides easy access and features aircon vents for added comfort. One-touch folding seats simplify entry.
Folding 2nd and 3rd Rows
Folding down the third and second-row seats transforms the C3 Aircross into a capacious cargo carrier. This practicality bolsters the C3 Aircross’s appeal for families and diverse needs.
Pricing and Positioning
As a newcomer, the C3 Aircross’s pricing strategy is pivotal in establishing its standing among competitors.
Anticipated to commence from Rs. 12 lakhs onwards, the Citroen C3 Aircross is set to rival the five-seater Creta and Seltos variants. The presence of extra seats might incur a slight premium.
Value for Money
While competitively priced, certain essentials like auto wipers and cruise control are conspicuous by their absence. Rivals offer a more extensive array of features at a similar price point.
Positioning vs. Rivals
The C3 Aircross’s unique seven-seat flexibility is its forte. However, precise pricing will dictate its success against formidable contenders like the Creta and Seltos.
The Citroen C3 Aircross shines through with its adaptable seating configurations, spirited engine, and comfortable ride. Its SUV aesthetics and Citroen’s distinctive design ethos add flair to the package. Nevertheless, the lack of vital features and strategic pricing are considerations. As a family-oriented SUV, addressing these shortcomings is essential. Overall, the Citroen C3 Aircross exhibits the potential to carve a niche in the competitive mid-size SUV market, contingent upon Citroen’s strategic decisions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the C3 Aircross get AWD or 4WD option?
A: No, the C3 Aircross is exclusively available in a front-wheel-drive format. There are no AWD or 4WD variants offered.
Q: What are the upholstery options in the C3 Aircross?
A: Citroen offers fabric upholstery for the seats as standard. Leatherette or leather upholstery is not available, even as an option.
Q: Does the C3 Aircross feature a panoramic sunroof?
A: Regrettably, a panoramic sunroof is absent across all variants of the C3 Aircross. This popular feature is not included.
Q: What is the boot space with all rows up in the 7-seater C3 Aircross?
A: When all three rows are in their upright position, the 7-seater C3 Aircross provides a modest 92 liters of boot space. Folding down the third row expands the capacity to 444 liters.
Q: Does the C3 Aircross come with a spare wheel?
A: Yes, the C3 Aircross is equipped with a full-size steel spare wheel. The spare wheel is conveniently located beneath the boot floor in all variants.