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Old 6th August 2023, 09:00   #1
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Citroen C3 Aircross Review

Citroen C3 Aircross Review


Citroen C3 Aircross Pros



• Well-sized crossover with a funky yet likeable design
• Offers the practicality of a 5+2 seater. Many families will like having that option
• Good-looking cabin that's practical too. Plenty of storage spaces
• Quick 1.2L turbo-petrol mated to the 6-speed MT is fun-to-drive
• Sorted suspension offers a very good ride & handling package
• Massive 511-litre boot that can be expanded to 839 litres. Flexible cargo and seating options are available
• Features like a 10.2-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, connected car features, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, indirect TPMS, and a rear parking camera with sensors
• Lots of customization options and accessories to make your car truly unique

Citroen C3 Aircross Cons



• Missing plenty of features = side & curtain airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors, sunroof, climate control, wireless charging, cruise control, rear AC vents, auto headlamps and more
• No automatic transmission on offer at the time of launch - a big miss when ATs are rapidly gaining popularity in India
• Single powertrain on offer. No Hybrid or diesel engine options
• Quality of cabin materials doesn't feel great; cost-cutting is pretty evident in certain areas
• Third row of seats is best for kids / children only
• Cabin width makes the middle row seat suitable for 2 adults, not 3
• Very sad audio. 4 speakers + 2 tweeter system feels very basic
• Long-term reliability & after-sales service quality are big unknowns; dealer network is tiny

This review has been jointly compiled with libranof1987. Thanks to him for the expert observations!
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_01.jpg

Introduction



Citroen has been launching a new car every year and this year’s car is the C3 Aircross that you see here. If you’re wondering whether you’ve seen this same car on your Europe trip, it’s not. It carries the same name, but the C3 Aircross sold in Europe is based on a Peugeot platform (PSA PF1) and the car sold in India is built on the Common Modular Platform (CMP) which has over 90% localisation. Two totally different cars for different markets. With that out of the way, let’s focus on the car that we got to drive in Chennai.

While the C3 Aircross looks very similar to the C3 hatchback, it is noticeably larger in size. Citroen has chosen to offer the C3 Aircross in two seating options - a 5-seater and a 5+2 seater. And it's not just adding a couple of seats in the boot, but the floor design of both these variants is different. A lot of work has gone into it and we will get into all the details, so keep reading.

Under the hood, you have the 109 BHP, 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. This is the only powertrain on offer at the time of launch and there is no automatic which puts the C3 Aircross at a disadvantage. The good news is that Citroen will launch an automatic soon, and it definitely won’t be an AMT. In terms of features, the C3 Aircross is not bare bones, but it's not well equipped either (more on this later).

Citroen C3 Aircross Price & Brochure


The crossover SUV segment has blown up in the past few years and the competition is fierce. Where does the Citroen C3 Aircross slot in the segment? We will get to know once the prices are announced in October. We expect Citroen to price it aggressively considering the fact that the C3 Aircross, in particular, has high localisation (95%) and that it’s not really overflowing with features. Bookings will open next month and the launch is slated for October.

Last edited by Omkar : 6th August 2023 at 09:04.
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Exterior



Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_02.jpg

Design & Styling



The C3 Aircross's design may not be conventional, but it is appealing. It has very similar design cues to the C3 hatchback and at first glance, you might not be able to tell them apart instantly. Look closely and there are a few elements that differentiate the crossover. For starters, you have a different grille + air dam design. On the side is where the difference in size is clearly visible. The Aircross is longer and has a taller stance thanks to the 17-inch alloy wheels. The rear has a similar design with subtle changes. All in all, the car looks typically French throughout and not just an oversized version of the C3. It has plenty of creases and bold curves which add a bit of flair to its appearance.

The C3 Aircross measures 4,323 mm in length, 1,796 mm in width (without mirrors) and 1,669 mm in height (5+2-seater). It has a wheelbase of 2,671 mm and a wider front track of 1,550 mm compared to the 1,540 mm of the rear. If you want a quick comparison for size reference, the most recent Honda Elevate has a wheelbase of 2,650 mm and the Kia Seltos facelift has a wheelbase of 2,610 mm. While the C3 got funky colours, the C3 Aircross gets subtle body colours. You have 4 monotone body colours – Cosmo Blue (similar to the C5 Aircross’s Eclipse Blue), Platinum Grey, Steel Grey and Polar White. There are 6 dual-tone options on offer with 3 roof colour options – Platinum Grey (Polar White Body), Cosmo Blue (Polar White and Steel Grey Body) and Polar White (Cosmo Blue, Platinum Grey and Steel Grey Body). There are two interior trims also on offer which will depend on the variant and body colour you choose. More details will be revealed at the time of launch.

Build Quality, Fit & Finish



Being built on the same platform as the C3, the build quality is also very similar. The doors don’t feel heavy, but they have a decent heft to them. The same goes for the bonnet and tailgate too. Overall, the car feels solid and the build quality is satisfactory. There are some areas where the fit and finish could’ve been better. While it does feel well put together, it lacks the finesse of say the Korean or German competitors.

Wheels & Tyres



The C3 Aircross gets a set of 17-inch Quadratic diamond-cut alloy wheels which give the car a good stance. While the alloy wheel design is simple, the 4 spokes design does feel a bit odd. I’d have preferred a 5 spoke layout. The wheels are shod with 215/60 section tyres and the spare is a 16-inch steel rim with a 205/65 section tyre.

Ground Clearance



Unladen ground clearance of the C3 Aircross is rated at 200 mm which is good enough for most driving conditions. Citroen also went on to mention that the C3 Aircross has an approach angle of 20.5 degrees and a departure angle of 25 degrees.

Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_03.jpg

Standard & Extended Warranty



The C3 Aircross comes with a standard warranty of 2 years or 40,000 km. There are extended warranty packages on offer, more details of which will be available at the dealer. We strongly recommend you get maximum coverage.

Maintenance



Citroen is working towards providing good after-sales services. Their plan looks good on paper with facilities like virtual remote diagnosis, periodic service and maintenance with pickup and drop facilities, 180-minute RSA guarantee, remote service job card opening, service cost estimator on the website, genuine spare parts availability in 24 hours and service on wheels to name a few. We will wait for the ownership reports of BHPians for the final verdict.

Safety



Safety has become paramount these days and a lot of people are basing their buying decision on the safety of a car. The made-in-India C3 Aircross hasn’t been crash tested at GNCAP or the Euro NCAP. The European C3 Aircross has been tested at Euro NCAP, but those results don’t apply here (different platform). The closest connection would be the Brazilian spec C3 hatchback (same platform as India), which was tested at the Latin NCAP, but scored a 0-star rating. We hope that the Made in India C3 Aircross gets tested by an NCAP organisation. In terms of features, the C3 Aircross gets the bare minimum with dual airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP, hill-hold assist, tyre pressure monitoring system (indirect), reverse parking sensors and a rear-view camera. It does miss out on side and curtain airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors, emergency stop signal, auto-dimming IRVM, auto headlamps, and a 360-degree camera. While some might choose to ignore this aspect, these missing features will likely be the reason why some people might cross the C3 Aircross off their list.

Interior



Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_04.jpg

Cabin Design & Quality



The interiors of the C3 Aircross are very similar to the C3 hatchback. In fact, the design is identical, except for the fact that different materials have been used in the cabin. The colour scheme is also different and you get a dual-tone black and white dashboard with an anodized bronze trim running across the length. Some design elements have been done really nicely and overall aesthetically, the dashboard looks good. No soft-touch plastics in the cabin. The quality of materials used is just average and feels to be built on a budget. Yes, you get some piano black finishes, but it doesn’t really feel that great. The steering wheel and the buttons on it feel nice and sturdy to operate.

Space & Comfort



Ingress and egress are pretty comfortable at the front and rear as you would expect in a crossover. For the C3 Aircross, Citroen has stretched the wheelbase to 2,671 mm which translates into good space inside the cabin. The width however is just average and in the front seat, you are sat pretty close to the front passenger. Citroen is offering two seating options with the C3 Aircross – a 5 seater and a 5+2 seater.

Front seats are wrapped in part leatherette and also get fabric material on the backrest and headrests. They’re broad and accommodating. The cushioning is on point and should be comfortable over long drives. Overall support is good, but I felt that the side bolstering could’ve been a bit more pronounced to keep the driver and passenger in place through tight corners.

Driving Position & Ergonomics



The driver seat is height adjustable and has a good travel range too. The steering is adjustable for height which means finding a comfortable driving position shouldn't be a problem for most people. At 5'10" with my slightly laid-back driving position, I could get comfortable quite easily. Some people might miss the telescopic adjustment on the steering wheel. In the driver’s seat, you get a clear view of the road ahead. What’s nice is that you can also see the bonnet creases which some of the new drivers will appreciate. Frontal and side visibility is good, but the rear visibility isn’t great in both seating configurations. You will have to depend on the rearview camera and the ORVMs.

Other controls like the steering-mounted buttons, stalks, air-con controls, etc. are well within reach. The only oddballs here are the rear power window controls, which are placed in between the front seats. This is uncomfortable for the rear passengers as they have to bend and reach for them, which is even more irritating while the car is moving and they have their seatbelts on.

Cabin Storage



Just like the C3’s cabin, there's a decent amount of storage space for passengers. All the door pockets can hold 1-liter bottles and you get a well-sized glovebox with additional storage spaces on the lid. In the center console, you get a phone tray below which, you have an additional storage area and a couple of cupholders. There's a small cubbyhole below the handbrake for keeping loose change and another storage area in between the front seats for the rear passengers to use. The front seats have deep seatback pockets for the rear passengers to keep stuff.

Air-Conditioning



The C3’s air conditioning was good, so we expected the C3 Aircross’ unit to be good as well. Glad that it didn’t disappoint and performed well in the 42 degrees heat of Chennai. Yes, the increased cabin space has made a difference and the AC unit took a little longer to cool the cabin, but it eventually did. You get a roof-mounted fan blower unit on the 7-seater variant which helps in better circulation. The 5-seater variant doesn’t get the blower and also misses out on rear AC vents. Hence you might find rear passengers complaining about the AC on a particularly hot day. You get a manual HVAC unit and not automatic climate control which is another bummer.

Features


Unique & Noteworthy Features



We have seen that today's customers give a lot of importance to features. They may not use most of them, but people are drawn to feature-packed cars. This is where Citroen doesn’t excel and borderline struggles. A quick look at the features list and you will notice that it’s missing quite a few of them. Sure, the French manufacturer can justify this by saying that features can be added at any time, but first impressions matter a lot in the Indian market. We've seen below-average cars with great features do unimaginable volumes and we've also seen great cars that lack features just tank on arrival. That's just how the Indian market is.

Noteworthy features on the C3 Aircross include 17-inch alloy wheels, a 10.2-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay connectivity, connected car features, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster and a rear parking camera with sensors. Some missing features worth mentioning include a sunroof, automatic climate control, grab handle for the front passenger side, projector headlamps, wireless charging, 360-degree camera, rear air-con vents, cruise control, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, telescopic steering adjustment, and 60:40 split for 5-seater variant. I’m sure BHPians will add more missing features to this list based on what the competition offers.

Audio System & Sound Quality



The 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system is mated with 4 speakers and 2 tweeters. Yes, the two tweeter slots on the A-pillars are functional now (they were blank in the C3). The touchscreen gets wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay connectivity and it's pretty seamless to connect. In terms of usability, the touchscreen is very responsive and doesn't lag. Even the display is crisp and the colour scheme is pleasant. Listening to music on the 4+2 speaker system is just about alright. The sound quality is very basic.

Rear Passengers



Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_05.jpg

Rear Seat Comfort & Space



This is where major work has been done on the C3 Aircross. Citroen is offering the C3 Aircross in a 5 seater and a 5+2 seater versions. The floor design for both these options is different and not just that, the middle row placement is also different on both cars. The 5-seater variant’s middle row of seats are placed 50 mm behind the 5+2-seater variant. Essentially, this means that in order to provide more space for the third row, the second row has been pushed slightly forward.

Let’s talk about the 5+2 seater variant first. In the middle row, the seats are pretty much flat and don’t have a lot of contours. It’s comfortable for the most part but feels very basic. The under-thigh support is good, but at 5’10” I’d have liked some additional support. Talking about space, Citroen has managed to utilise it well. In the 5+2 seater variant, with the front seat adjusted to my driving position, I had a couple of inches of knee room and could sit comfortably. With the front seat pushed all the way back, it got a little tight and my knees were brushing the back of the front seat. There’s a good amount of headroom even for tall passengers. You get a 60:40 split on the rear seats of this version and you can tumble the 40-section to get into the third row. The situation is pretty tight in the third row for adults. You are almost seated on the floor and for an adult of my size, there’s absolutely no knee room. I was seated with my knees high up in an almost fetal position. The third row is strictly for children over short distances. The third-row passengers get a cupholder on each side and the right-side passenger gets 2 USB charging ports. The middle-row passengers don’t get an armrest, but you do get a roof-mounted blower unit.

Jump into the 5-seater variant of the C3 Aircross and you will immediately notice that there’s more room. The additional 50 mm space in the middle row meant that I had a lot more room behind my driving position. Even with the front seat pushed all the way back, I comfortably had a few inches of legroom. You can always push the front seat all the way forward to stretch out fully. Notably, the 5-seater variant doesn’t get the roof-mounted blower unit and the 60:40 split. You do get a center armrest though with a couple of cupholders and a phone holder. There’s one bottle holder in the middle of the two front seats and 2 USB charging ports.

Boot Space



The 5+2 seater variant with all the seats up has almost no boot space (only 44 litres). The third row of seats is removable by pulling on a strap at the bottom. You can easily remove both seats in half a minute. With the third row of seats out, the boot space is 511 litres. Fold down the middle row of seats and you can expand the boot space to 839 litres. The boot space of the 5-seater variant is 444 litres.

Last edited by Omkar : 6th August 2023 at 09:04.
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Driving the Citroen C3 Aircross 1.2L Turbo-Petrol MT


1.2L turbo-petrol engine makes 109 BHP @ 5,500 rpm and 190 Nm @ 1,750 rpm:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_06.jpg

The C3 Aircross is powered by a 1.2L turbo-petrol engine that belongs to Citroen's EB family of engines. This straight 3-cylinder unit is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and puts out 109 BHP and 190 Nm. The engine is shared with the C3 hatchback, but the C3 Aircross is ~ 290 kg heavier. With a kerb weight of 1,230 kg, the C3 Aircross has a power-to-weight ratio of 89 BHP/ton and torque to weight ratio of 154 Nm/ton.

With a smooth clutch release action, the C3 Aircross moves off the line without much drama. The throttle response is good too. Driving at city speeds, the car feels smooth and the power is adequate to putter around town. Good driveability is the key here and the C3 Aircross clears the second gear speed breaker test easily. At low revs is where you can feel the extra weight of the C3 Aircross compared to the C3. The turbo lag feels a lot more pronounced and the engine takes some time to get in the powerband. It is still manageable, and the bottom end is good enough for a sedate driver. Get past that and you have the punchy mid-range which is where you would want to be in. As mentioned earlier, the driveability of this engine is good and you can even manage to get by from as low as 25 km/h in 3rd gear without bogging down. It does take a little time to get through the bottom end, but once through that at ~ 2,000 rpm is when you can really start to feel the punch of the motor. If you want to extract performance, upwards of 2,000 rpm is where you would want to always keep the motor. What’s missing from the C3 hatchback is the eagerness of the motor when the turbo kicks in. The engine does not revv beyond 6,000 rpm and the maximum speed in first gear is 50 km/h and that in second gear is 88 km/h. You can go beyond 120 km/h pretty easily in third gear. The second and third gears are tall enough for you to nip through the city traffic quickly.

Out on the highway, the C3 Aircross' performance remains strong. This is where you can use the mid-range very well. It’s relatively easy to overtake on the highways with this turbo-petrol engine. However, while the engine has a good mid-range, like most turbo-petrols, the power dies down in the top end. The gear ratios are spread out nicely for you to use the powerband efficiently. You can push the car in 3rd or 4th gears when in the mood for some fun or just slot it into 6th and cruise comfortably at 100-120 km/h. In 6th gear, you will see the motor spinning at a relaxed 2,000 rpm at 100 km/h and 2,500 rpm at 120 km/h. Shift down to 5th for a comfortable overtake or to 4th for a quicker one. Spend some time with the car and you will start to enjoy the engine’s performance. The accelerator pedal needs a special mention for its fine-tuning. It has a progressive feel to it and isn't snappy, which allows you to drive smoothly.

The 6-speed manual transmission is slick to operate and compliments the engine well. The throws are smooth and sure-slotting, however, there is a hint of notchiness. All in all, moving through the gears is a pleasant experience. The clutch is light and the travel range isn't too long, but we found it to be a bit snappy. Which means that you have to make a conscious effort to drive smoothly.

Noise, Vibration & Harshness (NVH)



At idle, the turbo petrol is surprisingly silent, and the typical 3-cylinder vibrations are masked quite well. There's not much noise too and the cabin is silent. While driving around calmly, the engine sound doesn't intrude into the cabin. However, revv the engine hard and you'll hear the engine a lot more in the cabin. Unfortunately, the engine note is not something enthusiasts or regular folk will like. It sounds more strained than sporty at high revs. At highway speeds, wind noise is kept at a minimum, but road noise and tyre noise do creep into the cabin.

Mileage & Fuel economy



As we are already aware, turbo-petrols are sensitive to throttle input and you will be visiting the fuel station more often if you have a heavy foot. But drive sedately and you should see some acceptable FE figures. The C3 Aircross turbo-petrol's ARAI-certified fuel efficiency is 18.5 km/l which is slightly lesser than the C3 hatchback. It gets an auto start-stop feature which should help fuel efficiency while driving in the city.

The bonnet gets insulation underneath and helps keep the noise levels low:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_07.jpg

Fuel tank capacity of the C3 Aircross is 45 litres:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_08.jpg

Suspension



Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_09.jpg

Ride Comfort



The C3 Aircross comes with a McPherson strut suspension at the front and a twist-beam suspension with coil springs at the rear. Despite the additional 290 kg on the C3 Aircross compared to the C3, Citroen has managed to match the suspension tune. Right off the bat, this is a very likeable suspension tune. In comparison with the C3, the Aircross feels a tad bit soft, but the setup is very compliant. The ride over small potholes and uneven roads in the city is pretty good. The C3 Aircross dissipates shocks very evenly over the front and rear which gives you a feeling of gliding over bad roads. Moreover, the suspension works silently too when going over bumps. Large potholes do register themselves in the cabin, but the C3 Aircross handles them well. Overall the ride quality is very absorbent.

Handling & Dynamics



This is where the C3 Aircross springs a pleasant surprise. The French sure know a thing or two about tuning the suspension just right. Straight-line stability is good and the passengers probably won't even know that you're cruising at 120 km/h.

While the car may be heavier than the C3, it still is a good handler on its own. The C3 Aircross holds its line nicely in long curves. There is some amount of body roll, but it never gets excessive. Hit an unexpected expansion joint on the curve and the car doesn't get unsettled easily. Start pushing on twisty roads and you will appreciate the balance of the chassis. The turn-in is sharp and there is a hint of understeer. You can also feel the extra bit of weight you are carrying at the rear. With the turbo petrol under the hood, you can really enjoy the car with this suspension. Changing directions from one corner to the other also doesn't unsettle it and the transition is smooth. The 215/60 R17 OEM tyres feel just about adequate for the C3 Aircross and provide decent grip levels.
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_10.jpg

Steering



The C3 Aircross' electric power steering is a very user-friendly unit. It's light in the city and most owners will appreciate that. While driving the C3 Aircross masks its dimensions well and feels compact. The turning radius of 5.4 metres is slightly higher than expected. The steering weighs up nicely as you gain speed, but we'd have liked it to be more hefty as it still feels a little light while cruising at 100 km/h on the highway. Enthusiasts won't like the disconnected feeling of the steering and the vagueness in the centre.

Braking



The C3 Aircross is equipped with ventilated disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. The performance is as expected and the car comes to a halt without much drama. The pedal feel is very progressive and smooth.

Last edited by Omkar : 6th August 2023 at 09:46.
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Citroen C3 Aircross Exterior Images


One look and you immediately know that this is a Citroen. The C3 Aircross has a funky yet likeable design:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_11.jpg

Comparatively, the rear design is subtle and looks very similar to the smaller C3:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_12.jpg

The C3 Aircross measures 4,323 mm in length, 1,796 mm in width (without mirrors) and 1,669 mm in height (5+2-seater). It has an unladen ground clearance of 200 mm:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_13.jpg

In person, the car does look pretty good. In some ways, it manages to look like a smaller version of the handsome C5 Aircross:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_14.jpg

Overall build quality is satisfactory and while the panel gaps are mostly consistent, finishing in certain areas could've been better:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_15.jpg

The double Chevron logo sits boldly on top. You get a split air dam, the top part of which is part of the grille and is finished in piano black. The bottom part of the air dam gets these white inserts that stand out. The air dam also houses halogen fog lamps and a faux skid plate:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_16.jpg

The top LED also houses the turn indicator and the bottom one extends into the headlamp pod. No projector setup here. The simple halogen unit feels very basic:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_17.jpg

Underbody is exposed and some sort of protection would've been appreciated. The C3 gets an engine protection cover as an accessory and we hope the same is offered on the Aircross as well:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_18.jpg

Two prominent creases on the bonnet give a muscular look to the car:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_19.jpg

ORVMs get integrated turn indicators and have a gloss black cover:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_20.jpg

Flap-type door handles look super outdated. The keyhole is located on the door rather than on the door handle:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_21.jpg

Overall glass area is good and lets in a lot of light into the cabin. The rear quarter glass is super tiny and the car gets a floating roof effect. Also, check out the creases on the body and even the roof:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_22.jpg

Body cladding at the bottom gets a white strip:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_23.jpg

17-inch alloy wheel gets a 4-spoke design. The wheels are shod with 215/60 section tyres. At the front, you have ventilated disc brakes and …
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_24.jpg

… at the rear, you have drum brakes:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_25.jpg

A healthy amount of wheel well cladding at the front and rear:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_26.jpg

No sunroof on offer. This is a feature that most families look forward to having. Roof rails are finished in brushed silver:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_27.jpg

Towards the back, the roof extends into a spoiler:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_28.jpg

These aren’t LED tail lamps, but they look good:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_29.jpg

Tail lamps are connected with a gloss black strip. The Citroen logo sits in the middle with the name at the bottom. Note that the C3 Aircross gets a single reversing light:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_30.jpg

Reversing camera placement on the edge of the tailgate is horrible. The camera sticks out when you open the tailgate which makes it vulnerable to damage while operating the hatch. Even in case of a rear collision, the camera would easily get damaged:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_31.jpg

16-inch spare wheel shod with 205/65 section tyre has been placed under the car:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_32.jpg

Our test car was finished in Polar White Body with Platinum Grey Roof. Here’s the C3 Aircross in Cosmo Blue Body with Polar White roof:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_34.jpg

Here it is in Steel Grey Body with Cosmo Blue Roof:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_35.jpg

This is the Platinum Grey Body Colour with Polar White Roof:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_exterior_36.jpg

Last edited by Omkar : 6th August 2023 at 09:35.
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Citroen C3 Aircross Interior Images


Dashboard design is similar to that of the C3. It's unique and stands out from the crowd:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_01.jpg

From the driver's seat, you can see the bonnet creases clearly. A lot of the drivers like this:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_02.jpg

Leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel is nice to hold. It's perfectly sized and the brushed silver element on the bottom spoke looks pretty classy. The left spoke has controls for the MID and the right spoke holds buttons to control the volume, activate voice commands, control the telephony features & the source button for music:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_03.jpg

Stalks are chunky and feel nice to use. Wiper controls are on the left, while the light controls are on the right. A lane change indicator has been provided. No auto headlamps or rain-sensing wipers here:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_04.jpg

The new 7-inch digital instrument cluster has a nice and crisp display. You have a fuel meter on the left and an engine temperature gauge on the right:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_05.jpg

You can have a digital speedometer with a round tachometer display around it. There's also an Eco mode display that shows you how economically you are driving. Apart from this, you get basic information like instantaneous and average fuel economy, average speed, range and two trip meters. The C3 Aircross is also equipped with indirect TPMS which requires you to reset the system. You can also access some vehicle settings through the MID and you can check the next service due alert. The screen also displays a bold alert if any door is open:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_06.jpg

The C3 Aircross gets an auto start-stop feature, next to which you have the power window lock button. You also get the electric ORVM adjuster knob placed next to it. Notice the manual headlamp leveller below:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_08.jpg

You get this very basic key and no keyless entry & go:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_09.jpg

Doors open pretty wide. Doorpads have an all-black theme with a white pocket and armrest area:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_10.jpg

The white armrest area also gets a piano black panel. Only the front power window controls are placed on the doorpad:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_11.jpg

Broad front seats are quite accommodating. They're finished in leather, but also get fabric on the backrest and headrest. The seat base and backrest have a decent amount of bolstering, it's not very pronounced though:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_12.jpg

Manual levers for driver seat height adjustment and backrest recline angle adjustment:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_13.jpg

Pedals are well spaced out, but there is no dead pedal. The bonnet release lever is placed on the right:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_14.jpg

The ORVM is well-sized and you get a good view of the road behind:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_15.jpg

The IRVM is of a good size and covers the rear windshield well:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_16.jpg

Rearward visibility is extremely poor. The rear windshield isn’t very big and the C-pillars are thick too:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_17.jpg

Center fascia has an uncluttered design with some nicely designed elements:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_18.jpg

The 10.2-inch touchscreen is similar to what you get in the C3. The display is crisp and the screen is very easy to operate as well with minimum lag. It’s a very simple and basic infotainment unit with very limited options. Since there are no physical buttons, the audio control on the left and the buttons for the main menus are constant on the touchscreen:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_19.jpg

The system gets wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but sadly it doesn’t occupy the full screen. The audio system gets basic controls for tweaking, but the sound quality is very basic and unexciting. The reversing camera quality isn’t great and you don’t get adaptive guidelines:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_20.jpg

No climate control, just a manual HVAC unit. The knobs look very basic and the quality of the plastic isn't that great either. There is a USB port on the left and a 12V socket on the right:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_21.jpg

Below, there is a phone tray that holds a 7-inch phone nicely. There's also an open storage area next to the two cupholders:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_22.jpg

Sweet-looking gear lever of the turbo-petrol variant with 6 gears. The reverse gear is engaged by pulling the collar upward:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_23.jpg

Handbrake is nicely placed next to the gear lever:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_24.jpg

There's a small storage area below to place coins:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_25.jpg

The driver gets an individual foldable armrest. The placement is fine, and some people might like using it, but I preferred having it folded away:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_26.jpg

A closer look at the dashboard trim design and the phone holder slot from the C3 finished in piano black:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_27.jpg

Glovebox is decently sized, but there's no illumination or ventilation here. You do get two clips along with a booklet holder on the inside of the lid:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_28.jpg

Super basic roof light with marked On and Off buttons. The 'Door' option is activated when in the middle position. Bluetooth mic placed on the side:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_29.jpg

The C3 Aircross gets 2 tweeters placed in the A-Pillar:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_30.jpg

Strange that the front passenger doesn’t get a grab handle:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_31.jpg

Rear doorpads have a similar design theme as the front. Door pockets can hold a 1L bottle but nothing more than that:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_32.jpg

The power window buttons for the rear passengers are placed in between the front seats. No rear air-con vents, but you do get a bottle holder and two USB charging points in the middle. Citroen should’ve provided a cover for these USB ports considering they’re placed so close to the floor:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_34.jpg

As mentioned earlier, the C3 Aircross comes with 2 seating configurations. Here’s a look at the middle row of the 5+2 seater version. Note that the middle passenger gets a lap belt and the seats don’t get ISOFIX child seat anchors:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_39.jpg

Here’s me at 5’10” seated behind my driving position and I had about an inch and a half worth of knee room. The backrest angle is comfortable and you can recline it slightly by pulling a string on the side. Good to see adjustable headrests here. The window area is good, and you don’t feel claustrophobic. The under-thigh support is satisfactory:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_40.jpg

With the front seat pushed all the way back, my knees were brushing the backrest. There’s a good amount of space when you push the front seat all the way forward:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_41.jpg

Here’s another look at the maximum and minimum legroom:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_42.jpg

The 5+2-seater version gets a roof-mounted blower unit with 3 fan speeds:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_43.jpg

The rear seat has a 60:40 split and the 40-section tumbles forward for you to get into the third row of seats:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_44.jpg

Here’s a look at the space available for you to crawl into the third row. This is an activity that’s best for kids and flexible adults:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_45.jpg

Here’s a look at the third row of seats. They get adjustable headrests and 3-point seatbelts:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_46.jpg

I could squeeze in the third row of seats, but someone of my height would be very uncomfortable here. There’s no under-thigh support and you are seated in a knees-up position. As mentioned earlier, these are best for kids over short distances:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_47.jpg

I had no legroom and my knees were pushed against the backrest:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_49.jpg

Here’s a look at the quarter glass which is so tiny that it barely makes any difference:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_48.jpg

The third-row passengers get cupholders and the right-side passenger gets two USB charging ports:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_50.jpg

The floor-mounted seatbelt buckles get an elastic band to hold them in place:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_51.jpg

With all the seats up, there’s only 44 litres of boot space:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_52.jpg

You can fold or remove the third row of seats to make more room. The 5+2 seater version with the last row of seats removed has a boot space of 511 litres. With the middle row of seats folded, the boot space expands to 839 litres:
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These are the hooks on which the backrests of the third row get locked. These protrude quite a bit and you need to be careful of your luggage:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_53.jpg

You get baggage hooks on the sides:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_54.jpg

Here’s a look at the rear seat of the 5-seater variant. Note that this version’s seats are fixed 50 mm further behind than the 5+2 seater version which means that there’s more legroom here:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_35.jpg

You also get a center armrest with two cupholders and a slot to keep your mobile phone:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_36.jpg

As mentioned earlier, there’s more legroom in this variant. Seated behind my driving position, I had a couple of inches extra worth of knee room as compared to the 5+2 seater variant. The under-thigh support is satisfactory and the center armrest is set at a comfortable height:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_37.jpg

Here’s a look at the minimum and maximum legroom available in the 5-seater variant:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_38.jpg

Since the rear seats are pushed back, this affects the boot space of this variant. It has a smaller boot of 444 litres. Also, note that the 5-seater variant doesn’t get a 60:40 split:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_55.jpg

The 5-seater variant gets a very long and usable parcel tray:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_56.jpg

The nut to lower the spare wheel has been placed on the left side of the boot:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_57.jpg

The tailgate gets full cladding and two very nicely scooped-out grab handles:
Citroen C3 Aircross Review-2023_citroen_c3_aircross_interior_58.jpg

Disclaimer: Citroen invited Team-BHP for the C3 Aircross test drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 6th August 2023 at 10:48.
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Old 6th August 2023, 09:01   #6
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Re: Citroen C3 Aircross Review

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Old 6th August 2023, 09:21   #7
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Re: Citroen C3 Aircross Review

Seems compromised in too many areas. No automatic, only one variant, less features ( Not even an Automatic Climate Control? Seriously!!). Could not identify one feature that makes it stand out in a fiercely competitive segment. Don't expect the pricing also to make a significant difference considering the positioning of the current Citroen cars.

Citroen is a new brand in India and I am sure they want to make a mark. Surprised that they stopping atleast a couple of steps behind where they should be to make an impact. It is very hard for a new brand/model to capture the fancy of the Indian Customer and you really need to come out with all guns blazing right from the word go to make any kind of impact. Otherwise it will trundle along with some basic volumes before finally getting killed.
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Old 6th August 2023, 09:38   #8
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Re: Citroen C3 Aircross Review

The good part-

It looks quite nice and elegant. The steering wheel also looks nice and premium and I appreciate them for offering a turbo engine.

The negatives-

This one shares a lot of its negatives with the C3. It is better equipped than the C3, but then, it shall also compete in a higher segment where more features are being offered by the competition. The lack of ACC makes the car feel 'cheap'. The shared dashboard with the C3 will make the users feel shortchanged. The instrument cluster while being better than the C3's hilarious cluster, still lacks finesse and is unworthy of this segment. There are other points like the lack of LED lighting or even a basic projector setup, flap type door handles, weird positioning of the rear power window switches, manually folding ORVMs etc.

It is not just the lack of features but the design itself which makes the car look and feel 'cheap'. I think that Citroen's approach of making cheap cars is hurting them. Indians want cars which offer them 'value'. We all know what happened to Nano due to its image. Unless they price the car exceptionally well, I see this one doing poor numbers.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 6th August 2023 at 09:53. Reason: Per earlier note
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Old 6th August 2023, 09:48   #9
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Re: Citroen C3 Aircross Review

I'm okay with the elements carried over from C3. The car looks amazing from the outside. Only if the following were additionally available:
1. Power folding mirrors
2. 60:40 split seats on 5 seater
3. Automatic Climate Control
4. Overall better quality materials
5. Rear AC Vents for 5 seater
6. Automatic Gearbox

The above would have made the package more desirable. Having said this, I think it is a good alternative for Triber, Ertiga, XL6. Certainly not for Creta/Seltos, etc. Or, if someone wants a beater car to drop kids to family, airport runs (a roof carrier on 7 seater would make it apt) , etc., this could be a good option, especially from the used market a year or two later. I get a feeling this one will have more takers than C3. Let's wait and watch!

Last edited by theabstractmind : 6th August 2023 at 09:50. Reason: Added roof carrier.
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Old 6th August 2023, 09:48   #10
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Re: Citroen C3 Aircross Review

I don’t think this car is cost cut. Citroen has spent money and burnt midnight oil to get the basics right - the engine, the gearbox, the build, the chassis, the suspension, the ride and handling and the steering tune. Big respect for that. Where they have bungled, and big time, is in the dressing up part. Poor equipment levels and no automatic option means they have learnt nothing from the poor response to the C3. As such, they will have to play the pricing card. Unfortunately, Indians don’t like cheap. We want the pizzas to go with it.

I don’t think any other sub 15L car has its basics as sorted as the C3 turbo, and the Aircross only builds on it. Credit where it is due.

It’s worth noting that the engine is an MPFi turbo petrol unit like Nexon’s, and not direct injection like Hyundai or VW. Fuel efficiency will be more consistent and it will not be as sensitive as a Sonet or a Taigun. Should be more reliable in the long run too.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 6th August 2023 at 10:03.
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Old 6th August 2023, 09:57   #11
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Re: Citroen C3 Aircross Review

C3 Aircross: Another experiment by Citroen to see if a car from a particular category/segment can sell with prices and features from one segment below.

When I was buying a sub 4m hatchback in 2010 (top variant), I did consider their sedan (Linea) in its base model. I wouldn’t do that in 2020s. Features like auto AC, electric ORVM, cruise control are must have features in this segment.

At the same time, I am willing to buy a lower specced car if the product merits, e.g. I have a S-Cross mid variant (Zeta) that I bought at the price of similarly specced base variant of Creta/Seltos because I found S-Cross to be way better at crrtain aspects (all four disc brakes etc).

As an ex-FIAT owner, I’d never touch another Stellantis product (Jeep, Citroen and the likes). The thin service network and the low sales figures make their dealer starving to milk the few customers they service.
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Old 6th August 2023, 10:23   #12
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Re: Citroen C3 Aircross Review

Excellent review! Rated 5*. Despite the cost cutting the prices can't be lower than 11 L ex-showroom and that's a lot of money and choices are many with better 'feel good features' automatic/AMT, six airbags and huge dealer networks as compared to Citroen. I'll be happy to see Citroen do a Triber price with this C3 Aircross then it will be interesting to see how it sells!! Market has moved away from the real cheap cars of yore, hey Citroen are you listening?? When Triber can get an AMT why not Citroen? When Magnite/Kiger can get a CVT, why not Citroen?

Last edited by Durango Dude : 6th August 2023 at 10:27.
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Old 6th August 2023, 10:36   #13
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Re: Citroen C3 Aircross Review

Citroën has a very take it or leave it attitude with this launch. Why even bother with a few colours? Just decide that one for all! At first glance, this car has only it's good looks to attract a potential buyer. But then nothing much to actually satiate his/her desires.

We were in the market for a car in this segment but immediately struck Citroën off the list for the lack of an automatic + NA engine, amongst other necessary features.

Last edited by GTO : 7th August 2023 at 09:22. Reason: Typo
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Old 6th August 2023, 10:44   #14
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Re: Citroen C3 Aircross Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post


It’s worth noting that the engine is an MPFi turbo petrol unit like Nexon’s, and not direct injection like Hyundai or VW. Fuel efficiency will be more consistent and it will not be as sensitive as a Sonet or a Taigun. Should be more reliable in the long run too.
Are you sure? While the 1.0 Turbo used in the Magnite and Kiger are port injected, I thought that the Puretech 110 used GDI?
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Old 6th August 2023, 10:54   #15
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Re: Citroen C3 Aircross Review

I think the taxes in India are especially harsh on new companies like Citroen looking to establish themselves in the country from scratch which is why we're getting barebones cars these days in addition to skyrocketing costs.

Last edited by GTO : 7th August 2023 at 09:24. Reason: Let's focus on our own review please. Thank you
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