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15 Jun 2018

What We Dislike
Build quality isn't great
Lacks refinement
Not particularly fun to drive

The new Citroen C3 Aircross is a quirky-looking compact crossover that's highly practical.

Hopping from the Opel Crossland X into the Citroen C3 Aircross is a little like going from a Sunday family dinner at Aunt Marge's to a graphic designer's house warming party.

If you're wondering why the comparison, that's because the C3 Aircross shares its platform and many elements with the Crossland X, a result of the Citroen-Peugeot and Opel-Vauxhall agreement to co-develop small crossovers.

It does look like something that came out of a cartoon

In fact, the design of the C3 Aircross, with its pudgy proportions, slatted rear quarter glass and animated two-tier headlamps, is so unorthodox it even makes the already funky-looking Citroen C4 Cactus look slightly drab.

The C3 Aircross looks a little like the love child of Ralph Wiggum and a Smurf

The unreserved personality of the car continues on the inside, where pops of contrasting trim can be found on the steering, air-con vents and seats. It's as if everything has been designed to be interesting to look at rather than purely functional, such as the unusually shaped handbrake.

But past its one-too-many oddities, there are several features that hint at a great family crossover.

For example, with a wheelbase of 2,604mm, it's about the roomiest small crossover in the market today. And the broad seats, which can be split and slid in numerous ways, are as comfortable as seasoned home sofa.

Cabin design is interesting but lacks the fit and finish of other European-made models

More importantly, the amount of storage bins and cup holders on offer meet the standards of its class, while its 410-litre boot is bigger than even the sensible Hyundai Kona's.

There is, however, one glaring flaw. Fit and finish is shoddy, while materials used feel cheap to the touch. The driver seat armrest for one, feels as if it's made out of cardboard and stuffing, while the dash and doors are covered in hollow plastics.
How's its drive, though?

Get past that, the C3 Aircross is actually quite decent to drive. A large part of the credit goes to the PSA Group's PureTech 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine that powers it, supplying 110bhp to the front wheels.

While lacking refinement and power, there's 205Nm of torque available from down low, which makes for punchy, easy city driving. But the one downside of the powertrain is its six-speed transmission, which isn't as decisive as we hoped.

Evidently geared towards efficiency, it can be unwilling to downshift but does reward with an impressive 16km/L when driven sensibly.

1.2-litre turbo PureTech engine produces 110bhp and 205Nm of torque

There's also little to complain about the way it absorbs imperfections in the road, often tackling them reasonably calmly. At the same time, it's easy to park and manoeuvre at low speeds.

Would you get one?

On first glance, the C3 Aircross might just be another quirky car aimed at people who don't really like cars at all. Much like a housewarming party, it can be a little too loud and too tiring simply to even look at.

Plushy seats and a spacious cabin that easily seats five make up for the lack of build quality

Admittedly, past its quirks and tacky build quality, there's a good amount of practicality for small families living in a small city like ours, where all you want to do is get from point to point in a fuss-free manner.

But if it's driving fun you're after, you could be better off looking at rivals like the Hyundai Kona and the Seat Arona.
Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


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Engine Type


3-cylinder in-line Turbocharged

Engine Cap





82kW (110 bhp) / 5500 rpm



205 Nm / 1500 rpm



6-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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