Citroen C3 Aircross 1.2 PureTech 110 You 5dr

  • Manual
  • Petrol
  • 5 door suv
  • 134 g/km CO2
  • 134 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 10.1 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 110 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

On paper, Citroen's revitalised C3 Aircross ticks almost every box for families looking for a small, versatile and stylish B-segment SUV. There's trendy looks, a versatile cabin space for up to seven and the choice of conventional, Hybrid or full-electric drivetrains. It's a car that'll really put its brand on the map in this sector.

Background

What if you could have the style and adventurous feel of a small SUV. Combined with the interior space and flexibility of a small MPV People Carrier? It's a combination of virtues that many brands have promised. But which possibly this car actually delivers - the Citroën C3 Aircross, in full second generation form completely redesigned around the latest Stellantis Group 'Smart Car' platform. That chassis is this European conglomerate's base for the compact models it hopes will be able to compete in value terms with cars produced in lands with cheaper labour. We've already seen it introduced in a Citroen that shares much with this SUV, the fourth generation C3 supermini. This is a very different kind of C3 Aircross to the car that back in 2017 launched Citroen's presence in the crossover segment for supermini SUVs and was substantially refreshed in 2021. Primarily, it's bigger, which means you can now have the seven-seat option that's unusual in this class. And there's also now a full-electric version - plus a full-Hybrid to compensate for the deletion of diesel. For a family in search perhaps of a second car, this is a very complete-looking contender.

Driving Experience

As expected, this C3 Aircross fronts up with the usual portfolio of Stellantis Group powertrains for a car in this class. If affordability is everything, you'll stick with the conventional option, 1.2-litre turbocharged three cylinder PureTech petrol engine with 100hp, mated to that fast-disappearing kind of transmission, a manual gearbox (this one with 6 speeds). For this second generation C3 Aircross, there's no diesel alternative. Instead, Citroen wants you to consider its 48V Hybrid powerplant, which will primarily sell in 100hp form. Here, much the same 1.2-litre petrol engine is based around a unique 6-speed e-DSC6 auto transmission with an electric motor built into it, powered by a tiny battery. This motor can take over driving duties for up to 50% of the time in urban traffic. If that still not quite enough electrification for you, then you'll be directed to the priciest E-C3 Aircross, which uses the same drivetrain as its E-C3 supermini sibling. It uses a 44kWh battery with an EV range not too far short of 200 miles, that battery energising a 111hp electric motor on the front axle, propelling the car to 62mph in around 12s en route to 84mph. Ride comfort is a traditional Citroen attribute, so the Advanced Comfort shock absorber hydraulic bump stops from larger models are carried over to this one. The remainder of the damping set-up is conventional, with MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear end. What's differs the C3 Aircross from the C3 supermini is this SUV model's slightly raised driving position. That's due to greater ground clearance, though there's not enough of that to facilitate the off-road adventures the chunky styling suggests this Citroen might be up for.

Design and Build

Predictably, the blocky, squarical styling that Citroen's decided will characterise its future models (derived from the company's Oli concept car of 2022) suits this C3 Aircross better than it does the fourth generation C3 supermini. Like the other Stellantis Group design in this segment that shares that conglomerate's 'Smart Car' platform, the Vauxhall Frontera, it's much bigger than the car it replaces, 200mm longer than the old C3 Aircross, with a much more overtly SUV vibe. Larger wheels in arches with chunky cladding, extra ground clearance and roof rails all feature and the wings and wheel tracks are wider than the C3 donor model. The bluff front end sees the brand's new badge sitting prominently on the chevron-patterned grille. Personalisation was a draw for this car's predecessor and here again, the contrasting paint on the lower quarter panel and front bumper is customisable. Inside, it's all very different from the previous model. As with the C3 supermini, this C3 Aircross features what Citroen calls a 'head-up display', which actually isn't that at all; instead, it's a narrow letterbox-like strip which houses a small selection of digital instruments, primarily speed and range. This works with the almost equally unusual oblong-shaped over-buttoned steering wheel. Avoid base trim and you get a central infotainment screen, a 10-inch monitor that at last Citroen has learned not to over-burden with climate controls, which are separated out lower down. Fabric inserts and novel detailing supply the required Gallic vibe, as do the squashy Active Comfort seats. In the second row, there's comfortable room for a couple of adults and, as with the old model, there's a sliding rear bench. Which this new-era C3 Aircross needs because (unusually for a B-segment SUV), it offers the option of a third seating row. As you can imagine though, that'll be pretty cramped and is intended for small children only. Most of the time, you'll have those chairs folded out of the way so you can better access the decently-sized boot.

Market and Model

Expect prices for this second generation C3 Aircross to start at around £20,000, which would pitch this car only just above the rival that's currently the most affordable seven-seater on sale in the UK, Dacia's Jogger. Think in terms of needing around £1,800 more to graduate from a conventional PureTech 100hp engine with manual transmission to the 100hp 1.2-litre 48V Hybrid auto. You'll need to budget from around £25,000 for the full-EV E-C3 Aircross. Whatever your choice of powertrain, there's a choice of three trim levels - 'You!', 'Plus' and 'Max'. All models get the brand's Advanced Comfort suspension, along with manual air conditioning, rear parking sensors and auto headlamps. Base 'You!' spec does without the central infotainment display but with this variant, Citroen does provide a docking point for your phone. Most C3 Aircross customers will start their perusal of the line-up from mid-spec 'Plus' level, which includes 17-inch alloy wheels, squashier Advanced Comfort seats, two-tone paint and a 10.25-inch central infotainment display with 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring. Top 'Max' spec adds LED tail lights, navigation, a wireless charging mat, a rear parking camera tinted rear glass, automatic air conditioning and rear electric windows.

Cost of Ownership

Small SUVs can't be as efficient as the superminis they're based upon: extra weight and bluffer aerodynamics put paid to that. This C3 Aircross is no exception to that rule, in terms of weight tipping the scales at about 100 kilograms more than an ordinary C3. That exacts a penalty of about 10% on the fuel and CO2 emissions figures you can expect - which is a premium that we expect most potential owners will be quite happy to pay in return for the extra fashionability of running a car of this kind. It's worth pointing out though, that the inherent lightness of that standard C3 means that this SUV version's extra weight doesn't leave it as being a particularly heavy car. It doesn't actually weigh very much more than something like, say, an ordinary Vauxhall Corsa supermini. And the result should be a very efficient set of running costs. We would expect around 55mpg on the combined cycle and about 110g/km of CO2 from the conventional 1.2-litre PureTech variant. With the 48V Hybrid model, you could probably improve that to around 60mpg and closer to 100g/km. Citroen claims that the E-C3 Aircross is capable of getting on for 200 miles of range and rapid charging at rates of up to 100kW, which allows for a 20-80% charge in 26 minutes. At home, you'll be able to AC charge from 20-80% from 7.4kW garage wall box in just over 4 hours. If your property has a three-phase supply, you'll also be able to charge at 11kW, in which case the 20-80% charging time will fall to just under 3 hours. All versions of this model will be covered by the brand's usual unremarkable three year/60,000 mile warranty, plus the battery will have its own eight year cover package.

Summary

If the automotive market was sensible and rational, this would be a small MPV - like the old C3 Picasso. And in many ways it is: just one with an SUV mindset. We like that combination and there's no reason why potential buyers shouldn't too. This rejuvenated second generation C3 Aircross doesn't look likely to be especially fun to drive but few B-segment SUVs are. What actually matters is that it's fun to look at and fun to sit in, which ought to also make it fun to own. Yet at the same time, this model's pretty much as practical as the MPV it probably would have been a few years ago. Its other main attributes are distinctly Citroën ones. The cossetting Active Comfort seats and Advanced Comfort shock absorber hydraulic bump stops. A level of possible personalisation far beyond what you'll be offered by competitor models in this class. Light weight and efficient engines, which together mean very competitive running costs. And up-front affordability which could easily see you in a C3 Aircross at a substantial saving over comparable versions of key class rivals. And in summary? Well this is Citroën's idea of what a small SUV of this kind should be - and that makes it a little different from your other choices in this class. Which might mean you'll end up liking this car a lot more than you thought you were going to.

  • Tailgate
  • Bluetooth hands free and media streaming with USB socket
  • Citroen connected DAB radio with 6 speakers
  • Steering wheel mounted controls for stereo and telephone
  • Body colour painted door handles
  • Chrome chevrons front grille
  • Front and rear body coloured bumpers
  • Integrated roof spoiler
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Roof aerial
  • YOU signature
  • 12v socket in front
  • Centre console with open storage
  • Driver and front passenger cup holders
  • Front and rear door storage
  • Glovebox with closable lid
  • Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • Leather steering wheel with satin chrome inserts and radio controls
  • Manual handbrake with chrome insert
  • Satin chrome interior door handles
  • Gloss black colour pack - C3 Aircross
  • 3 point, height adjustable, pre tensioned front seatbelts
  • Automatic illumination of hazard warning lights
  • Curtain airbags
  • Driver airbag
  • Drivers/passengers and rear seats unfastened seat belt warning
  • Front lateral airbags
  • Front passenger airbag
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation switch
  • Mono-tone horn
  • Rear door child safety locks
  • Three 3 point rear seatbelts
  • Tyre pressure monitor
  • Automatic door and boot locking with automatic unlocking in case of impact
  • Automatic locking of the vehicle (after 30 seconds if door or boot unopened)
  • Immobiliser
  • Perimetric and volumetric anti theft alarm
  • Remote central locking + deadlocks
  • Vehicle locater function (headlights illuminate when button on key pressed)
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 134
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 147
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 134
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1199
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 75
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 90.5
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Gears: 6 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 5.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 7.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 5.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEH: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEL: 4.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 4.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 43.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 54.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEH: 39
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEL: 50.9
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEH: 49.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEL: 62.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEH: 40
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEL: 44
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEH: 45.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEL: 57.7
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.2
  • Badge Power: 110
  • Coin Description: PureTech 110
  • Coin Series: You
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 18E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 10.1
  • Engine Power - BHP: 110
  • Engine Power - KW: 81
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5500
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 151
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 20.9
  • Engine Torque - NM: 205
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1750
  • Top Speed: 116
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/60 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/60 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: X-CROSS
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Height: 1637
  • Length: 4155
  • Wheelbase: 2604
  • Width: 1765
  • Width (including mirrors): 1976
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 45
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1795
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1289
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 410
  • Max. Loading Weight: 579
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 840
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 600
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1216
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.8