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Citroen C3 Aircross Review

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Citroen C3 Aircross Review

The C3 Aircross is the latest compact SUV offering from the French firm. A bigger version of the C3 hatchback.

Citroen here isn’t shy to show how their studies of contemporary design are implemented in their vehicles. Our test unit is the entry-level 1.2 Feel.

Engine & Transmission

The C3 aircross is powered by a 3-cylinder 1.2l Turbo Puretech engine mated to a 6-speed conventional automatic gearbox.

The engine pushes out 83kw of power & 205nm of torque. The drivetrain here moves the Aircross smoothly with linear power delivery & enough torque to get the vehicle moving with a sense of urgency. It’s pleasant to punt around town with the C3 Aircross with a properly programmed automatic gearbox too. While a quiet engine, the burble from the 3-cylinder unit is pleasing on the ears.

Combined Fuel consumption within our test period hovered around the 6.5l-7.0l/100km mark. Not too shabby for a compact SUV.

Handling & Comfort.

It’s been known for ages that Citroen has pioneered class-leading ride quality from as early as the 1960s. Upon telling some friends that I was testing out a Citroen, ride comfort was something I was told to really pay attention to. They were not wrong.

It’s unbelievable how the road holding of this vehicle is on South African roads. It absorbs bumps gently but at the same time is responsive enough to not be floaty.

Highway comfort is the biggest stand out though. I can confidently road trip this vehicle with minimal road noise.

Cheers to the testament that is Citroen Ride Quality.

Safety Features

The Citroen C3 Aircross scores 5 stars on the Euro NCAP Safety Test.

You get driver, passenger, curtain & side airbags. ISOFIX mounts for child seats are present.

Apart from the usual standard driving safety systems such as ABS & traction control, in addition to those you get Hill Start Assist, Emergency brake assist, lane departure warning, electric child lock system & a tyre pressure sensor system.

As far as families go, this is a perfectly safe vehicle to manage the hazards of driving.

Design.

Along with the ride quality, Design is a notable part of the C3 Aircross.

The design theme here follows a shape, being a rectangle with rounded-off edges. You can see this both in the interior & on the exterior. Not only that, the cabin feels as though you’ve walked into a upper class furniture shop. The interior may seem rudimentary but the execution of contemporary & chique design is quite evident. French design is unique in that it pays attention to aspects like that. The colours used here are 3-tone, namely grey, gloss black & small satin silver trim accents. It’s tastefully done & not in your face about it all.

There’s a lot of hard plastic in the interior but there are padded areas for where your arms would rest & the leather-wrapped steering wheel is great to hold in the hands. You get soft fabric seats but there is some pleasure to the touch & breathable fabric used which, again, appeals to that modern furniture store aesthetic.

Sadly, I have to give minus points to the centre console design. You get an infotainment system with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay. This is sufficient but the kicker is that the aircon controls are integrated into the infotainment system. It’s cumbersome at times to adjust the fan controls because it’s all in a separate menu. It should have been a separate unit much like other cars. Away from the infotainment. Where the aircon controls would be generally, has a very shallow storage pocket.

Of course, the exterior maintains the assertive design. The C3 Aircross is a looker with some road presence. I praise the attention given to the window visibility. It’s very easy to see out of the windows, especially when you need to check blind spots while driving.

What surprised me the most here is the clever use of Steel wheels & hubcaps. From afar, the C3 Aircross in Feel trim looks like it has alloy wheels, but upon closer inspection, there’s a well designed steel wheel & hubcap combo. Very nice touch.

If you’re into design, then this car will tickle your fancy.

Price & Maintenance.

The C3 Aircross in Feel Trim will set you back R401 900. With that, you get a 3 year/60000km Service plan. A 5 year/100000km warranty plan. A 5 year/100000km Roadside Assistance plan. Finally, a 12 year Anti-Perforation & 3 year paint warranty. There is also the ‘Shine’ Trim with a few extra features costing R424 900.

Conclusion.

First & foremost, the C3 Aircross is a vehicle that prides itself on superior ride quality & contemporary chic design. If you’re into that sort of thing, the C3 Aircross is definitely for you. It’s a pleasant car to experience & one that will leave you with a gentle smile on your face.

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