Citroen’s a brand that’s always happy to stand out, and with the arrival of the C3 Aircross in 2017, it was a perfect demonstration as to this. With a bold design, chunky SUV styling features and plenty of personalisation, it has proven popular with those looking for something a bit different.
It arguably competes in the most competitive segment in the UK, and with a raft of new rivals, it’s now starting to show its age somewhat. So for 2021, it gets a range of tweaks – notably a bold new front end inspired by the Cxperience concept car, as well as even greater personalisation, with 70 different looks now available.
Elsewhere, there’s the addition of Citroen’s acclaimed ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats, as seen on other models from the French firm in recent years, while there’s new technology on the interior, too. Let’s find out if that’s good enough, though.
The engine range in the C3 Aircross remains the same as before, with a range of petrol and diesel options, though no hybrid or electric alternative – something that’s been introduced to various rivals.
Let’s start with petrol versions, with Citroen offering a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine with outputs of 108bhp or 128bhp. The former is mated to a six-speed manual, while the more powerful option uses an automatic instead. Both are capable of 0-60mph in around 10 seconds, and feel punchy enough for a car of this type.
If you fancy something a bit more frugal (expect around 45mpg with the petrols), you should take a look at the 108bhp 1.5-litre turbodiesel option. Coming with a manual gearbox and capable of 60mpg, according to Citroen, there’s scope for affordable running costs.
Ride and handling
While other manufacturers take a sportier stance, Citroen prioritises comfort above all else. While some find the ride a bit too soft, the Aircross effortlessly soaks up bumps and potholes in the road, having a better ride than many cars double or triple the price. The Advanced Comfort seats found on top-spec cars are superb, too, offering plenty of support and a really soft feel that makes longer trips a delight.
There is a trade off to this softness, and that’s that the C3 won’t be a car you’ll enjoy driving in a spirited manner down a country road – having a tendency to lean in the corners where rivals like the Seat Arona will feel more planted. Given this Citroen invites you to drive in a more sedate fashion, though, it’s hardly a weakness.
Interior and equipment
Just like the exterior of the C3 Aircross gets a facelift, so does the interior. There’s a greater focus on quality, with more fabric elements being used around the cabin, along with more attractive stitching. A larger widescreen nine-inch touchscreen can also be found on models in higher trim levels.
It’s also one of the more practical cars in this segment, with a decent amount of rear space for adults and a roomy boot. Sliding rear seats are another useful asset to the Aircross, too.
In terms of trim levels, there are three available – C-Series, Shine and Shine Plus. All versions get plenty of kit, with C-Series benefitting from 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rear parking sensors and a seven-inch touchscreen with DAB radio, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. Upgrading to the Shine brings a larger nine-inch media system with satellite navigation, along with larger 17-inch alloy wheels and more in the way of driver assistance technology.
At the top of the range, the Shine Plus gains the aforementioned Advanced Comfort Seats, as well as a two-tone colour scheme, a reversing camera and keyless entry.
The C3 Aircross has always been one of the more affordable models in this segment, and with the range starting from £17,320, it remains good value for money considering the space, style and equipment on offer.
Prices rise to just over £23,000 for a top-spec petrol model, though even this seems like decent value for money next to rivals. A range-topping Nissan Juke, for example, would set you back almost £27,000.
The tweaks on this latest Citroen C3 Aircross might not be hugely significant, but they build on what this crossover already excelled on. With even more comfort on offer than before, as well as additional technology, it’s quite capable of challenging some of the best in this class.
With a roomy interior and affordable prices, it will certainly tick plenty of boxes for buyers in this market, and is well worth considering.Enquire on a new Citroen C3 Aircross