Citroen C3 Aircross India Review: A Mid-Size SUV For Practical Buyers With Big Families [Video]

The Indian auto industry is quite an interesting space for the global automakers. It’s so predictable that it becomes difficult to conquer. Case in point, the mid-size SUV segment, which is a darling for the carmakers. We have seen so many SUVs in this space, yet only a couple of them can be called successful. Yet, Citroen, the French automaker has decided to enter this cluttered space with this C3 Aircross SUV. In their own words, they are late to the party, but the things you are getting in this SUV hasn’t been offered by any rival yet, making it quite an interesting proposal to the buyers. So what new is the Citroen C3 Aircross offering to the buyers, we tell you in our first drive review.

Citroen C3 Aircross: Watch Video Review

Citroen C3 Aircross: Modular Cabin

First things first, here’s a basic understanding on the car! It’s the 4th product from Citroen in India after the C5 Aircross, C3 and eC3 EV. The C3 Aircross positions itself as a mid-size SUV having 4.3-metre length but what differentiates it with competition is the fact that it gets a 7-seater option as well, which is further modular. And since this 7-seater configuration is the biggest USP of this car over the rivals, we will discuss about the arrangement first.

As per Citroen, the car can either be bought in a 5 or a 5+2 confirguration, that offers the SUV an option to have 7 seating arrangements as per the need of the individuals. Further, you can remove the last row of seats very easily. As per Citroen, it hardly takes 30 sec to remove the seats, which we did in only 15 seconds.

This functionality o having a 5+2 seater is enticing for bigger families, who can either opt for seating, or can fold it to form a bigger boot. For reference, with the last row up, or in 5 seat configuration, the Citroen C3 Aircross has 511-litre boot capacity, which is massive. Not only that the wheelbase is rated at 2671 mm, that lends ample space to the SUV inside the cabin.

Seating 3 adults at the middle seat is an hassle free affair with enough headroom, legroom and shoulder room. Accessing the rear seat is not that difficult, but the seats are meant for children, or carrying adults for shorter distances only. The good thing is that you get roof installed AC vents for both 2nd and 3rd row.

Citroen C3 Aircross: Features

The cabin of the Citroen C3 Aircross invokes mixed bag of emotions and it’s almost like two extremes are fighting with each other. On one hand you get a simple yet brilliant 7-inch coloured digital instrument panel, and a free standing 10.2-inch infotainment screen, and on the another Citroen missed out on sunroof, let alone a panoramic one, climate control to name a few things.

In fact, you also dont get basic stuff like push button start, wireless charging among other stuff, which rivals are offering. What you get is My Citroen connect app with 35 features, Rear park assist, TPMS, wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play and Auto stop start. Further, one can choose between 2 interior trims, depending on the exterior colour options. While the material quality is questionable, the SUV is high on practicality with enough pockets to keep your stuff.

Citroen C3 Aircross: Design

Speaking on exteriors, the Citroen C3 Aircross is unique, and modern, just like other Citroen cars. With 200 mm ground clearance, it’s easily one of the best looking SUVs, if not the best SUV in the segment. At the front you get Y shaped headlights with neatly integrated Chevron logo, while at the sides are 17 inch wheels with petal shaped diamond cut alloys. There are 10 paint options to choose from, 4 mono, and 6 dual tone, while citroen is offering 4 customisation pack options as well.

Citroen C3 Aircross: Engine

Citroen is playing a gamble to offer the C3 Aircross with only one engine option, which is a 1.2 litre turbo engine with 110 ps and 190 nm output. Further, there’s only a 6-speed manual gearbox option and no automatic unit is offered. Although the company says the automatic unit will be added pretty soon. Now I am calling it a gamble as the competition gets multiple options like diesel, strong hybrid as well as CNG engines and that may push away few buyers from Citroen.

Having said that, the SUV does offer a promising mileage of 18.5 kmpl and is tuned to counter Indian roads with an approach angle of 20.5 degree and departure angle of 25 degree. But what differentiates the Citroen C3 Aircross with other offering is the supreme ride quality of the SUV, thanks to its patented Flying carpet effect, which makes you feel like you are gliding on the road.

Citroen is known for its comfort, and the C3 Aircross doesn’t disappoints in this department. To achieve something like this on Indian roads is something commendable. Not only this, the steering feedback is incredible, while the NVH levels are controlled as well.

Citroen C3 Aircross: Verdict

The Citroen C3 Aircross has raised more questions than answers. While I really felt that offering a modular cabin with 5+2 seating configuration can be a big game changer, not offering enough features in comparison to the rivals is a big turn down. Similarly, while the design is unique, only one engine and gearbox option is again a big let down. So who can buy the C3 Aircross? A person with big family who wants a practical vehicle, with SUV design and incredible ride quality.

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