Home / Home / Citroën C3 Aircross Road Test Review – Elbows Out

 

We took the Citroën C3 Aircross out for a spin on the outskirts of the city. With three pedals and a turbocharger, is it capable of taking on its Korean competitors? Let us find out

Story: Charan Karthik

Photography: Apurva Ambep

Citroën launched the C3 Aircross recently and they sent us one with a six-speed manual gearbox and a seating capacity of five.

Let us talk about the exterior first. The car has a beautiful design, as with most Citroën cars, and it brings a fresh breath of air amongst other cars these days that come with over-sized grilles and tiny headlights. The car we got for our test was finished in the “Cosmo Blue” shade for the body and sported a “Polar White” roof. On paper that might not sound like much, but it is a beautiful dual-tone colour when you look at it in person. White accents on mirror-caps and near the front diffuser along with four-spoke silver alloys are further good touches.

As you step inside the cabin, the experience is elevated more with the presence of plush white seats that match the white dashboard which has contrasting bits of piano black panels surrounding the 10.2-inch touchscreen. And, yes, it gets wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, making life easier for all smartphone users.

The seats are comfortable and the driver seat arm-rest is useful, although it feels put together with cost in mind. The centre console has a few physical buttons and rotary knobs for a-c controls. We were out on a hot sunny day and the a-c performed impressively, cooling the entire cabin in a short period of time, one of the plus points of this neat French car. Another thing we noticed was that all the windows had a one-touch down function but not a one-touch up. This could have been included as a feature. The centre console also had charging ports, storage space for your knick-knacks, and two cup-holders. The three-spoke steering wheel has all the buttons to access the instrument console and they felt good to press and were properly integrated into the steering wheel.

Getting to the important stuff, the car is powered by a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine that makes 110 hp and 190 Nm of torque. This car gets a key start unlike many of the cars in the market that have push-button start these days. As you turn the key over, you will be welcomed by the mild thrum of the three-cylinder. As you slot the six-speed gearbox into first and get going, you will realise the clutch is smooth and light. And as you make turns and filter through city traffic, you will feel the steering is very light and is easy to handle. This was definitely helpful for us as we navigated through the stop-and-go city traffic. The car is very responsive from the lower revs and carries itself quite well. It does not feel top-heavy and body-roll is balanced out evenly. As you go up the rev-range, vibrations and engine noise do creep in slowly but not to a troublesome extent. During our test we drove over moderate undulations on the road where the car felt planted and balanced. The suspension was well-calibrated and suited our road conditions.

Braking duties are handled by discs up front and drums at the rear. The brakes are efficient and I had no complaints except about the anti-lock braking system (ABS) kicking in rather early. The tyres are 215/60 R17s and contributed to the decent ride quality of this car.

There are some useful bits on the car such as the complete door shut. No half-close or improper shut, the door closes fully with a thunk as you let go of it. I am not a big fan of this but it is a useful feature to have. Another point I wanted to add is the absence of a dead pedal which will be an issue for people who are looking to drive the car on long journeys. Slotting the car into reverse gear will also take some time getting used to as you have to find the right movement that will pull the lever up and slot it in.

The C3 Aircross Max Dual Tone Vibe Pack comes in at Rs 12.62 lakh (ex-showroom) and it has all the right ingredients—a good motor, spacious and comfortable seats, and proper handling. It is a genuinely practical car to live with and maintain. If Citroën expand their network and focus aggressively on their products, I am sure they can give real competition to Hyundai, Tata, and Maruti Suzuki.

 

About the author: Charan Karthik

 

Correspondent at Car India and Bike India.
Cars over anything!
IG: charankarthikk

 

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