- Citroen has launched the C3 Aircross SUV in India, which is the brand’s third model for the country and will go on sale in the second half of 2023.
- The C3 Aircross SUV is powered by a single 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine producing 110hp and 190Nm of torque and is substantially larger than the C3 hatchback, with a much greater footprint.
The new Citroen C3 Aircross SUV has made its global premiere in India, joining the C3 hatchback and C5 Aircross SUV as the brand’s third model for the country. The new C3 Aircross SUV will go on sale in India in the second half of 2023, giving Citroen more traction in the country.
Citroen Brand CEO Thierry Koskas told Autocar India at the launch, “Ours is a progressive growth and you must remember we have 30 dealers, but very soon, with the Aircross launch, we will double that and by the end of the year, we will have 100.”
The C3 Aircross is based on the brand’s CMP modular platform and is the second product in the company’s C Cubed initiative for India. While it shares the C3 moniker, design characteristics, and motor with the C3 hatchback, the Aircross is substantially longer and has a longer wheelbase, making it a midsize SUV competitor.
Powertrain of C3 Aircross
The C3 Aircross is powered by a single 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine producing 110hp and 190Nm of torque. This is the same engine that is used in the C3. In terms of gearbox, the C3 Aircross will initially be available with a six-speed manual gearbox. There will also be an automatic, however our sources say Citroen is having difficulty obtaining units from supplier AISIN. However, no diesel engines will be available, despite the fact that diesel is still a popular fuel choice in this segment.
The C3 Aircross’s lone petrol engine is comparable to its rivals’ entry-level normally aspirated petrol engines or the VW-Skoda duo’s 1.0-litre turbo-petrols. All competitors also offer higher displacement turbo-petrol engines with significantly greater power, or hybrid powertrains like the Grand Vitara and Urban Cruiser Hyryder.
Citroen, on the other hand, is confident in its powerplant. “The engine is really great, and there is no need for a more powerful engine, and even when tested against competitors, you will find we are really well placed,” Koskas added.
About Exterior Features of Citroen C3 Aircross SUV
While the brand has revealed little specifics about the new C3 Aircross SUV, we do know that it will be 4.3 metres long, which puts it on level with the Creta. In terms of style, the C3 Aircross takes obvious styling inspirations from the Citroen family and the C3. However, it is substantially larger than the hatchback and has a much greater footprint.
The front badge, like other Citroens, is integrated into the grille, which has a two-layer design with chrome and piano black accents. It also gets Citroen’s distinctive Y-shaped daytime running lights, with the headlamps situated directly beneath. Even in fully-loaded form, the Aircross gets halogen headlamps, when most rivals offer full-LEDs in their top-spec models. The front bumper is tall and features a dedicated air intake vent flanked by spherical fog lamp housings. A prominent chin is also finished in brushed metal.
The C3 Aircross has round wheel arches and a wheelbase that is 2,671mm longer than the Creta. It also receives cladding right below the doors, on the wheel arches, and on the doors, as seen on previous Citroen vehicles. The C3 has 200mm more ground clearance than the Creta. The doors appear to be large, yet they have traditional lift-type door handles rather than popular pull-type versions.
Higher-end models will get dual-tone exterior paint and massive 17-inch alloy wheels with an X-shaped design. It has a big tailgate, tall bumpers with appropriate cladding, and squarish taillamps that are greater in size than the smaller C3.
Interior Features of Citroen C3 Aircross
Citroen has effectively provided the C3 Aircross with two seating configurations. There will be a normal five-seat version as well as a three-row option that is best described as a 5+2 seating configuration. Citroen states that the 5-seat C3 Aircross has a 444-litre boot, while the 7-seater form has 511 litres with the third row fully removed.
The dashboard design has been carried over intact from the C3 hatchback, however there are fresh colours and textures to add some distinctiveness. The 10.0-inch infotainment touchscreen is also intact, and it remains slick to use with excellent visuals and good touch responsiveness.
Notably, the cabin feels more luxurious than that of the C3 hatchback. The wing mirrors can now be adjusted electronically, and the all-digital instrument cluster is vastly enhanced over the C3’s very basic arrangement. The images are much more bright and sharp, and there is a lot more information on show. The leatherette upholstery and soft cushioning on the door armrests of the top-spec trim also contribute to the overall feel-good factor.
However, overall quality and equipment levels remain considerably behind competition or category norms. Even on the top-spec trim, the lack of automated air conditioning is a big oversight, leave alone the fact that the manual rotary knobs for the AC feel coarse to handle and are not well damped at all. It also lacks options like heated seats, wireless charging, and, most importantly, a sunroof, which are key draws for customers in this market. Because the 5+2-seater version has roof-mounted AC vents, there is no possibility for a sunroof.
Overall build quality and plastics quality are also subpar – there are numerous hard surfaces around the cabin. Another annoyance with the second row is that the rear power window controls are positioned in between the front seats, and they are quite a reach to operate. However, overall room is enough, and the chairs are quite pleasant.
However, the third row is best reserved for children or for short trips. The rear quarter glass area is too small to be called a window, the seatback is too upright, and you sit with your legs raised. There are two little cup holders and two USB chargers to keep your electronics charged.
Citroen C3 Aircross competitors, pricing, and release date
When it is released, the C3 Aircross will fight against well-known rivals such as the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Maruti Grand Vitara, Toyota Hyryder, Volkswagen Taigun, and Skoda Kushaq. The C3 Aircross price will be announced in the second half of this year.
Given that the Aircross lacks features and has a smaller and less powerful engine than its competitors, aggressive pricing will be critical in attracting purchasers. After all, this is one of the market’s most highly contested categories, with practically every big manufacturer holding a sizable piece of the pie.