Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

SUVs based on small hatchbacks have their flaws, but they’re getting better all the time. The Citroën C3 Aircross, Kia Stonic and Seat Arona are proof of that - but which is best?...

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What Car? team
23 Dec 2016 08:00 | Last updated: 30 Aug 2018 10:20

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

As is often the case with small cars, we’d recommend avoiding the C3 Aircross’s optional panoramic roof (£950) if you’re tall or plan on carrying anyone who is. It may flood the interior with light, but it badly compromises head room, particularly in the back. You won’t have any such dilemma on the Arona or Stonic, because neither is offered with a panoramic roof and both have enough head room (front and rear) to comfortably accommodate occupants well over six feet tall.

 

Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

If you had to sit in the back on a long journey, you’d choose the Arona; its extra leg room over the Stonic means you feel slightly less hemmed in, although the fact that the frame of the rear door is right next to your head does block your outside view. The C3 Aircross has the least rear knee room but is just about the most comfortable for three adults sitting side by side, mainly because its seats are mounted relatively high and the person sitting in the middle doesn’t have to straddle a chunky transmission tunnel.

The C3 Aircross’s optional Family Pack (£490) seems like a no-brainer; it adds, among several important safety aids, sliding rear seats. These allow you to prioritise rear leg room or boot space at your will, although our car didn’t have this feature fitted for us to test. The Arona and Stonic have no such tricks up their sleeves, but all three cars have rear seats that fold down in a 60/40 split.

 

Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

With the rear seats in place, the C3 Aircross has the longest and tallest boot and managed to swallow six carry-on suitcases – one more than its rivals. Still, even the Stonic, which has the shortest and shallowest load bay, can carry almost as many shopping bags as a VW Golf; it’s just a pity that there’s no height-adjustable boot floor to reduce the hefty 11cm lip at the boot. The Arona and C3 Aircross come with height-adjustable boot floors as standard, so their boot entrances are flush with the floors of their load bays.

Citroën C3 Aircross

 

Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

Has the longest and tallest boot, so you can ultimately ¬fit the most clobber in it. It does have the narrowest boot aperture, though.

Boot 410-1289 litres Suitcases 6

Kia Stonic

 

Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

It’s disappointing that you can’t have a height-adjustable boot floor with the 2 trim, resulting in a big lip at the boot entrance. But floor of load area is nice and square.

Boot 352-1155 litres Suitcases 5

Seat Arona

 

Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

Has the widest load area and you get a height-adjustable floor as standard. Boot space is roughly on a par with a Volkswagen Golf’s – impressive for this class.

Boot 400-1280 litres Suitcases 5