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 December 2016

Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

Our verdict

We can see lots of people falling for the C3 Aircross’s cutesy looks, plus it has the biggest boot here and is available with some practical touches. Sadly, it’s badly let down by the way it drives, and the infotainment system is frustrating to use. It finishes bottom of the pile.

Second spot goes to the Stonic, which impresses in many ways, particularly its punchy engine and tidy handling. It’s a pity that personalisation options are reserved for the higher trims, but it’s the firm ride and uncompetitive PCP deals that ultimately keep the Stonic off the top spot.

The new Arona is the best of the bunch, then. It’s a cracking all-rounder that doesn’t really have any major weakness other than being potentially easy to break into due to its lack of an alarm.

Ultimately, you’ll still find better value in a regular small hatch – such as the brilliant Seat Ibiza – than any of these small SUVs, but the margins are much closer than ever before.

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1st – Seat Arona


Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

For Most entertaining to drive; smoothest ride; roomiest rear seats; cheapest PCP payments; most standard safety kit

Against Weakest engine; no alarm; you can’t add any options

Recommended options None

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Seat Arona review

Find a great Seat Arona deal

2nd – Kia Stonic


Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

For Nippiest acceleration; agile handling; seven-year warranty; logical dashboard

Against Firm ride; no personalisation options on this trim; priciest to buy and run

Recommended options Advanced Driving Assistance Pack (£350)

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Kia Stonic review

Find a great Kia Stonic deal

3rd – Citroën C3 Aircross


Citroën C3 Aircross vs Kia Stonic vs Seat Arona

For Biggest boot; cheapest company car; optional practicality aids

Against Poor ride and handling; sloppy gearshift; grabby brakes; unintuitive infotainment system

Recommended options Family Pack (£490), Exterior Colour Pack (£520)

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Citroën C3 Aircross review

Find a great Citroën C3 Aircross deal

Specifications: Citroën C3 Aircross 1.2 Puretech 110 Feel

Engine size 3cyl, 1199cc, turbo, petrol

List price £16,200

Target Price £15,970

Power 109bhp @ 5500rpm

Torque 151Ib ft @ 1500rpm

Gearbox 5-spd manual

0-60mph 10.5sec

Top speed 115mph

Gov't fuel economy 56.5mpg

True MPG 43.5mpg

CO2 emissions 115g/km

Specifications: Kia Stonic 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 2

Engine size 3cyl, 998cc, turbo petrol

List price £16,995

Target Price £16,995

Power 118bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque 171Ib ft @ 1500-4000rpm

Gearbox 6-spd manual

0-60mph 9.5sec

Top speed 115mph

Gov't fuel economy 56.5mpg

True MPG 41.4mpg

CO2 emissions 115g/km

Specifications: Seat Arona 1.0 TSI 95 SE Technology

Engine size 3cyl, 999cc, turbo, petrol

List price £17,545

Target Price £16,545

Power 94bhp @ 5000-5500rpm

Torque 129Ib ft @ 2000-3500rpm

0-60mph 10.8sec

Top speed 107mph

Gov't fuel economy 57.6mpg

True MPG 45.9

CO2 emissions 111g/km

Read more: The best small SUVs >


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