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New Citroen C3 Aircross to go on sale in early 2018

Citroen's new small SUV is likely to cost around Β£16,000 when it goes on sale next year

Words ByClaire Evans

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Citroen C3 Aircross

You’d be hard-pushed to know by looking at it, but the C3 Aircross is the replacement for Citroen’s ageing C3 Picasso MPV.

The new C3 Aircross aims to be the roomiest and most practical compact SUV on offer when it goes on sale in 2018.

It will compete with existing models, such as the Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka X, as well as other newcomers like the Kia Stonic, which will arrive towards the end of 2017.

It’s the second in Citroen’s new line-up of SUVs; the first is the C5 Aircross, which also goes on sale in 2018.

What’s new on the Citroen C3 Aircross?

Instead of sticking with its predecessor’s boxy people carrier styling, the new C3 Aircross resembles a small, rugged SUV. As well as the high-set driving position you’d expect of such a car, the C3 Aircross has a high bonnet, skid plates front and rear and extra-chunky, contrasting-coloured wheel arches.

It has 20mm more ground clearance than the standard C3, but like that car it is highly customisable, with 90 different personalisation possibilities for the exterior alone.

Buyers can add a contrasting colour to the roof or splashes of colour on the roof bars and air intakes. They can also choose β€œVenetian blind” rear quarterlights, which are made from polycarbonate layered with a coloured film.

What engines will the Citroen C3 Aircross come with?

The C3 Aircross will be offered with a range of Citroen’s PureTech three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. The 1.6-litre diesel is offered with three power outputs: 90, 100 and 120hp, and the 1.2 petrols can be had with 82, 110 or 130hp.

A manual six-speed gearbox is standard, but an automatic gearbox is an option if you choose the 110hp petrol engine.

Backing up its SUV styling, the C3 Aircross can be had with a Grip Control system, which comprises intelligent traction control and all-weather tyres. It has four settings: Standard, Snow, All-terrain and Sand. In Snow setting it provides extra grip at speeds up to 31mph; All-terrain mode is for driving over wet fields and through thick mud, it operates up to 50mph; Sand mode as you may expect is for driving on sand and operates up to 75mph.

What’s the Citroen C3 Aircross like inside?

Inside, Citroen says the C3 Aircross has class-leading headroom and generous leg room. The 60/40 split-folding rear seats slide separately through 150mm to provide extra space for rear seat passengers or the boot. You’re unlikely to need additional boot space often, though, because Citroen claims the C3 Aircross’s 410 litres of luggage capacity is the biggest in the class.

There are a range of storage compartments including a smartphone cubby with wireless charging in the central console, a large, cooled glovebox, big front door pockets and a pair of cupholders in the rear seat’s pull-out, central armrest.

Highlights from the C3 Aircross’s equipment list include a reversing camera that displays a 180-deg view of what’s behind the car on the 7.0-in infotainment screen and a colour driver’s head-up display that projects information on speed and cruise control onto a retractable blade on the dash.

Safety systems include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and a driver drowsiness warning.

How much will the Citroen C3 Aircross cost?

There’s no official word on the price of the Citroen C3 Aircross range yet, but we expect prices to start at around Β£16,000.

Anything else I need to know?

The C3 Aircross joins a crowded car class, other small SUVs on the way include the Seat Arona and Volkswagen T-Roc.

Find a great deal on a Citroen C3 Picasso

Read more - Best and worst small SUVs

Read more - Best used small SUVs


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