Rocking the design style in Citroen Aircross

by Michael Moroney
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Citroen likes to rock the boat when it comes to car design and the French company has been doing so for decades. The new Citroen C3 Aircross continues that trend and smartly converts what could be a bland car design into one that’s far more appealing, as Michael Moroney found out during his recent test drive.

 

Citroen has always been an advocate of change with design styles that have always allowed the French brand to stand out from the crowd. And that’s exactly what the new CitroenC3 Aircross does – it stands out with an unmistaken identity.

For some car buyers the Citroenability to take design risks is the absolute appeal of the brand. For others the Citroendesigners just allow car buyers to make individual statements in so many ways.

The new CitroenC3 Aircross remains true to the Citroenbrand in its identity and fun looking appeal. The test car came with a good blend of colour features including the Venetian blinds style rear quarter window colours. And underneath that modern design style is a car that’s packed with safety and comfort technology.

 

 

While the basic CitroenC3 could be garish adding the Aircross features and style pack has given a new aspect to the car. This car stands high on the road, to emulate a 4×4 in stature, while being more car-like with hints of MPV styling. So you get the benefits of a high driving position and good seat posture along with some off-road ability that comes from the CitroenGrip control system.

The seat position and ease of getting comfortable in the car appealed to me instantly. Seat adjustment was simple and getting set up with mobile phone connection and setting the economy data was quick and easy. That too gave an instant feeling of being comfortable with the car.

 

I took the new CitroenC3 Aircross out on the road and enjoyed the experience behind the 1.2 litre turbo-petrol model, with its higher flair specification. That’s the top level specification and the test car was packed with virtually all you could ask for in a cross-over type car, including a heads-up display system for your driving speed.

The engine performance from the compact three-cylinder petrol unit was lively and well matched to the five-speed gearbox, even if at times I felt that it would have been able for a sixth gear. Out on the road, it pushes you forward without an effort and you’re soon at the 120km/hr limit when motorway cruising.

Engine smoothness at this speed and pace was very acceptable, but fuel consumption was a little higher than I would have expected. The economy sweet spot will be closer to 100km/hr, even if this lively engine just wants to do more. So I found that over my 1,000km weekly drive, this car had a range of about 675km on a full 45 litre fuel tank.

 

The CitroenC3 Aircross is also available with a 1.6 litre turbo-diesel engine and while the public debate about the cleanliness of diesel engines rages on, the reality is that the diesel version is a good 20% fuel efficient. For longer haul drivers, those like me who regularly cover close to 1,000km per week in commutes or for weekend fun, then the diesel power has to be a serious consideration.

While colour styling might the feature that makes the CitroenC3 Aircross stand out, the technology options are at the core of the new C3 Aircross with 12 different technologies available. These include voice controlled 3D navigation, keyless entry and start, 60/40 sliding rear bench, lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring.

 

The new CitroenC3 Aircross has good rear legroom, even if elbow room could be tight for three. The boot space is modular in design and can be up to 520 litres in volume.
The car has scored maximum 5 Euro NCAP rating for car safety (for models fitted with either Safety Pack 1 or Safety Pack 2 (Standard on Flair models). A lane departure warning system is standard and easily disengaged for smaller rural roads.

Entry prices are very competitive at €20,695 and adding extra specification is not as financially painful as with some other brands. You can get a range-topping model with almost all you can ask for in technology and a six-speed automatic gearbox for a little over €26,000.

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