Citroen C3 Aircross First Look: In Pictures

With the C3 Aircross, Citroen is aiming to secure a slice of the lucrative compact SUV market in India

By Amaan Ahmed


28-Apr-23 01:04 PM IST



  • Based on the same platform as the C3, the C3 Aircross is significantly larger.
  • Offers up to 7 seats, but space in third row is at a premium.
  • C3 Aircross likely to undercut other compact SUVs by a substantial margin.

Within a year of launching its first mass-market offering for India in the form of the C3 hatchback, Citroen has jumped straight into another high-stakes segment with the C3 Aircross. An all-new offering rolled out under the French carmaker's C-Cubed programme that promises one new model every year till 2023, the C3 Aircross hopes to lure customers away from the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder. We had a closer look at the latest entrant in the compact SUV space at its global debut in New Delhi, and here are all the key details of Citroen India's newest family member.


Also Read: Citroen C3 Aircross SUV Debuts With 5 And 7-Seat Options; Launch In H2 2023


The Citroen C3 Aircross is based on the same Common Modular Platform (CMP) architecture as the smaller C3 hatchback, and while it bears some familiar design cues, it looks nothing like the hatch. If anything, it's significantly larger, measuring in at 4.3 metres in length, and its size and general appearance make it appear closer to the larger (and much more expensive) C5 Aircross, which is a positive.


Also Read: Citroen C3 Gets New Shine Variant With A Rear-View Camera, Alloy Wheels And More


Unlike other SUVs in this segment, the Citroen C3 Aircross manages to squeeze in a third row of seats with the increase in length; its 2,671 mm wheelbase is just 60 mm shorter than that of the C5 Aircross. Overall, the C3 Aircross' design and styling is typically Citroen, with a split headlight setup, balanced proportions and dual-tone paint schemes adding some visual flair to the smart-looking SUV.


However, just like with the C3 hatchback, there are clear signs of cost-cutting – the C3 Aircross has dated, flap-type door handles, an exposed keyhole, halogen headlights and the vehicle showcased at the world premiere had no sunroof either; a feature now considered hygiene in this segment. That said, Citroen maintains the specifications of the C3 Aircross may change between now and its market launch, which is still a few months away.


Step inside, and the C3 Aircross will feel immediately familiar to anyone who has spent time in a C3 hatchback before. The reason for it is simple – the C3 Aircross' dash and centre console is exactly the same as that of the hatch, and quality levels are similar, too, with the only difference being the lighter interior colour scheme. Also carried over from the hatchback are the AC vents, the steering wheel and the 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is no bad thing, as the C3's infotainment system is crisp and works like a charm.


One key difference with the C3 Aircross, though, is the instrument display. The SUV comes with a 7.0-inch colour TFT screen, something you won't find on either the C3 or even the pricier e-C3 EV. That said, the C3 Aircross showcased at the world premiere lacked an automatic climate control system, and while it did have USB charging ports, there was no wireless charging on the show car, either.


The C3 Aircross will be offered in both 5- and 7-seat variants. In the former, there is an impressive amount of space (and comfortable seating) for rear seat passengers, who also get a centre armrest. However, the three-row version necessitates the second row to be moved forward, which impacts room. The 5+2 version also misses out on the rear centre armrest, but it does get a roof-mounted blower, which is absent in the 5-seat model. 


Access to the last row can be gained by flipping the kerb-side second-row seat, but as you'd imagine, space is extremely limited for adults, and with only a tiny window incorporated at the rear of the C-pillar, things could get claustrophobic pretty quickly. These are best left to kids, and in case they're not required, they can be removed altogether, which opens up 511 litres of cargo space.


Citroen also chose to stay tight-lipped about the powertrain options for the C3 Aircross, only confirming it will be powered by a turbocharged engine. Speculation is rife that this will be the same 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine that is found under the C3 hatchback's bonnet, where it produces a peak 109 bhp and 190 Nm of torque. Also seen in the show car was a six-speed manual transmission, and there is no word on an automatic option being offered with the C3 Aircross. Citroen is likely to confirm final powertrain options only closer to the market launch.


What's evident straight away is Citroen is taking a slightly different approach to the compact SUV game. It is, in a way, attempting to replicate what Renault-Nissan did in the sub-compact SUV category with the Kiger and Magnite – offer an attractive-looking and dynamically-sound vehicle that won't dazzle potential buyers with an enviably long features list, but will lure them in with a competitive price tag. The signs are all there with how much the C3 Aircross has in common with its hatchback namesake, and when it arrives sometime between July and August this year, the C3 Aircross could well undercut established competition by a substantial margin. If it does, it has the potential to become Citroen's best-seller in India.

Great Deals on Used Cars

View All Used Cars

Upcoming Cars

Upcoming Bikes

Consider Exploring