Citroen C3 Aircross Review & Prices

The Citroen C3 Aircross is a compact SUV with striking styling, a comfortable ride and a versatile interior. It’s a smooth-operator, but alternatives offer more passenger space

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RRP £17,830 - £24,240 Avg. Carwow saving £2,836 off RRP
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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Unique styling helps it stand out
  • Comfy and very easy to drive
  • Smooth and refined engines

What's not so good

  • Back seats tight for adults
  • Infotainment could be sharper
  • Not very fun in the bends

Find out more about the Citroen C3 Aircross

Is the Citroen C3 Aircross a good car?

The Citroën C3 Aircross is a funky French family SUV that makes more conservatively styled alternatives such as the Volkswagen T-Cross or Skoda Kamiq look about as interesting as plain porridge. Not that there’s anything wrong with plain porridge, of course. It’s just that it’s a bit, well, plain.

Anyway, this Citroën SUV will definitely be much trickier to lose in a busy car park – even if it’s a bit less cutesy-looking than before it was revised in 2021.

The old car’s slightly goofy square headlamps have been replaced with a far slimmer set-up; while a bigger front grille helps to make the C3 Aircross look ever so slightly meaner than it used to.

That quirky style appeal is bolstered by a range of 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels, and a handful of colourful exterior customisation packs. Its boxy shape and chunky black bumper cladding give it a bit of additional SUV credibility too.

That said, with no four-wheel-drive model available, accidentally mounting a tall kerb while parking will probably be the closest you’ll come to doing any off-roading.

There are quite a lot of hard, scratchy plastics in the cabin, but generally the C3 Aircross is pretty stylish on the inside. Our Shine Plus test car had some attractive fabric trim finishers on the doors and dashboard; and the leatherette- and fabric-upholstered seats look the part and are super comfy over distance.

The extra power of the 130hp petrol engine might be tempting, but in reality the 110hp is more than up for the task. It'll be cheaper to run, too

You may not be quite so happy if you find yourself sat in the second row, though. Kids will fit back there just fine, but even with the sliding rear bench pushed all the way back there isn’t a huge amount of legroom for taller adults. And if you want any headroom at all, then avoid the optional panoramic sunroof like the plague. The likes of the Skoda Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Cross do better in this department.

That said, boot space is very good, and the seats offer a range of configurability to help you free up room for really big, bulky items.

The same goes for standard equipment. Entry-level C-Series Edition cars get LED headlights, automatic air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen that’s loaded up with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Higher-spec models get a larger 9.0-inch screen with built-in navigation, too, but it’s not the sharpest or most responsive infotainment set-up in the world. We’d probably just use the smartphone mirroring systems instead of the factory Citroën one.

With two petrols and one diesel to choose from, engine options are pretty limited – but at least that helps to keep things straight-forward.

We’d go for the entry-level 110bhp petrol with the six-speed manual gearbox as our pick of the range. It’s punchy enough for easy driving around town, and quiet out on the motorway. We easily averaged 47mpg during our time with it, so it shouldn’t be too expensive to run either.

Elsewhere, a softer suspension set-up helps to keep things comfy on all but the bumpiest roads, and a light but accurate steering makes the C3 Aircross a very easy car to thread down tight roads and lanes. It doesn’t feel like a naturally athletic car though, so if it’s driving fun on a twisty road you’re after you’ll be better served by a Ford Puma.

But still, it’s hard not to like the C3 Aircross for its quirky charm. Not only is it funky to look at, it’s a comfortable, refined car that comes with a big boot and is very easy to drive.

So if this Citroën SUV sounds like your type of car, head on over to our C3 Aircross deals page to see how much you can save through carwow, or check out the latest deals on used Citroens.

How much is the Citroen C3 Aircross?

The Citroen C3 Aircross has a RRP range of £17,830 to £24,240. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,836. Prices start at £15,838 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £231. The price of a used Citroen C3 Aircross on Carwow starts at £8,000.

Our most popular versions of the Citroen C3 Aircross are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.2 PureTech 110 You 5dr £15,838 Compare offers

Kicking off the range is the C-Series Edition, which is well-equipped enough to have cruise control as standard. There’s also a set of rear parking sensors - ideal for parking into tight spaces. Automatic air conditioning and tinted rear windows are also included.

Next comes the Shine, the first C1 to get alloy wheels, plus a leather steering wheel and gear lever, and a rev-counter. There are also electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors.

The plushest model is the Shine Plus. This top-spec trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, front fog lights with cornering illumination, privacy glass and a pull-out boot floor.

Then there’s the youth-oriented surf-inspired Rip Curl, which comes with blue and grey interior trim, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights and blue-painted mirror caps. You also get an aluminium-effect rear bumper protector, tinted rear windows, a leather steering wheel, cruise control, rear parking sensors and air conditioning. A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone mirroring, Bluetooth and DAB digital radio also comes as standard.

There are three engine choices – two 1.2 turbo petrols with 110hp and 130hp respectively and a 110hp 1.5-litre diesel.

Performance and drive comfort

It’s hardly a sports car but the comfortable C3 Aircross is still a lively and enjoyable drive with a strong range of engines

In town

Excellent visibility, a soft-ish suspension set-up and lightweight controls all combine to make the C3 Aircross a very comfortable, easy-going car to drive around town. It doesn’t crash too loudly over bumps, and its engines all have enough easily accessible shove to help you move away from a standstill and nip into gaps in the traffic easily.

On the motorway

It’s a largely similar story out on the motorway, too. Here its ride remains settled, and those soft, supportive seats means it’s comfortable over reasonably large distances. The engines all remain impressively hushed too, but there is quite a lot of tyre roar and wind noise at a cruise, which is a little bit annoying.

The same goes for the lack of adaptive cruise control – you only get a standard set-up on the C3 Aircross. Still, lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition and rear parking sensors all come as standard from the entry level; while forward-collision warning, active safety braking and a reversing camera are all available on higher-spec models.

On a twisty road

Unfortunately, the incredibly lightweight steering that makes the C3 Aircross so easy to drive around town does count against it when you want to throw it down your favourite twisty road.

It starts to feel a little bit remote when driven quickly, and while grip levels are decent you don’t feel like this is a car that really likes to be pushed. There’s a bit of body roll through faster corners too, but not too much.

If that sort of thing is high up your priority list, a Ford Puma will be far better able to put a grin on your face. But for everything else, the Citroën makes for a comfortable, easy-going and likeable small SUV.

Space and practicality

Cleverly laid-out, the C3 Aircross is funky and youthful to sit in, but not especially spacious in the back

There are quite a lot of hard, scratchy plastics on display inside the new C3 Aircross, but you don’t really notice them too much. If anything, they almost add to the Citroën’s jacked-up, faux off-roader image – just like the plastic cladding on its exterior bumpers does.

Elsewhere, square-shaped air vents and instrument dials match the car’s boxy exterior, while funky fabric trim inserts on the rounded dashboard and door grabs (available on higher-spec models) add a bit of texture into the mix too.

But while those sections of hard plastics might not cramp the C3’s sense of style too much, they do mean that it doesn’t feel quite as plush as the likes of the Volkswagen T-Cross or Skoda Kamiq. These compact SUVs have more soft-touch surfaces, and feel just that bit more upmarket as a result.

Still, the Citroën feels pretty well-screwed together, and none of the controls are overly flimsy or cheap-feeling. Generally speaking, this is a very pleasant place to spend time.

If Citroën does one thing well, it’s comfort – and the C3 Aircross doesn’t disappoint on this front. You sit quite upright, in a perched position that lets you see clearly out over the road in front of you.

There’s good adjustability in the steering column, so you don’t end up crunched over the pedals; and the Advanced Comfort Seats that come as standard on range-topping Shine Plus models are just that – comfortable.

The bins in the front doors are big enough to easily hold a larger bottle, and there are a couple of cup holders in the centre console too.

The dashboard on the passenger side has a little tray integrated into it that’s a handy place for things like wallets and keys, and there’s a small storage compartment under the central armrest too. The glovebox, however, is pretty small.

Then there’s headroom. Without the optional panoramic roof, you won’t ruin your hairdo on the car’s roof lining. Most adults will fit in just fine. However, if you do option it, that story changes pretty dramatically – so we’d definitely avoid it if you think you’ll regularly have taller passengers.

Space in the back seats

The second row is a bit more of a mixed bag. Range-topping cars come with a sliding rear bench, so you can choose to maximise luggage space or passenger space. But even with these seats slid all the way back, taller adult passengers will find legroom is a little bit tight – a Skoda Kamiq has you better covered on this front.

The doorbins in the second row are a good size though, and if you need additional cupholders you can fold the middle seat back down flat to find them. Only the Shine Plus model gets these, however.

Kids, meanwhile, will fit in just fine. The doors open pretty wide so loading a car seat in shouldn’t be too much of a faff, and the two ISOFIX anchor points on the outer rear seats are easy to get at.

Boot space

Entry-level C-Series and Shine models don’t get the sliding rear bench that comes as standard on Shine Plus models, so boot space is fixed at a reasonable 380 litres. That’s more than you’ll get in a Volkswagen Golf, but not quite as much as you’ll find in a Peugeot 2008.

Move up to Shine Plus and that boot space jumps to 410 litres with the rear bench set up to maximise passenger space. Slide it all the way forwards and you’ll free up 520 litres of space behind the rear seat backs, but you won’t be able to fit any passengers in the back if you do.

Still, the ability to move the rear bench makes the C3 Aircross’s load area impressively versatile. You can also rearrange the floor to either minimise load lip or to eke out a bit more space for taller items; and the rear seats and the front passenger seat both fold down flat to let you make space for really long items.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Connectivity is decent, although the entry model gets a smaller screen and the system isn’t always the most responsive

The Citroën C3 Aircross is reasonably well-catered for when it comes to infotainment goodies. Entry-level C-Series cars get a 7.0-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – so you can easily load up mapping, podcasts and music from your smartphone.

Move up to the Shine and Shine Plus trim levels, and you’ll get a larger 9.0-inch screen. This adds built-in navigation with real-time traffic updates, which you have access to for three years before you need to renew your subscription.

The system itself is easy enough to read and use, but there’s definitely room for improvement here. The graphics for the built-in mapping are pretty basic, and it doesn’t always respond to your inputs as smoothly or quickly as you might like. We’d wager that you will likely just hook up to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and use that instead.

You also have the choice of optioning the Sight & Sound pack (RRP £500 at time of writing), which adds in a colour head-up display, a colour 3.5-inch digital screen in between the analogue dials and an uprated sound system.

MPG, emissions and tax

You get a very simple choice of three engines with the new Citroën C3 Aircross. There’s a 110hp diesel motor that’s paired with a six-speed manual gearbox; a 130hp petrol that comes with a six-speed automatic; and a 110hp petrol that’s also mated to a six-speed manual. All of these engines drive the front wheels only – there’s no four-wheel drive model available despite the chunky looks.

The 110hp petrol is the engine to go for. With a 0-60mph time of 10.1 seconds it’s by no means the quickest horse in the stable, but it conjures up enough punch to make it feel nippy around town and to help it get up to speed on the motorway in good time.

It’s a pretty quiet and smooth operator, too – it only starts to sound a bit coarse if you really keep your foot in it. Meanwhile, the clutch is light and easy to use, and the gearshift is accurate, so it’s very easy to drive in stop-start traffic. It’s efficient too – we saw 47mpg on our test route without really trying.

The 130hp petrol engine is similarly smooth and quiet, and you do notice the extra punch when you put your foot down – but it’s not night-and-day different as its 0-60mph time is only 9.2 seconds. That extra performance comes at a cost too: we saw about 40mpg during our test drive.

So the main reason why you’d go for this model is if you really wanted an automatic gearbox. Yes, it’ll make sitting in stop-start traffic a bit more bearable, but the gearbox itself isn’t the slickest set-up we’ve come across. Gear changes can be a bit ham-fisted, and it can take a bit of time to sort itself out when you’re pulling away from a junction – all of which affects smooth progress.

Meanwhile, the diesel engine is very good. It’s quiet at a cruise, offers good straight-line performance, and it’ll comfortably do more than 50mpg on a motorway run. But unless you’re going to spend the vast majority of your time actually on the motorway, chances are you’ll be better served by the 110hp petrol.

Safety and security

The C3 Aircross scored the maximum five stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2017. Active safety features fitted as standard include Traffic Sign and Speed Limit, Lane Departure Warning and Cruise Control with Speed Limiter function.

Reliability and problems

Every new Citroën comes with a three-year/60,000 mile, fully transferable warranty and a 12-year anti-perforation warranty, which is in line with the bare minimum offered by manufacturers, although some way short of the more generous offerings from the likes of Kia, Hyundai and Renault.

Buy or lease the Citroen C3 Aircross at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £17,830 - £24,240 Avg. Carwow saving £2,836 off RRP
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