2024 Citroen C3 Aircross AT review, first drive - broader appeal

Tuhin Guha Published: January 29, 2024, 11:50 AM IST

The Citroen C3 Aircross may not be an obvious choice in its segment, but it brings with it a unique proposition. Few cars offer the size and presence it does for the money and the 7-seater practicality that comes with it. Now, Citroen has tried to broaden this SUV's appeal by introducing an automatic option.

2024 Citroen C3 Aircross AT driving impressions

With the C3 Aircross automatic, the 1.2-litre turbo-petrol pairs with a six-speed torque converter. Power outputs remain the same at 110PS but torque is now up 15 Nm to 205 Nm. As with most of Citroen's offerings, it's a pleasant experience from behind the wheel.

We've always rated this turbo-petrol motor highly and that continues here as well. The motor's linear response and good low-end performance have remained unaltered with the addition of the new gearbox. The added torque seems to help, the C3 Aircross never really feels out of breadth and even higher-speed overtakes don't need too much planning. Although this may change with a full house. As before, the motor is quite refined for a three-cylinder and even at higher revs isn't too thrummy or noisy.

The gearbox seems to take to this engine naturally. The added torque hasn't dampened performance and as far as torque converters go in this price range, responses are good. The gearbox isn't overtly conservative with its downshifts, in any case, you always have enough grunt to keep making steady progress. But it always wakes up reasonably quickly when you need a dab of low-end torque. The shifts aren't as snappy as some DCTs in this segment, but for a more sedate driver ist perfectly fine. You do get manual control with the old-style gated shifter but no paddles. But given that the gearbox is generally on the ball, you don't miss this or drive modes much.

There are no surprises with the rest of the driving experience. The ride is slightly firm but has that solid, well-damped feel to it. The C3 Aircross seems built to handle imperfect roads in a way that remains comfortable over rough patches. This continues at higher speeds with good stability. Also commendable is the way it feels while around bends. Body roll is kept in check and the steering has good deft and directness. You do have a sense of what the car is doing at most times which makes driving it easy. The good seat height and visibility help add to the SUV-like feel.

2024 Citroen C3 Aircross AT styling and interiors

The Citroen C3 Aircross continues to do a decent job of standing out in the crowd. The colour options work well but the SUV does well to distil the look of the C5 Aircross down to this lower price-point. You see this with the simple but thoughtfully sculpted bodywork. The two-part front grille design is a good source of attention, despite the halogen lamps being shared with the C3 Aircross.

The side is functional with its large windows and doors but again the off-beat design is a good foil to this, along with the smart 17-inch wheels. The rear too stands out with the heavy detailing of the C-shaped taillamps and various textures further helping this SUV stand out.

But like earlier, the C3 Aircross's weakest link remains its interior. The dashboard may be fairly modern and practical to look at, but it's a straight lift from the C3. This is somewhat off-putting in a more premium car, especially since the quite basic materials and finishes too have been carried over.

A positive of this is the good practicality. You have quite a few storage spots in both rows. The seats are upgraded with better upholstery and cushion that helps with comfort. Space too is quite adequate. The rear bench may be quite flat but there's enough knee, leg and headroom for most adults. That said, the lack of rear AC vents in this five-seater version will mean that this large car with its big glass area will take a while to cool. The central mirror controls here are also not convenient. There's good boot space with 511 litres.

2024 Citroen C3 Aircross AT features and safety

This continues to be an area for more work for Citroen. Yes, the 10-inch touchscreen is especially easy to use with its simple menus and the wireless Android Auto/Apple Carplay. This is also complemented by a well-thought-out 7-inch instrument cluster which offers up good information easily. But you are still missing functions that are now commonplace in this segment. This includes push-button start, climate control, auto headlamps and wipers as well as cruise control and telescopic steering adjustment.

Safety leaves much to be desired too. You have two airbags, hill-hold, reversing camera and TPMS as highlights.

2024 Citroen C3 Aircross AT prices, verdict

Priced at Rs , the Citroen C3 Aircross continues to impress with its quite polished driving experience, the new auto gearbox melds into this well with its straightforward function. Other highlights continue to be the looks and space that's on offer inside. But like before, the C3 Aircross needs the features and safety credentials that are so key now in the competitive segment it functions in to be a more viable option.

Images by Neel Paradkar

Also read,

Citroen C3 Aircross automatic specs revealed ahead January 29 launch

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2023 Citroen C3 Aircross review â€" surprisingly good to drive!

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 5.71 Lakhs
Max Power(ps)
Max Torque(Nm)
19.8 Kmpl

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