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New Citroën C3 Aircross: a true family SUV

Citroën presents the new C3 Aircross front 3/4 view, showing the new grille and the original styling.

Following the launch of the C3, Citroën unveils the second vehicle in the C-Cubed project, designed to increase its presence and develop its international sales. With the new C3 Aircross, Citroën presents a muscular SUV that is both daring and family-friendly, with an unprecedented 7-seater version.

Pure SUV on the outside...

For this second vehicle, as with the C3, the brand has relied on its local teams in India and Latin America to develop the new C3 Aircross in order to respond as closely as possible to the specific needs of customers in key markets. .

To this end, the new C3 Aircross is still based on the CMP platform, but its length has been increased to 4m32 with a wheelbase of 2m65, guaranteeing excellent on-board comfort. The result of joint work between the development teams and the local teams, the new C3 Aircross claims to be a true pure SUV, developed with the aim of being the right vehicle at the right time to reinforce the brand's growth in the markets of India, South East Asia and Latin America. For this reason, the brand has decided to develop a C3 Aircross with 5 and 7 seats to meet the needs of those looking for a family SUV that is liveable and accessible, both in India and in Latin America. Conversely, the 7-seater C3 Aircross perfectly meets the needs of the Indonesian market, where around 70% of sales are 7-seater vehicles. It was therefore logical for Citroën, which has high hopes for Indonesia and South-East Asia in general, to offer a version of this genre.

Citroën presents the new C3 Aircross rear 3/4 view where we see lights inspired by the Citroën concept oli

With this second generation of the C3 Aircross, Citroën wanted to create a pure SUV with a robust and expressive design. With a ground clearance of 20 cm, the C3 Aircross is characterised by an assertive front end with a high bonnet, a wide track, Citroën's Y-shaped light signature and a powerful double grille with a lower protective shoe to make in variable road conditions. The C3 Aircross also dispenses with the chrome bars that run from the rafters to the LED bars in favour of more independent chevrons, better highlighted on a rather imposing black grille, like a restyled C5 Aircross. Its big brother seems to have strongly influenced the new C3 Aircross as there is an obvious similarity in the profile, particularly in terms of glazing, but a difference in size is created on the rear quarter panel which has both an upright thick which gives strength to the C3 Aircross and quarter windows in the extension of the bezel to provide visibility and brightness.

We also find a bit of the Oli concept on this new generation, in particular with its imposing rear lights which stand out from the bodywork and take up the theme of the brand's latest concept, namely two horizontal LED bars framing a light, in this case vertical. The assembly, which is quite massive, also makes it possible to reduce the C3 Aircross' rather heavy rear aspect, which is necessary to provide enough space for up to 7 people.

But this new C3 Aircross looks much more upmarket than the C3, with a particularly studied and clean design. The rear lights are much more elaborate than those of the C3, with a continuous LED effect, so the general style of the car is more elaborate on the outside. image of the black band between the rear lights, on which the chevrons extend. We find a real influence of the brand's latest concept, Oli, with an identical design of lights, this is one of the first influences of the concept on a Citroën production car.

In good Citroën, the new C3 Aircross will be customisable with a two-tone roof offer and a wide range of theme packs and different accessories depending on the regions where it will be marketed, which for the moment have not been detailed, Citroën favours gradually unveiling this new C3 Aircross.

Citroën presents the new C3 Aircross interior, which shows a dashboard close to but very different from that of the C3.

...Lively and comfortable inside

Citroën has a long tradition of making family cars, and the C3 Aircross is no exception. The brand has tried to offer a spacious and comfortable car for all passengers.

Thanks to its long wheelbase, the C3 Aircross has one of the best knee room for rear passengers and a 482-litre boot. The ⅔-⅓ folding rear seat offers good modularity, although we would have preferred three independent seats as in the C5 Aircross. However, the 7-seater version has specific features, particularly in terms of modularity, and has a boot capacity of 511 litres (with the third row of seats removed), i.e. a substantial space similar to that of its big brother.

The C3 Aircross is not only comfortable, but also practical, as Citroën has equipped it with some interesting tricks to make life on board easier. The cup holders can be used to hold smartphones, while 5 USB sockets are scattered around the cabin to allow passengers to recharge their phones at any time. The dashboard is identical to that of the C3, but here too it is much more upmarket. For example, the C3 Aircross has a slush dashboard strip, identical to that of the C4, on which patterns are drawn. Depending on the version, the dashboard can be equipped with a 7" TFT screen, which is not available on the C3, and this shows that the C3 Aircross is much more upmarket than the C3 and is at the heart of its segment.

The dashboard receives the same infotainment screen as the C3 is 10 inches and which sits in the centre of the dashboard, the screen provides access to the main infotainment services and connected services, including the mirroring function for access to applications with Apple Car-Play or Android Auto.

Citroën presents the new C3 Aircross, showing the rear space as well as the two rows of 3 seats that allow the brand's new compact SUV to offer 7 seats.

The more upmarket look can also be seen in the seats, which would not look out of place in a European model. Where the C3 has headrests integrated into the backrests, the C3 Aircross has nice, well-cushioned seats with a design that echoes the capsule pattern and, in these photos of the higher versions, what appears to be leather. The backrests are also split in two, with a strip at the shoulders which visually widens the car and which we find on the existing models in Europe. Finally, because the brand is known for its comfort, the driver's seat has an armrest, again an element not present on the C3.

An interesting point: In the second and third rows of the 7-seater version, Citroën has installed a unique ventilation module integrated into the roof panel, allowing the occupants to enjoy better ventilation and the exceptional comfort offered by the C3 Aircross. The suspension has been tuned to maximise comfort and minimise body roll in difficult traffic conditions and on sometimes poor road surfaces. Steering and turning radius have been optimised to improve agility and manoeuvrability in dense city traffic. Even the underbody structure and approach angles have been studied so that the new C3 Aircross can easily negotiate rough and uneven roads and climb or descend steep slopes without touching them.

As with the C3, Citroën has developed the new C3 Aircross by listening to local teams and the needs of different consumers.

extensive research into the conditions of use in each market and in-depth discussions with customers to ensure that this B-SUV perfectly meets their needs. Although there are minor differences between the vehicles offered in each market, some common themes emerged.

workshops with potential customers, some common themes emerged which directly influenced the design and final features of this model.

Citroën presents the new C3 Aircross 3/4 front view in a new red colour with a white roof which shows a particularly worked design.

Laurence Hansen, Director of Product and Strategy at Citroën, explains: "By listening to all these potential customers in these markets, we have ensured that the new C3 Aircross offers families a unique package that they will appreciate, combining the distinctive design of the Citroën brand and the attributes of a pure SUV, in a muscular and eye-catching vehicle with excellent value for money. It is fully in line with our 360-degree approach to comfort and well-being for all, thanks to its exceptional habitability, great versatility and space for transporting up to 7 people in complete safety. It offers the highest levels of equipment and technology, including seamless connectivity on the road. And each family can further personalise their vehicle with an extensive range of theme packs and accessories tailored to each market".

In conclusion, with the new C3 Aircross, Citroën has given itself the means to offer a vehicle that perfectly meets the needs of consumers in the different regions where this new SUV will be sold. In line with its desire to offer a family SUV, the brand is innovating by offering a 7-seater, which is relatively unique in this segment, especially as Citroën, true to its values, wants to offer a vehicle that is as comfortable as possible for all occupants, while remaining accessible so as not to ruin them. In short, the C3 Aircross is an all-terrain vehicle which, in keeping with the Citroën tradition, has the ambition to be a vehicle for families, for the whole family.

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