Automotive

Citroen majors in practicality with high-riding C3 Aircross

Citroen majors in practicality...
The new Citroen C3 Aircross
The new Citroen C3 Aircross 
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The new Citroen C3 Aircross
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The new Citroen C3 Aircross 
The Citroen C3 Aircross
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The Citroen C3 Aircross 
Behind the wheel of the C3 Aircross
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Behind the wheel of the C3 Aircross 
The exterior of the C3 Aircross can be extensively customised
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The exterior of the C3 Aircross can be extensively customised 
The C3 Aircross looks tough, but it's designed for life on the road
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The C3 Aircross looks tough, but it's designed for life on the road 
The C3 Aircross can be optioned in some eye-catching hues
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The C3 Aircross can be optioned in some eye-catching hues 
The high-riding C3 Aircross is aimed at inner-city dwellers
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The high-riding C3 Aircross is aimed at inner-city dwellers 
The chunky C3 Aircross rides just 20 mm higher than the hatchback C3
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The chunky C3 Aircross rides just 20 mm higher than the hatchback C3
Don't expect to see too many C3 Aircross drivers in the wilderness
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Don't expect to see too many C3 Aircross drivers in the wilderness
The C3 Aircross can be specced with a contrast roof
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The C3 Aircross can be specced with a contrast roof 
The C3 Aircross has the same cutesy square/circle lights as the C3 hatchback
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The C3 Aircross has the same cutesy square/circle lights as the C3 hatchback
The C3 Aircross will be built in Spain
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The C3 Aircross will be built in Spain 
The rear bench on the C3 Aircross slides and folds
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The rear bench on the C3 Aircross slides and folds 
The C3 Aircross will be in UK showrooms in November
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The C3 Aircross will be in UK showrooms in November 
The skidplate on the C3 Aircross is all for show
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The skidplate on the C3 Aircross is all for show
The interior of the C3 Aircross can be customized with a range of leather finishes
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The interior of the C3 Aircross can be customized with a range of leather finishes
The seats in the Aircross are designed to be comfortable on long journeys
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The seats in the Aircross are designed to be comfortable on long journeys 
The C3 Aircross is available with a panoramic sunroof
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The C3 Aircross is available with a panoramic sunroof 
Sliding rear seats in the Citroen C3 Aircross
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Sliding rear seats in the Citroen C3 Aircross 
Funky materials are a part of Citroen's new design angle
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Funky materials are a part of Citroen's new design angle 
There's plenty of storage in the C3 Aircross
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There's plenty of storage in the C3 Aircross 
The rear bench folds in the C3 Aircross, but when there are passengers the central seat doubles as a drinks holder
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The rear bench folds in the C3 Aircross, but when there are passengers the central seat doubles as a drinks holder 
Wireless charging is an option in the C3 Aircross
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Wireless charging is an option in the C3 Aircross 
Citroen's seven-inch infotainment system in the C3 Aircross
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Citroen's seven-inch infotainment system in the C3 Aircross
Grip Control traction management is standard on the C3 Aircross
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Grip Control traction management is standard on the C3 Aircross 
The head-up display in the C3 Aircross
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The head-up display in the C3 Aircross
View gallery - 26 images

Citroen is famed for its unique streak, having demonstrated its talent for interesting engineering solutions in legendary vehicles like the DS. It went missing for a while there, but that streak seems to be back with cars like the funky C3 Aircross. Although it looks cute on the outside, the compact Aircross has been designed to deliver all the practicality and technology you'd expect of a bigger beast.

Having debuted a new design language with the C4 Cactus, the styling team at Citroen has continued to refine its cutesy, round-edged motif. The C3 Aircross looks similar to the C3 hatchback on which it's based, with oversized headlamps and high-set daytime running lights, but the requisite SUV plastic cladding and chunky wheels do give it a tougher look on the road.

There's also a skid plate and 20 mm (0.79 in) more ground clearance than you get in the regular hatchback, but don't expect to see any of these cars off road. Like the Hyundai Kona launched yesterday, the C3 is very much aimed at the urban market, right down to the huge range of customization options for the contrast roof and mirrors.

The Citroen C3 Aircross
The Citroen C3 Aircross 

As you'd expect of a modern urban SUV, there are a huge range of active driver assistance systems on the spec sheet. The car will park itself in both perpendicular and parallel spots, and auto-emergency braking will help prevent low speed rear-end collisions. You also get lane-keeping assist, a blind-spot monitor and auto-dipping headlamps. It's the same suite you get on the C3 hatchback, and highlights how important accident avoidance technology is becoming – even in more affordable city cars.

Should owners accidentally find themselves on a gravel road or muddy field, a switchable Grip Control traction management system and hill descent control both come as standard. Citroen also fits the C3 Aircross with mud/snow tires, but its true all-terrain capabilities are still likely to be hampered by the fact it's front-wheel drive.

Power will come from a choice of three gasoline and two diesel engines. The gasoline range starts with an 82-hp (61 kW) engine, before jumping up to 110 hp (82 kW) and 130 hp (97 kW). There will be 100 hp (75 kW) and 120 hp (89 kW) diesel options, too. All engines come as standard with a six-speed manual, although a six-speed automatic will also be offered.

Behind the wheel of the C3 Aircross
Behind the wheel of the C3 Aircross 

Behind the wheel, Citroen has focused on making the C3 Aircross feel spacious and comfy. There's no sporting pretence here, just broad seats for all five passengers and a handsome two-tone theme for the leather trim. With 410 liters (14.5 cu.ft) of luggage space with the rear seats in place, deep door pockets and a split-folding rear bench, active urbanites should be able to fit their bikes, kayaks and antique furniture without too much trouble.

Infotainment is handled by the seven-inch central touchscreen, and drivers are treated to a head-up display displaying speed and navigation information. Wireless phone charging is also standard, but you'll need an Android phone that supports the Qi standard to use it – iPhone users will still need to plug in.

The new C3 Aircross will be built in Spain, and lands in UK showrooms this November. You can check it out in the video below.

Source: Citroen

C3 Aircross SUV - Reveal

View gallery - 26 images
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