How do you make an SUV stands out from a sea of new SUVs? Let the designers go wild and make something unique. That’s exactly what designers at Citroen did, they’ve came up the Citroen C3 Aircross. The C3 Aircross is one of the ‘Quirkiest’ car that ever arrive on Malaysian shores, and driving it around will bring you more stares than a million dollar supercar. Quirkiest simply means most unconventional.
Square is the shape that you can spot around the C3 Aircross, and Citroen manages to soften the looks with strategically placed with curve lines to make the tall boxy look of the C3 Aircross appears chic. The dual tone paint job simply elevates the car’s look from a normal SUV to a young hipster looking vehicle that will not look out of place around all the fancy cafés in town. The daytime running light is situated high while the headlights are slightly lower to prevent annoying oncoming cars. From the tear, square-designed lights are the option with the 3D effect for an upmarket expression. Look below, you’ve got a forward-looking, squarish wheels to go with 215/50 R17 shods.
Citroen C3 Aircross: Interior flair
The square theme also made it into the interior, where you can see squares all over the dashboard from the AC vents to the head unit, and the leather-wrapped steering. There are also square indents on the door panels that make the otherwise less exciting interior more appealing. Aurora Red is the major highlight in the car to brighten the interior’s visual appearance,
The contemporary Citroen are applied to the tachometer and speedometer. At the same time, there’s a monotone screen to show various information, smacked in the middle of the instrument cluster. The HD infotainment screen has a built-in navigation with your usual pre-loaded connectivity options like Android Auto, CarPlay and Mirrorlink, as well as voice command. We tried the connection and found out that there’s occasional stutter when streaming music using Bluetooth. To activate voice, simply tap on the steering’s speak switch.
Climate controls are cramped into the infotainment system to maximize the look of the dashboard, but we’d prefer some physical buttons to control the temp inside the car. Below the infotainment, there’s a 12V socket and a USB slot that allows you to link your phone to the infotainment system to activate A.Auto and CarPlay. Meanwhile, a sport and snow button is located beside the 12V socket. However, toggling the sport/snow switch was a bit awkward when driving, based on the reviewer’s test drive.
Storage compartments around the C3 aircross are plenty, but the glovebox is small because of the location of the fusebox; this is a common trait with PSA Group cars i.e. Peugeot, Citroen and DS Automobiles. And it’s also a common thing found on French made cars. Front fabric seats and adjustable rear seats have their C3 theme. They do offer ample head- and leg-room for comfort.
Rear seat space is ample but the center seat could be a little squeeze on the shoulder area. Both of the rear windows have sunshade to keep the sun out, but the sunshade in our test car is in a little sticky situation where force needs to be applied in order to lock the sun shade in place for both sides. The fold-able center back rest of the rear seats reveals the cup holders and an access to the 520 liters boot. Rear seats are flexible and could slide or recline in order to make more room at the rear.
Citroen C3 Aircross: Safety and Driver’s Assistance
The Citroen C3 Aircross do come with a whole host of standard safety equipment. There are 6 airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), 2 ISOFIX points on the rear seats, and 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating. The Lane Departure Warning and Speed Limit Recognition are optional items where you need to top up an additional RM3,000 to get it activated.
The Powertrain that is fitted inside the C3 Aircross is a turbocharged 1.2 inline three-cylinder engine that produced 112PS at 5,500rpm and 205Nm at 1,500rpm and mated to a 6 speed automatic gearbox. The powertrain setup is suitable for city driving, the torquish effect doesn’t even break a sweat when bringing the car up to speed, but there are some slight vibrations whenever the car comes back up to speed after pauses. When accelerating the first two gear changes aren’t all that smooth, but once it’s up to speed, the gearbox is on point in terms of the right gear and thus able to keep the car within the powerband.
As a French car, the suspension is one of the main selling point. With McPherson upfront and flexible transverse beam at the rear, the suspension is definitely soft enough to soak up all the road imperfections. When you are doing some spirited driving on the twisties, the body roll is kept in check even though the suspension is on the softer side.
Electrical power steering is direct while the 4-wheel disc brake is plenty powerful to bring the car to a stop without a fuss. The brake pedal feel is very progressive when you’re modulating the brake pressure. NVH is kept to a bare minimal thanks to quality materials and a well-built package.
With a car that looks as ‘Chic’ as this, it’s definitely one of the quirkiest car that we’ve ever tested. If you’re looking for something that constantly attract stares, yet is practical to bring you and your family on weekend drives; then this is the car for you. With RM 115,888, you do get 5 years or 120,000km warranty coverage and 3 years roadside assistance coverage. And with additional RM 3,000, you get the optional Lane Departure Warning and Speed Limit Recognition. For colors, the Citroen C3 Aircross is offered in Soft Sand, Passion Red, Breathing Blue and Natural White. Inside, all C3 Aircross come with the same Aurora Red highlights on the dashboard.