Citroen C3 Aircross Flair S&S BlueHDi 120 manual
- P11D Value / BIK band: £19,720 / 23%
- 5-door, 5-seater SUV
- 130bhp / 300Nm, 1.6-litre 4cyl diesel/manual
- Economy (comb)/CO2: 60.1mpg/107g/km
- Performance: 10.7sec/114mph
What is it:
If you are wondering what the future has in store now that PSA Peugeot Citroen owns Opel-Vauxhall then look no further than the first hatchlings from the mothership like the compact SUV Citroen C3 Aircross Flair S&S BlueHDi 120 manual.
For those who like the tech bit, it’s based on PSA’s PF1 platform and built in Spain from whence also comes the new Peugeot 3008, Vauxhall Crossland X and now the Citroen C3 Aircross, which is just taking to the UK roads.
It replaces the Citroen C3 Picasso but evolves from MPV to SUV, or rather into passable mixture of the two. It needs to be as its predecessor was Citroen’s top-selling model, selling around half a million worldwide during its life, some 65,000 in the UK. So does it have appeal for a company car driver? Let’s find out.
- While jumping into the deepening B SUV pool, Citroen is keen to point out that this is no “me too” model. Its SUV styling comes with a good amount of space and functionality – made to feel even more airy with its (optional) large opening panoramic glass sunroof. There are many other optional goodies including Grip Control, Hill Descent Assist, 12 driver assistance systems, including colour Head-up Display, and four connectivity technologies including wireless smartphone charging.
- Available on high end models or as options is continuous connectivity and infotainment via a 7-inch touchscreen. This screen acts as the control centre for the vehicle, incorporating the air conditioning, radio, telephone and Sat Nav controls.
- Citroen is keen to accentuate the space and functionality offered by the interior. The boot has a very useful 410 litres – best in class, the brand says – with the rear seats pushed back, and this can slide individually to increase this capacity to up to 520 litres, or can be folded completely to open up a whopping 1,289 litres.
- However, it is the exterior which catches the eye and the way it can be adapted to match the personality of individual customers. As with new C3, Citroen’s designers have made the Aircross highly customisable. Customers can choose the colour of the roof and then combine it with a different body colour and a ‘Colour Pack’.
- There are three trim levels from which to choose, Touch, Feel and Flair – which kind of pales into insignificance against the 83 colour combinations – which are the same as on the standard C3.
- Personalisation also applies inside with five interior design choices. The emphasis is on pure lines and a variety of textures on the dashboard. The door panel designs, touches of colour on the steering wheel and air vents, and the seat upholsteries create a pleasing and relaxed atmosphere.
- The Aircross retains Citroen’s classic, funky exterior and quirky interior. The ride is soft and comfy although, as so often in the past, I was left with the feeling that I wanted just a little more “oomph” from under the bonnet.
- Under the bonnet there is a choice of 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine in 81bhp, 109bhp or 129bhp guise and two 1.6-litre four-cylinder Blue HDi diesels – 98bhp or 118bhp. Five-speed manual gearbox is standard on most models although the 129bhp petrol and 118bhp diesel are equipped with a six-speed. Auto box is available for the mid-specification petrol.
- While the diesel is expected to be the weapon of choice among business buyers the punchier petrol units are more lively with just that bit more urge on acceleration. The ride seems even better than the standard, lower C3 and doesn’t feel at all rock and roll through the bends.
- While much emphasis has been placed on style, the interior does come across as fussy with a mixture of textures and colours which may not be to all tastes.
- The touch screen is fairly intuitive once you are used to it although the mix of graphics and fonts are not the easiest on the eye, but it does respond to inputs fairly quickly The massive lump of a handbrake seems rather unnecessary as well.
Verdict on Citroen C3 AircrossFlair S&S BlueHDi 120 manual
We can’t get enough of SUVs at the moment – and why not? They offer a commanding driving position, look smart and are practical too. The C3 Aircross provides a refreshingly different take on the SUV, and would sit handsomely in any SME small fleet company car park.
SME owners can expect to lease a Citroen C3 Aircross Flair 1.6 HDi compact SUV from around £209 + VAT per month on a 24-month rental agreement.
Prices start at £13,995 for the lead-in Touch, £15,100 for the Feel and £16,900 for the Flair.
Useful extra info for company car drivers
To help company car driver stay better connected while on the road, the Citroen C3 Aircross features:
- Wireless Smartphone Charging: An all-new system that can be used to induction charge a wide range of smartphones or devices compatible with the Qi standard. A charging mat is built into a dedicated storage space in the central console. Wireless electric energy transmission is based on the principle of magnetic induction
- Mirror Screen functionality: With Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink, drivers enjoy multimedia content and apps on their smartphones safely by replicating and controlling them via the touchscreen
- Citroen Connect Nav: Featuring connected 3D navigation with voice recognition, this new-generation navigation system comes with connected services such as TomTom Traffic, for real-time traffic information, service station and car park localisation and prices, weather information, and a local point-of-interest search function. There is even an accident blackspot warning function
- Citroen Connect Box: Incorporating Citroen’s Emergency and Assistance system, this links to a specialised assistance platform in the event of a breakdown or accident.