Citroen, a French brand making strides in the Indian market, entered with the C5 Aircross and later introduced the B-segment hatchback, Citroen C3. While the smaller offering brought some volumes, it fell short of making a significant impact. Venturing into the competitive mid-size SUV space, the Citroen C3 Aircross debuted last year, offering practicality and style. We drove it, we liked it, and we asked for an automatic gearbox. Well, Citroen heard us and delivered us an automatic variant of the 3-row SUV. Well, here’s what we felt about it.
Citroen C3 Aircross Automatic Review: Appealing Silhouette
The Citroen C3 Aircross’s design is polarising to some extent, but not as much as its key rival – Hyundai Creta. The front fascia gets a chevron logo, split-type headlamps, and a chunky bumper fitted with a beefy scuff plate. Step around the sides, and you’ll quickly figure out that Citroen has designed one of the most proportionate SUVs in its segment.
The alloy wheel design remains a hit or miss with masses, but it’s the largest in the segment, measuring 17 inches. Around the rear, an upright treatment is given to the tailgate. On the whole, the design appeals to more and turns off only a few. On this automatic variant, Citroen hasn’t changed anything on the outside.
Citroen C3 Aircross AT Review: Altered Inside?
Starting off with the changes first, the automatic trim of the Citroen C3 Aircross is identical to the manual trim, except for the new gear lever, along with the addition of a few more features. Yes, the Citroen C3 Aircross is not as heavily equipped as the Hyundai Creta or the Kia Seltos. However, with the introduction of automatic transmission, it now comes equipped with a remote engine start, which helps in pre-cooling the cabin with air conditioning.
The 10-inch touchscreen infotainment unit has always been the key highlight of the SUV. It now comes with connected car features, and the wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay accentuates convenience. While everything is near perfect, the absence of features remains a major miss in the C3 Aircross. However, it does come with roof-mounted AC vents for rear seats. Also, the USP for the C3 Aircross is its flexible yet intelligent seating layout of 5+2 seats. The third-row seats can be removed altogether in a snap. This way, one gets access to 511 litres of boot space.
Citroen C3 Aircross AT Review: Improved Drivability?
The drivability of the C3 Aircross with the 1.2L turbo-petrol motor left us impressed with its tractability. The motor puts a peak power output of 110 PS and 190 Nm of max torque. The torque band is wide, letting the SUV pull off from a straight line rather briskly. With the new 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox’s introduction, the character has not taken a dip, it now comes out as a better car. After all, the torque output is now bumped by 15 Nm, totalling 205 Nm.
The gearbox comes with a manual override function, offering more control over the car in situations like overtaking or while driving in mountains. The shifts are smooth and quick. Moreover, the C3 Aircross automatic can cruise at 100 kmph at a shade less than 2000 clicks per minute, making it an effortless cruiser. The suspension setting for the C3 Aircross was always our favourite part of the ride, along with its dynamics. Thankfully, Citroen hasn’t altered anything in this regard. Sadly, the feedback from the brake pedal felt dull. On the whole, it manages to show up as a perfectly tuned engine-gearbox combination.
Citroen C3 Aircross AT Review: A Worthy Purchase?
The Citroen C3 Aircross, priced from Rs 12.85 lakh (ex-showroom), emerges as a compelling underdog in the market. While it impressively checks most boxes, the absence of certain features is noticeable. A more enriched variant with additions like a premium sound system, push-button start-stop system, auto-dimming IRVM, and enhanced plastic quality would be a welcomed upgrade. Despite these considerations, the Citroen C3 Aircross stands out as one of the most pragmatic choices in its segment, offering a strong value proposition.