Test drive: Citroen C3 Aircross – RM115,888

By thoriq, 02 March 2020

Le Chic Crossover
“Oh, it’s a Citroen!” exclaimed a random onlooker who took a closer look at our C3 Aircross tester whilst we were filling it up at a Petronas station. This was just one of many similar instances we encountered throughout our weekend test stint with it.

Despite its smaller size, this Citroen often gets mistaken for the larger and more expensive – and much faster – Mini Countryman (click these blue words for the real deal). Perhaps this is a testament to how well Citroen can style a car to look much grander than it actually is.

Though some found our tester’s striking orange highlights and design of its 17-inch alloy wheels a tad bit much, there’s no denying just how eye-catching the C3 Aircross’s base silhouette is. As far as crossovers of this size go, this one arguably has the most distinctive look of all.

The same can be said for its cabin. The exterior’s striking highlights are mirrored here, particularly in the dash and fabric seats, the latter serving as a separating line for its gray-and-black dual-tone scheme. Aside from that and the funky AC vent design, this crossover’s cabin doesn’t look too shabby.

What is abundant on board is space. It’s roomy enough to welcome five full-sized adults, and there’s even decent headroom for tall and lanky folks too. Surely, you wont hear cries of claustrophobia from those seated at the back of this Citroen as you would with rivals like the Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-3.

Whilst here, it’s also worth highlighting just how well-equipped the cabin felt. Key highlights include keyless entry and ignition, automatic air conditioning, not forgetting a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment that offers both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus a reverse camera.

Our only gripe with the cabin lies in the tiny glovebox – typical of French cars – and the annoyance of having to toggle AC settings via the aforementioned touchscreen; there are no dedicated buttons and controls for it in the centre stack.


Nevertheless, these aren’t deal breakers once we got the C3 Aircross going and basked in its comfortable ride. Though a trait anyone expects of any high-riding crossover, this French alternative doesn’t disappoint and felt much more refined than the segment standard thanks to its comfort-focused springs and dampers.

Decent too is the pace of the 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo and six-speed automatic powertrain that drives the C3 Aircross’s front wheels. While not the peppiest of the lot, it is no slouch as peak torque is served from 1,500rpm onwards.

Typical of any three-banger, there are some excess vibrations to deal with from time to time, mostly during idling. Beyond that, there aren’t any faults with this powertrain, which also proved surprisingly frugal in our hands; we saw a reading of 6.0 litres/100km by the end of our test.

Notably, the aforementioned roomy cabin also boasts a second talent in providing practical cargo space: a 60:40 split folding second row bench and flat-folding front passenger seat. Simply put, this crossover is eager for those annual trips to Ikea indeed as it will gladly lug any oversized load with the rear seats down.

Even for the daily, the C3 Aircross still has a sizeable 410-litre default boot space in play, which is expandable to 520-litres by simply lowering its two-step boot floor and sliding the second row bench forwards.

In the area of safety, this Citroen will not disappoint either. We’ll be brief and note the presence of things like six airbags, ABS, traction and stability control suites, as well as lane-departure warning.


Want a compact crossover that isn’t boring to look at and be in? This might just be it…

All in all, the C3 Aircross presents a decent package altogether to say the least. The only question left, then, is price. At RM115,888 sans insurance, this left-field French alternative is a tad pricier than the bulk of its rivals.

However, it arguably has the style and perhaps enough secondary talents to warrant a second look. Want a compact crossover that isn’t boring to look at and be in? This might just be it…


Chic styling, roomy and practical cabin, as well as kit count Dull drive, and it is pricier than the bulk of its rivals
SCORE 7/10




1.2 turbo













PRICE: RM115,888