Published on April 27th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
Could a C3 Aircross be an Option for Affluent Uni Students
There’s a segment in the market that’s hitting its absolute prime: the B-segment crossover. Think small enough for 1 or 2, but large enough for an active lifestyle. In the mass market segment, it’s the Japanese brands that seem to get to this segment first. The HR-V, C-HR, CX-3 and XV are a mess of alphabets and numbers that define one of the largest customer bases in the car market today. These Japanese makes offer quite a lot of bang for the buck. But say you want a crossover that can sit next to a MINI Countryman and look just as eye-catching. Well, you may want to look towards this — the Citroën C3 Aircross.
The Citroën C3 Aircross is a locally-assembled B-segment crossover that brings competition directly to the Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur. All three SUVs offer 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engines.
The Citroën’s puts out a sufficient 112PS and 205Nm of torque, which makes it a little peppier than some of the Japanese offerings. In fact, we’re inclined to say that the powertrain delivers better when it’s being efficient and relaxed.
In terms of comfort, the thing is deceptively pliant. The PF1 platform shows an uncommon ability to absorb bumps. For its size, the C3 does relatively well over poorly surfaced roads. Perhaps not as well as a Subaru XV, but that car costs more to purchase and run and most of the C3 Aircross’ advantages can be felt in urban driving. For the XV, the AWD system and X-Mode are huge features city driving will rarely bring out.
One area where Citroën could have improved on is the engine damping. Typical of 3-cylinder engines, low RPMs are perceivably harsh on the C3 Aircross. It’s nothing too harsh, but certainly unexpected in this segment.
So, in terms of performance, the Citroën C3 Aircross is decent in most areas, rarely exceptional nor terrible in others.
Where it really does excel is in terms of design. In this segment, it’s hard to find ugly SUVs. Even the most conventional, value-driven crossovers have elements of good design. However, what’s very rare to find is unique, brash styling – something with a real personality. It takes a certain confidence to commit to orange stripes, and it works on the C3, which shows that Citroën’s designers put in the work. It usually takes a premium brand to pull looks like this off. MINI comes to mind. But for more than RM100,000 less than a Countryman, the C3 Aircross kind of does the trick.
Now, this isn’t a full review of the car. We already have one on the site that you can read here. What we will say is that there’s a whole demographic of affluent buyers out there with teenagers who’ll go to college or university soon. These are upper middle class families who, in good times, would have purchased a MINI at their progeny’s request to start their tertiary education off in style. Now that COVID-19 has ground the economy to a halt, these families may feel pressure from both their children and their wallets. A car like the Citroën C3 Aircross could be the compromise they’re looking for.
It’s rare and good looking enough to stand out in. It’s peppy without being dangerously fast. It’s safe enough for a 5 Star Rating on the 2017 Euro NCAP. And at RM116,000, the amount of money you’ll lose on it can’t compare to what MINIs cost in Malaysia. Granted, the C3 Aircross is no athlete. But that’s not a factor university students should be too caught up with, is it?
Citroën C3 Aircross Specifications
- Engine: 3-cylinder, 12-Valve, Turbocharged Petrol
- Capacity: 1199 cc
- Power: 112 bhp @ 5500 rpm
- Torque: 205 Nm @ 1500 rpm
- Transmission: 6-speed auto with Tiptronic
- 0-100km/h: 10.4 seconds
- Top speed: 200km/h
- Price: From RM115,888