The SUV - Reinvented (sponsored)
With the style, space and ability of a big SUV in a small and efficient package, the New Citroën C3 Aircross is ideal for family adventures
The boom in SUVs over the past decade has come about because people like adventures. Chunky 4x4s and crossovers are big enough to accommodate all that goes with being a modern, active family and can also keep going when lesser family cars would be stuck. Whether it’s a beach, snowy ski resort or muddy event car park, the SUV should have the hardware to keep you moving.
But those big SUVs involve compromises. Technology borne from an agricultural age means they can be heavy to drive, thirsty on fuel and uncomfortable for passengers.
You can trust Citroën to come up with a unique concept to turn the SUV world on its head. The New C3 Aircross combines the running costs and manoeuvrability of a supermini with the interior flexibility of a mini MPV. And it still manages to incorporate the style and ability of an SUV.
The New C3 Aircross does this by using clever packaging and the latest technology. Outside it is uniquely stylish, with chunky bodywork and the distinctive styling cues that mark it out as an SUV. To ensure you can stand out whether you are on the school run or ski slopes, there are 85 different colour personalisation options to make sure it matches the owner’s personality and style.
The personalisation options continue inside, with five different trim choices, each with a different seat trim, a selection of dashboard textures and door panel designs, plus splashes of colour on the steering wheel, air vents, central console, and seat backs.
Practicality comes as standard whatever trim you choose. The New C3 Aircross’ ‘Modular’ interior is almost infinitely versatile to make sure it can cope with the demands of modern life better than any traditional SUV.
In its most conventional mode, the New C3 Aircross offers five seats with the comfort you’d expect from a Citroën. The car’s taller-than-average profile means that passengers are treated to generous leg and headroom, while also giving a more commanding view of the road.
This comfort is key to Citroën’s Advanced Comfort® philosophy, which ensures the New C3 Aircross has features that reassure, comfort and calm occupants. So the seats have been designed to offer more support and comfort, the suspension has been tuned to be absorbent and special attention has been paid to keeping noise levels to a minimum.
To give the best possible view of the outside world, there’s excellent visibility with almost continuous 360-degrees of glass around the car and the option of an opening panoramic sunroof to fill the inside of the New C3 Aircross with light.
Luggage gets an easy ride too, with the Modular interior designed to accommodate the most awkward of loads with ease. The boot is accessed via a large-opening tailgate and a low loading sill means there’s less lifting to do when getting heavy items into the back.
The class-leading boot space of 410-litres can be made even larger with a sliding rear bench and reclining rear seats, giving up to 520 litres – and still leaving space for children to sit on the back seats.
The New C3 Aircross also features some other thoughtful tricks. The removable parcel shelf needn’t be left at home when the load is too tall to sit beneath it, as it can be stored in a vertical position behind the rear seat. The boot floor can also be installed at two heights, one to maximise space or another to give a flat boot floor when the seats are folded.
Total load volume with the rear seats folded down is a 1,289 litres – more than many larger, less practical SUVs. A folding front seat option allows even longer loads to be carried, handy for those visits to the DIY store!
So on the space front, the New C3 Aircross has its rivals trumped. But can it hack it in the rough stuff if your adventures take you further afield? It may be perfect for the urban jungle but the New C3 Aircross can more than hold its own in slippery conditions and away from the tarmac.
This is partly due to the chunky bodywork and raised ride height, front and rear skid plates and knock-resistant wheel arch extensions and sill covers. But the New C3 Aircross also has technology to help it find grip in the slipperiest of situations without having to use a weighty, fuel sapping four-wheel drive system.
Named Grip Control with Hill Descent Assist, the electronically-enhanced traction control system provides extra control and makes the most of the grip from the New C3 Aircross’ chunky Mud & Snow tyres.
Grip control in particular has five selectable modes that allow the system to optimise the way the power is delivered according to the surface and terrain.
This makes the most of the power from the selection of advanced powertrains. All of the choices prove that an SUV doesn’t need to be a gas-guzzler, with engines that are capable of more than 70mpg in official fuel consumption tests.
PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines are available with power outputs ranging from 82 to 130 hp. Although refined and perky enough for use around town, they have plenty in reserve to venture further. The PureTech 130 has a top speed of 124 mph, meaning it is perfectly relaxed and refined at the British motorway limit.
A six speed manual gearbox is standard on the PureTech 130 and BlueHDi 120, or for those who prefer to let the car do the changing, the latest generation EAT6 fully automatic gearbox is available.
With the efficiency of a supermini, the practicality of a family MPV and the style and capability of an SUV, the New C3 Aircross makes the perfect choice for active families. Thanks to Citroën’s clever thinking, you’ll arrive at you next adventure looking stylish, relaxed, comfortable and with more money to spend on the things you want.
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