There’s no mistaking the C3 Aircross for anything other than a Citroën. It employs much of the same design language seen on both the smaller C3 supermini and the C-Aircross Concept unveiled at the 2017 Geneva motor show – particularly the two-tier front light signature – which in turn positions it as one of the more visually interesting B-SUVs around.

With so many rivals now available within this niche, that ability to instantly stand out is quite an advantage for the C3 Aircross. That it loses the Airbump side panels of the previous-generation C4 Cactus is something of a shame, although extended wheel arches, a skid plate and black cladding on the front and rear bumpers help bolster the car’s more ‘outdoorsy’ image.

Simon Davis

Simon Davis

Road tester
With so many stylistically reserved rivals, the C3 Aircross really does stand out aesthetically and that’s no bad thing

Looks aren’t the only thing the C3 Aircross shares with the C3. It sits on the same platform, although at 4145mm the Aircross is 158mm longer than the C3, while its wheelbase has been extended by 64mm to 2604mm. There’s 20mm more ground clearance too.

A familiar line-up of transversely mounted 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol and 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engines send power exclusively to the front wheels via five- or six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. Power output ranges from 80bhp to 129bhp for the petrol lumps, while the oil-burners offer between 98bhp and 118bhp. Our test car made use of a 109bhp petrol engine, which generates 151lb ft from 1500rpm, and a five-speed manual gearbox.

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Although Citroën doesn’t offer an all-wheel-drive model – a growing trend for cars of this ilk – Grip Control with Hill Descent Assist is an option to bolster the C3 Aircross’s off-road credentials. If you have it, your car comes fitted with ‘all-season’ tyres as standard, as ours did (Hankook Kinergy 4S); if you don’t, you’ll get a conventional ‘summer’ tyre. As far as suspension is concerned, MacPherson struts and coil springs are to be found at the front, while a torsion beam sits at the rear.

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