That becomes a bit of a cacophony at motorway speeds and on rougher roads – there’s a fair bit of wind and road noise. At least the ride settles down at those speeds, after being a shade on the fidgety side on normal roads.
It’s inoffensive to drive, anodyne even, which here isn’t a good thing: the steering is remarkably numb, and makes you feel a bit remote from the road – a bit of a contrast to the over-stiff suspension.
Unusually, going for the automatic gearbox makes the steering slightly worse – weighting it up spongily and taking away what (very) little feedback there was to begin with. Stick with the manual - it’s more at home in the dinky Aircross.
Then there’s the interior. It looks fun and avant-garde, with interesting details splattered about the cabin, fashion-forward fabrics on upper trims and an altogether upbeat approach, where rivals like the Kia Stonic are a little on the plain side.
The plastics aren’t of the best quality - give them a knock and they’re more sonorous than they should be.
At all costs, though, especially the £950 Citroën asks for it, the panoramic sunroof should be avoided. Not only did it rob the car we tested of headroom up front, it rendered the rear suitable only for children.
Should I buy one?
This is why it’s easy to be fascinated by small SUVs; there’s not one out there that can best a class-leading - or even decent - supermini. All are, in some way or another and in varying degrees of gravity, flawed.
The flaw in the C3 Aircross is the mismatch between the fun image the car outwardly promotes and its comparative lack of fun to drive. SUVs, small or large, exude ruggedness, and a lifestyle that trades a low driving position and a little fuel economy for the image of fun. Unfortunately in the C3 Aircross, you have to trade a lot more than a few MPG.
If you’re after a car that makes you look like you’re having fun, get the C3 Aircross. If you’re after a car to actually have fun while driving, you may want to look a little further.
Where Broadway, England On sale 1 November Price £18,400 Engine 1299cc, petrol Power 128bhp at 5500rpm Torque 170lb ft at 1750rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual Kerb weight 1159kg Top speed 124mph 0-60mph 10.4sec Fuel economy 53.3mpg CO2 rating 119g/km Rivals Kia Stonic, Renault Captur, Hyundai Kona