With the exception of one or two fundamental shortcomings, which we’ll come to in a moment, there’s rather a lot to like inside the C3 Aircross. Broad, two-tone seats with a flash of red and resolutely old-school dials lend the cabin a distant similarity with that of an 1980s hot hatch.
Those seats place you higher than in many of this segment’s contenders (to the extent that taller passengers might rue the presence of the optional panoramic roof) and give you a decent view of dashboard, although the 7in touchscreen that comes with mid-ranking Feel spec and above does sit fractionally too low beneath the eyeline for our liking.
At this level, it includes DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and, most importantly, Mirror Screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to hook up your smartphone. Citroën Connect satnav doesn’t get included until you reach the top-of-the-range Flair model, which commands a premium of about £1800 over Feel derivatives.
The touchscreen is not complicated to use, but it’s not particularly responsive or graphically advanced, certainly when compared with the technology offered in Volkswagen Group products. The ‘buttons’ on the touchscreen for accessing various functions don’t provide haptic feedback either, which means they can be slightly tricky to use while on the move. It’s by no means a bad system, but there are better ones out there.
It’s a quirky driving environment, and although our test subject’s more eccentric touches were limited to lipstick-red details on the squircle-themed air vents and elsewhere, you can specify the car with matching bright colours running across the curved edge of the dash and around the steering wheel and gearstick surround. There are silver accents here and there too. Overall, the C3 Aircross is able to be interesting and ergonomically sound.