Parkers overall rating: 3.2 out of 5 3.2
  • Small range of engines
  • Performance adequate but not brisk
  • Manual and automatic options

What engine options are there?

There are just three conventional turbocharged engines to pick from, two petrols and one diesel, with not a single hybrid in sight. Power ranges from 110-130hp so don’t expect brisk acceleration, either.

The 110hp petrol and diesel engines are only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, with the 130hp petrol exclusively coming with a six-speed automatic.

The manual gearboxes have a vague, rubbery feel while the automatic can sometimes be a bit hesitant. We’d stick to the manual and save a chunk of cash.

Petrol engines

Engine Power and torque
0-62mph time
Top speed
1.2-litre 110
110hp, 205Nm
10.1secs
114mph
1.2-litre 130
130hp, 230Nm 9.2secs
121mph

View full specs

Both petrol engines are 1.2-litre three-cylinder units that have a turbocharger fitted for a bit more low end shove. Given the C3 Aircross’s relaxed nature we’d say the Puretech 110 is plenty quick enough, especially as the Puretech 130 doesn’t feel a great deal quicker in the real world.

Diesel engine

Engine Power and torque
0-62mph time
Top speed
1.5-litre 110
110hp, 250Nm
10.8secs
114mph

View full specs

The sole diesel isn’t particularly quick, but it feels good and strong from low revs so you won’t have to rev it hard to keep up with traffic. As the Puretech 110 feels significantly peppier, we’d only recommend this engine if you really value long distance economy.

Handling

  • Plenty of body roll in bends 
  • Grippy but not fun 
  • Steering could be more precise

As you’d expect given the comfort focus, handling was not high on Citroen’s list of priorities. It’s by no means bad; there’s plenty of grip and it feels stable even if you do decide to drive briskly, yet there’s nothing that makes you want to drive it hard.
The steering is light at parking speeds and builds a bit of weight as you go faster, but it’s not as precise as more handling oriented rivals. If you do press on it leans over more than rivals and doesn’t feel particularly agile. If you do value driving thrills, have a look at a Ford Puma.

Four-wheel drive isn’t available, but a system called Grip Control is. This is a traction control system that has a variety of modes for different surfaces. It’s only available on Shine and Shine Plus models, though.