Used car check: Citroën C3 Aircross weakens at TÜV

The Citroën C3 Aircross has a modern design, is practical and offers good space.

Used car check: Citroën C3 Aircross weakens at TÜV

The Citroën C3 Aircross has a modern design, is practical and offers good space. But how does he do as a used one? In the TÜV main inspection, the little Frenchman does not show his best side despite all the advantages.

The Citroën C3 Aircross has been on the grid since the end of 2017. The city crossover shares the platform with the Peugeot 2008 and the Opel Crossland X and competes against Renault Captur and VW T-Cross. Unlike its predecessor, the C3 Picasso, the little Frenchman not only wants to be practical, but also score points with its SUV-like appearance. Since the first models have now been at the TÜV, there is now a good opportunity to see how the quality is.

body and interior

SUV or Van? Or both? With the C3 Aircross, the designers wanted to kill two birds with one stone. Externally, the 4.16 meter long and 1.60 meter high Frenchman makes "thick pants". The massive front with the narrow headlights and the steep radiator grille and the wheel arches covered with plastic make the C3 Aircross appear more spacious than it actually is. But inside it is rather comfortable, you have to like the soft seats. In the front you sit generously for a car of this length, in the back it is a bit narrower. However, hardly any occupants should have problems with the headroom.

The rear seat can be moved by up to 15 centimeters in favor of more knee room or more trunk volume. The luggage volume varies between 410 and 520 liters, if you fold down the backrests of the rear seats, the vehicle floor is flat and the volume increases to 1255 liters.

In 2021 the C3 Aircross received a facelift. Since then, the mini-SUV has had a modified front with LED headlights. Inside there is a new center console and a 9-inch touchscreen. There is also a choice of comfort seats with thick foam padding.

engines and propulsion

The range of engines is quite clear. The 1.2-liter three-cylinder is available in three configurations. As a naturally aspirated engine it has 60 kW/82 hp, with turbo support it is available with 81 kW/110 hp and 96 kW/130 hp. The top version has been coupled exclusively with the six-speed automatic since the end of 2019. The sucker version is likely to appeal to very patient drivers, for the sprint to country road speed you have to plan 14 seconds. The turbos are livelier, they are also nominally more economical than the sucker. However, the turbos tend to "drink" under stress, so that the standard consumption of 5 liters is quickly exceeded.

At the market launch, Citroën also offered a 1.6-liter diesel in the expansion stages with 73 kW/99 hp and 88 kW/120 hp. The 1.6 was retired at the end of 2018, since then a 1.5-liter diesel engine with 75 kW/102 hp (since the end of 2020: 81 kW/110 hp) or 88 kW/122 hp has been in the range. The self-igniters approve themselves on average between 3.6 and 4.1 liters of diesel.

Depending on the engine, power is transmitted by a manual five or six-speed switch or a six-speed automatic. There is no four-wheel drive, first owners could at least order the adaptive traction control "Grip Control". It adapts the electronic driving aids to special requirements such as off-road trips or driving on snow at the push of a button.

equipment and security

"Live", "Feel" and "Shine": The well-known equipment lines were initially available for the city crossover. If you are looking for an air conditioner and radio, you should at least look out for "Feel" models. For a surcharge, however, first-time buyers could book these comfort features. Anyone interested in a used car must therefore take a close look at what the desired model has on board. If it's aluminum and has electric windows, it's best to look to the "Shine" models, which also have the sliding rear seat. Various packages and assistants could also be ordered, as well as colorful paints.

With the facelift, Citroën expanded the range of assistants. In addition to a colored head-up display, hill descent control and reversing camera, traffic sign recognition and an active emergency brake assistant are now available. The C3 Aircross achieved a five-star rating in the 2017 NCAP crash test.


At the TÜV main inspection (HU), the little Frenchman does not show his best side. The TÜV inspectors already criticized the axle springs and dampers at the first HU, and the brake discs also attracted negative attention. There is also a loss of oil. Anyone interested in used cars who do not want to experience a nasty surprise should take a close look here.

Conclusion: Practical, spacious and - if the first owner had a penchant for bright colors - also colorful: the C3 Aircross has advantages, but you have to keep an eye on its weaknesses. Anyone interested in the French must invest at least around 12,000 euros.

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