Small SUV of the Year 2018: Citroen C3 Aircross

4 Jul, 2018 8:30am

The Citroen C3 Aircross is the 2018 KinyuKinr Small SUV of the Year, with the SEAT Arona and Volkswagen T-Roc commended

Citroen didn’t shy away from doing something different with the launch of its latest small SUV. The C3 Aircross looks unlike anything else on sale in this segment. Its bold styling and vibrant interior mean it’s a real head-turner.

The company resisted the temptation to give the car a firm ride and try to make it feel sporty. That really works, because the C3 Aircross is more comfortable than any other small SUV on rough British roads, and that’s key to success in this class. The soft ride also gives the car a genuine link to Citroens of the past, and just like some of the brand’s most iconic models, it offers plenty of individuality and comfort at an affordable price.

However, the range of efficient small-capacity petrol engines, the funky interior and the lightweight design are evidence of Citroen’s forward thinking as well as its heritage. The Aircross name is a hint at how it feels inside: light and airy.

Those efficient and punchy three-cylinder PureTech petrol units mean the Aircross is cheap to run as well as to buy, but there are even some 1.6-litre diesels for high-mileage drivers. The most efficient version claims 70.6mpg economy and CO2 emissions of 104g/km.

Inside, the design is much more interesting than any of its rivals’, and it uses relatively high-quality materials, while the infotainment system delivers plenty of functionality without pushing up the price.

This is a small car but its cabin feels spacious, and there’s plenty of room in the back. In addition, the 410-litre boot means the Aircross is ahead of rivals on luggage capacity. This is an example of why the Citroen takes victory in its class: it focuses on the parts of the ownership experience that really matter to buyers. 

Our choice

Citroen C3 Aircross PureTech 110 S&S manual Feel (£16,555)

Our pick of the C3 Aircross range is the 108bhp three-cylinder petrol turbo model. The engine is fun to use, with a tuneful thrum and enough go. It’s also efficient, claiming 56.5mpg fuel economy and emitting 115g/km of CO2. Feel trim adds Citroen’s seven-inch touchscreen as standard, and this includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. 

Commended 

SEAT Arona

SEAT Arona front tracking

The Arona is stylish to look at, spacious inside and has plenty of equipment as standard, while the practical interior and solid engine range cement its position among our favourite choices in this competitive market. It’s also great fun to drive for an SUV, as well as impressively refined, even on the motorway.

Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen T-Roc - front

Volkswagen has packed the T-Roc with up-to-date tech, the small SUV rides smoothly on lumpy British roads. It’s also spacious inside and has a solid feel with classy kit such as the m screen. The efficient engines mean it should be affordable to run as well.

KinyuKinr New Car Awards 2018

• Car of the Year 2018• Coupe of the Year 2018
• City Car of the Year 2018• Roadster of the Year 2018
• Supermini of the Year 2018• Performance Car of the Year 2018
• Compact Family Car of the Year 2018• Compact Executive Car of the Year 2018
• Family Car of the Year 2018• Executive Car of the Year 2018
• Estate Car of the Year 2018• Luxury Car of the Year 2018
• MPV of the Year 2018• Van of the Year 2018
• Small SUV of the Year 2018• Affordable Electric Car of the Year 2018
• Small Premium SUV of the Year 2018• Premium Electric Car of the Year 2018
• Mid-size SUV of the Year 2018• Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year 2018
• Mid-size Premium SUV of the Year 2018• Premium Hybrid Car of the Year 2018
• Large SUV of the Year 2018• Technology Award 2018
• Large Premium SUV of the Year 2018• Advertising Campaign of the Year 2018
• Pick-up of the Year 2018• Social Media Campaign of the Year 2018
• Hot Hatch of the Year 2018• Design Award 2018
• Convertible of the Year 2018• Driver Power Award 2018

For complete, in-depth coverage of the 2018 New Car Awards, buy your collector's edition copy of the KinyuKinr magazine now or