Citroën has revealed details of the New C3 Aircross, a family B-SUV that offers Citroën’s comfort and well-being signature, plus versatility for up to seven people. Intelligently created with regional input to meet the specific needs of customers in key markets of India, South-East Asia and South America, this new SUV model and the already launched compact New C3 represents key steps in Citroën’s international growth strategy, under which the brand is targeting 30 per cent of its global vehicle sales to be in regions and markets outside of Europe by 2025.
New C3 Aircross is the second in a family of three new models specifically aimed at international growth markets under Citroën’s C-Cubed programme, announced in 2019. The new B-SUV is developed and produced locally at the Thiruvallur plant in India and in Porto Real, Brazil, with a 90% level of content integration, ensuring customers’ satisfaction through an offer perfectly matched to their needs, faster parts availability and overall lower cost of ownership.
Unmistakably Citroën, New C3 Aircross is a tough and distinctive SUV available in both five-seat and seven-seat versions and targeted for launch in India and South America from late 2023. From 2024, it will also be launched in Indonesia, a new market for Citroën, announced in October 2022 and operated in partnership with Indomobil Group as the sole distributor.
New C3 Aircross is a 4.32m long family B-SUV with a tough, expressive design that inspires confidence. It features an assertive front face with a high bonnet, wide track width, Citroën Y-shaped lighting signature and powerful double grille with lower skid plate to deal with varying road conditions and maximise cooling. In silhouette, it stands out with among the best 200mm ground clearance, muscular wheel arches with large wheels and tyres, and resilient protective claddings.
The wide C-pillar adds verticality and strength to the body, while neat rear quarter windows add to the feeling of light and space for passengers. Windows and long rear doors enhance the feeling of height, light and visibility, and allow easy access to the rear rows of seats.
To enhance their pride of ownership, customers in each region can also personalise their vehicle by choosing from a wide range of themed packs and accessories tailor-made to market expectations and designed to stand out and add character. Additionally, Citroën’s signature contrasting roof colours create an eye-catching dual-tone effect for owners who want to add extra distinctiveness to their vehicles.
Citroën’s passion to ensure drivers and occupants enjoy unrivalled safety and onboard comfort is evident in every detail of New C3 Aircross; the spacious cabin offers tuned suspension which maximises comfort and minimises body roll in demanding traffic conditions and over varying road surfaces. Citroën-tuned steering and turning circle for enhanced agility and easy manoeuvring in dense urban traffic complement this. Even the underbody structure and approach angles have been engineered to ensure that New C3 Aircross can tackle rough, crumbling road surfaces with ease and climb up or down steep slopes without touching them.
New C3 Aircross is particularly roomy. The five-seat version offers one of the best kneeroom for rear seat passengers and up to 482-litres of luggage volume, while the seven-seat version adds intelligent modularity for multiple uses, with a third row of two individual seats. These can be folded down or removed individually when the family needs to balance room for passengers with up to 511-litres
Supremely comfortable seats combine with a powerful climate and air-conditioning system, particularly in the second and third rows of the seven-seat version thanks to a unique ventilation module mounted into the roof panel. Thoughtful storage solutions throughout include cup holders that double as smartphone holders and up to five USB plugs.
Up front, the eye-catching and layered horizontal instrument panel features a unique soft-touch grain across the middle. On higher trim levels, New C3 Aircross comes with a seven-inch TFT cluster and a 10-inch touchscreen – among the largest in this class – sits centrally and provides access to key infotainment and connected services – including mirroring capability for access to apps using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
In 2022, Citroën’s Asian and Asian Pacific registrations increased by 56.9% compared with 2021 and those in South America rose by 21.2%. In India, Citroën achieved 6,588 registrations in 2022 (an increase of 872.6%), while in Brazil they increased by 37.6% (32,128) and in Argentina by 11.3% (13,846). Citroën’s brand presence in these two regions has been boosted by the successful launch of the New C3.
In India, the B-SUV segment is divided into two, based on the taxes applied to vehicle length. Sales of models longer than 4m increased by 32% in 2022 compared to 2021, reaching 366,432 units. It accounts for nearly 9.9% of the passenger vehicle market which represents about 4 million units sold annually. Along with the growth in the number of drivers over recent years, the number of vehicles offered in the B-SUV subsegment also increased, making it extremely competitive.
Today, choices are limited for customers if their affordable family vehicle needs to be spacious and versatile enough to carry up to seven occupants and offer attention-grabbing pure-SUV design with great performance and the latest technology.
In Indonesia, the market is maturing rapidly and offers great growth potential. Vehicle sales are expected to double between 2021 and 2030, making it the fastest-growing market in South-East Asia, and second fastest in Asia. Almost 70% of vehicles sold here are seven-seaters (MPVs and SUVs), and since 2016, the increasing demand for B-SUVs has seen this segment reach 20% of the market.
Citroën’s arrival in Indonesia as the brand that “Dares to Care” is timely, and the seven-seat New C3 Aircross B-SUV will appeal to professionals and their families seeking a vehicle that makes the daily work commute, weekend outings and adventures to enjoy their hobbies both easy and stress-free.
In South America, Citroën is already enjoying momentum in Brazil and Argentina with ambitious plans to grow its market share fourfold between 2021 and 2024. Over the last five years, the B-SUV segment has been the fastest growing and now accounts for 20.5% of the market, compared to just under 7% for the B-Hatch segment. It is also the most competitive with 16 vehicles already on sale in Brazil and 17 in Argentina, though New C3 Aircross will be the only B-SUV to offer a seven-seat option when it launches later in 2023.
Key to the success of Citroën’s C-Cubed programme is the collaborative effort between regional Citroën teams and the company’s designers and engineers. Specifically for New C3 Aircross, this involved thorough research into the physical conditions in each market, and extensive conversations with customers to ensure this B-SUV fully meets their wants and needs. While minor variations will exist between vehicles offered in each market based on these deep insights, some common themes emerged from customer clinics, which directly influenced the final design and features.
Laurence Hansen, Citroën Product and Strategy Director said, “Listening to the voices of so many potential customers in these markets drove us to make sure New C3 Aircross offers families a unique package they will appreciate, combining distinctive signature Citroën brand design markers with pure SUV attributes in a muscular and eye-catching vehicle that represents great value.“
“It fully embraces our 360-degree approach to comfort and well-being for everyone through outstanding roominess, modular versatility and space to carry up to five or seven people in serenity. It comes with high levels of equipment and technology, including for seamless connectivity on the move, and the family can make their vehicle even more personal with an extensive offer of themed packs and accessories made-to-measure for each market.”