What is it like on the inside?
Citroen has no interest in making cars that follow the usual automotive norms. Instead the company has developed a visual language of softly rounded oblong shapes, geometric surfaces, and seating and fabrics that resemble home furniture. It's all very relaxing – unlike the Aircross’s new face – especially if you opt for one of the interior options that adds a panel of fabric to the dash.
Those seats might look flat like sofas, but their padding is generous enough for most people to get comfy, unless they are sensitive to the driver's seat's sloping cushion. The new front seats in the top-spec car have 15mm more padding than before and are superbly soft as a result. Not particularly supportive, but you won’t be cornering quickly so it’s not a problem.
Is it spacious?
The Aircross is about the roomiest small crossover. The back seat, optionally, will split, slide and recline to divide space between people and boot. The boot floor itself adjusts to two levels, and the front passenger seat can fold flat so you can carry longer stuff (up to 2.4 metres) than rivals. Taller adults may struggle in the back if you’ve specified the panoramic sunroof, which eats into headroom.
If you poke around the Citroen's cabin there's lots of cheap hard plastic. That's what the company always does. But most of it, except on the doors, is where your fingers don't normally fall. The old one didn’t have a huge amount of storage bins or cupholders around the cabin, but the new car’s redesigned centre console (with its conventional handbrake, to free up space) rights this wrong. One complaint we have here – as is often the case with French cars – is the tiny cupholders. Unless you’re bringing an espresso with you it’ll be tough to jam in your travel mug.
How about the tech?
Every C3 Aircross gets a touchscreen – 7.0-inch on lower-spec cars, and a new 9.0-inch option higher up the range. These screens run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, giving you nav, traffic and music streaming. The top trims also have their own in-built sat nav. The screen operates the radio, car settings and Bluetooth phone if you're not using mirroring via USB (nope, not wireless). You also need to get into the screen menus for climate control.
The graphics and response of the screen are much improved, as is the usability, even if it can get laggy at times. Big text and icons make this touchscreen reasonably straightforward to use on the move – we especially like how if you prod the screen with three fingers, it instantly takes you back to the main menu.