Citroen C3 Aircross

Rip Curl 130

Citroen C3 Aircross Rip Curl, 2022, side
Citroen C3 Aircross Rip Curl, 2022, front
Citroen C3 Aircross Rip Curl, 2022, rear
Citroen C3 Aircross Rip Curl, 2022, interior
Citroen C3 Aircross Rip Curl, 2022, seats
Citroen C3 Aircross Rip Curl, 2022, logo

SURF'S up. At least it is at Citroen.

The French car maker has joined forces with the iconic Australian surfing brand Rip Curl to launch a special edition of the C3 Aircross.

The new Rip Curl model becomes the flagship of the C3 range and has a host of features to set it apart from the rest of the line-up.

But even if you're not into surfing this special edition has a lot to commend it as it's based on the already well equipped, top-of-the-range Shine Plus trim but adds a number of nice touches.

The most obvious from the outside are the 17-inch black alloy wheels which, usefully at this time of year, come shod with all-season tyres for added grip for when the weather turns against you.

Link that with the option to have Citroen's Grip Control system on board - as with the car driven here - and snowy conditions should be a breeze.

The system, which is designed to give extra traction to two-wheel-drive vehicles when on slippery surfaces like snow or mud, comes with hill descent assist to ensure slippery declines can also be tackled safely at a controlled speed in a similar way to four-wheel-drive cars.

On the inside you get an opening panoramic sunroof with an electric blind, an upgraded hi-fi system and a head-up display so you don't have to take your eyes off the road to see what speed you travelling at.

And being associated with the ocean there are blue flashes of colour on the seats, dashboard, centre console and air vents not to mention the bespoke blue Rip Curl floor mats and the blue exterior door mirrors.

Power comes from a gutsy 1.2-litre, three-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed gearbox giving the car plenty of pulling power when you need it.

It might be a small engine but it's never really found wanting and gave reasonably frugal fuel consumption of well over 40 miles per gallon during my drive.

I found the gearshift, with its dogleg action a bit cumbersome to use, however, and it feels a bit antiquated compared to the smooth auto boxes in its bigger brother, the C5 Aircross.

On the other hand the action is good when you push the shift to the left and use it to change gear manually.

And when it comes to parking the C3 Aircross is superb thanks to a brilliantly small turning circle backed up by parking sensors front and rear and a reversing camera giving both a view of what's behind you as well as bird's eye view from above.

Also the high stance and large windows in this car afford good all round visibility and space inside is generous. It also comes with Citroen's "Advanced Comfort" seats with their memory foam topping to make sure you travel in real comfort.

There's sensible luggage room too, with 410 litres of space beneath the tailgate with the seats upright and a hefty 1,289 litres if you fold them down.

Usefully the two-thirds/one third split rear seats can be slid backwards and forwards to either create more luggage room in the boot or give back seat passengers extra leg room.

Other comfort features that you soon take for granted are keyless entry and exit and keyless starting, not to mention a 9-inch touchscreen with Citroen's 3D navigation system.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C3 Aircross Rip Curl 130

Price: £26,065

Mechanical: 130 bhp, 1,199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via six speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:121mph

0-62mph: 9.2 secs

Combined MPG: 40.2 - 47.3

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions:151 g/km

Bik rating: 34%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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