Since its launch at the end of 2017, the Citroën C3 Aircross has been one of the best sellers in its segment. If he can thank his offbeat positioning, the Frenchman has a competitor who also capitalizes on his charm, the Fiat 500X just restyled. A match that smells of the city!
It’s a fact, urban crossovers have literally taken over our city centers. Without competing with versatile city cars, still widely acclaimed by automobiles, they have had the merit of offering a more versatile alternative to our usual small towns.
Larger and therefore more spacious, with a higher driving position, a guarantee of a better understanding of the traps of our agglomerations, they have proven that their versatility could offer a real alternative to vehicles in the upper segment like compact sedans.
The real difficulty now consists in choosing from a multitude of proposals, nearly twenty models being offered in this category including the premiums. Alongside the classics Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008, there are competitors capitalizing on their more fun sidewhether in style or conduct.
The original caste of which the Citroën C3 Aircross and its multiple possibilities of customization. Recently arrived on the market, replacing the C3 Picasso quickly became one of the best-selling models in the segment with a very good score of 44,000 copies sold in 2018.
Facing him, the freshly restyled Fiat 500X can boast of continuing to surf a great success – 15,000 units sold in 2018 and this before its new version – enjoying again and again the immense aura of his little sister 500 and its Italian charm.
To appeal to trendy city dwellers, Citroën displays more attractive prices than the Fiat. With an entrance ticket set at € 15,950 (82 ch “Live”), the C3 Aircross offers less power and less equipment than the entry-level 500X, the 1.0 Firefly Turbo petrol 120 hp “Urban” sold for € 18,990.
A difference that can be found on the high-end versions and in particular the 500X 2.0 Multijet 4×4 150 ch Diesel “Club” sold € 34,190 against € 23,350 for the most powerful Diesel from Citroën, the BlueHDI 100 ch in “Shine” finish. But again, the Italian logically offers more complete equipment, greater power and 4-wheel drive.
Urban but with a welcoming vocation, city crossovers must maximize their space on board. And the best example is arguably the C3 Aircross. Shorter than the 500X (4.15 against 4.26 m), the Frenchman succeeds in offering as much rear roominess than the Transalpine, while offering a larger trunk (410 l against 350).
Even more skillful, the C3 Aircross retains some remnants of minispace and its ancestor C3 Picasso: 2/3 1/3 split rear seat and sliding (available on the highest trim level) allowing the choice of increasing the livability or the boot volume (up to 520 liters), not to mention the optional folding front seat for loading objects up to 2.40 m long. Much more basic in modularity, the 500X is satisfied with a simple fixed 2/3 1/3 rear bench.
Question interior style, the two urban crossovers continue on the way of the playful and the quirky, especially the C3 Aircross. Its two-tone dashboard is embellished with air vents in rather original shapes while all the air conditioning and infotainment controls are combined in the touch screen.
For his part, the 500X opted for color with a strip painted in Italia blue across the entire width of the dashboard. With its restyling, the Turinese also gained a new three-spoke steering wheel as well as some arrangements on its counters for better readability. Finally, the two interiors are equal in terms of quality of materials and ergonomics, the C3 Aicross benefiting from a small advantage, the head-up display available as an option (400 €).
If the 500X and the C3 Aircross both embark a 3-cylinder turbo, the Citroën cube a larger displacement (1.199 against 999 cm3) while taking advantage ofmore power (130 hp against 120) and a higher torque (230 against 190 Nm).
Lighter (1,188 against 1,320 kg), the French crossover is also ahead in terms of performance by being more lively on 0 to 100 km / h (9.3 s against 10.9 s) but also faster in top speed (200 against 188 km / h).
However, in use, the block of the C3 Aircross seemed much hollow at low revs than that of the 500X. Rough also in its use, requiring to put a blow of gas a little frank to avoid stalling. Rather confusing for a turbo engine!
Quieter and above all more flexible at very low revs, the Fiat 3-legged benefits from a beautiful elasticity and a good general approval. Its only flaw concerns its consumption, higher than on the C3 Aircross (around 8 liters against 7.5 l on a mixed route).
By equipping itself with these powerful engines for vehicles of this type, the 500X and C3 Aircross enjoy good versatility. Unmistakably at ease in the city thanks to their compact size – special mention for the shorter turning radius of the C3 Aircross – they can afford to venture on highways and winding roads without any difficulty.
It is in this case that the two express their differences. Faced with the excellent suspension comfort, controlled roll grip but a slight tendency to understeer from the Citroën crossover, the Fiat responds with even more dynamic behavior but firmer damping and less communicative steering.. In short, comfort for the Frenchwoman and dynamism for the Italian. A matter of taste then!
|Citroën C3 Aircross||Fiat 500X|
|Dimensions (Length, width and height)||4.15 / 1.74 / 1.60 m||4.26 / 1.80 / 1.60 m|
|Wheelbase||2.60 m||2.57 m|
|Trunk volume||410 liters||350 liters|
|Weight||1.188 kg||1.320 kg|
|Engine||3-cylinder turbo petrol – 1.199 cm3||3-cylinder turbo petrol – 999 cc|
|Power||130 hp at 5,500 rpm||120 hp at 5,750 rpm|
|Couple||230 Nm at 1,750 rpm||190 Nm at 1,750 rpm|
|0 to 100 km / h||9.3 s||10.9 s|
|Max speed||200 km / h||188 km / h|
|Mixed consumption||5.3 l / 100 km||5.8 l / 100 km|
|CO2 rate||119 g / km||133 g / km|
|Trial version price||1.2 130 ch “Shine”: 22,700 €||1.0 120 ch “Urban”: 18.990 €|