Compact SUVs are all the rage in India, with a growing number of options hitting the market. Two recent entrants vying for attention are the **Citroen C3 Aircross** and the **Tata Nexon**. These vehicles bring distinct characteristics to the table, making it an exciting showdown between French finesse and Indian innovation. Let’s delve into the details to find out which one deserves a spot in your garage.

    Design comparison

    Citroen C3 Aircross

    The C3 Aircross introduces a refreshing change to the midsize SUV segment with its distinctive French design. It shares its platform with the C3 hatchback, featuring a similar front fascia that exudes uniqueness.

    The lower bumper sports a prominent skid plate, and the widened air intake accentuates the car’s width. The C-shaped tail-lights, roof spoiler, and 17-inch ‘Quadratic’ alloys enhance its rear appeal. The spare tire is positioned beneath the car, showcasing a unique design element.

    Tata Nexon

    Tata’s Nexon, on the other hand, has undergone a radical transformation for its 2023 facelift. It now boasts a futuristic and curvaceous front end, featuring LED daytime running lamps, projector headlamps, and a connected grille.

    The side profile maintains its signature coupe-like roofline and gets new 16-inch alloy wheels. The rear receives an enlarged spoiler and distinctive V-shaped tail-light signature with dynamic animations during locking and unlocking.


    Citroen C3 Aircross

    Inside the C3 Aircross, you’ll find a stylish and sculpted two-tone dashboard, sharing design cues with the smaller C3. The steering wheel is from the C3 as well, with additional buttons for the digital instrument cluster. The driver’s seat offers comfort and manual adjustments, while the rear seats provide ample headroom and legroom. The highlight is the availability of a unique 7-seater configuration, making it versatile for various needs. However, some cost-cutting is evident, especially in the placement of switches and air conditioning controls.

    Tata Nexon

    The 2023 Nexon impresses with its all-new interior. The clean and sophisticated dashboard design features layered elements and faux carbon fibre finishes. A high-resolution 10.25-inch central screen offers wireless Apple CarPlay and a crisp 360-degree camera view.

    The twin high-resolution screens, including a fully digital instrument panel, provide a tech-forward cabin experience. The front seats are sufficiently comfortable, but the driver’s seat alignment could be improved. The rear offers excellent space, comfortable seating, and practical features like vents and USB charging ports.

    Features in each SUV

    Citroen C3 Aircross

    The C3 Aircross equips a 10.2-inch infotainment system, offering smooth operation, wireless connectivity, and clear graphics. It provides multiple USB charging ports, a rearview camera with parking sensors, and standard safety features. However, some features are notably missing, such as a sunroof and rear aircon vents.

    Tata Nexon

    The Nexon shines in the features department with its twin 10.25-inch screens, wireless Apple CarPlay, voice assistant, 360-degree camera, and a premium 9-speaker JBL audio system. It offers convenience features like cruise control, auto headlights and wipers, and an air quality index monitor. Safety is a priority, with standard six airbags and ESP across the range.

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    Power and Performance

    Citroen C3 Aircross

    The C3 Aircross comes with a single engine option, a refined 1.2-liter turbo-petrol delivering 110hp and 190Nm of torque. It’s paired with a smooth 6-speed manual transmission. While the engine performs well, the absence of an automatic transmission limits its appeal in the competitive SUV market.

    Tata Nexon

    The Nexon offers a three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine with 120hp paired with a twin-clutch automatic transmission. While the engine is smooth and throttle response has improved, it lacks the punch of rivals’ turbo engines. The gearbox, while smooth, is not as quick as some competitors’ transmissions.

    Ride and Handling: Balanced Comfort vs. Confident Drive

    Citroen C3 Aircross

    Citroen prioritizes comfort, and it shows in the C3 Aircross’s ride quality. It absorbs bumps and rough roads effectively, offering a comfortable driving experience. The steering is precise and inspires confidence at high speeds, making it enjoyable on the highway. Its off-road capabilities are surprising, handling obstacles with ease.

    Tata Nexon

    The Nexon retains its confident ride and handling characteristics, with a hint of stiffness at low speeds but excellent bump absorption at higher speeds. It excels in straight-line stability and offers a comfortable ride on various road surfaces. The steering is light at low speeds and gains weight as you pick up speed.

    Mileage Comparison

    • The Citroen C3 Aircross is a petrol-powered hatchback SUV that has a 6-speed manual transmission and a 1199 cc engine.
    • The Tata Nexon is a diesel-powered SUV that has a 7-speed DCA automatic transmission and a 1497 cc engine.
    • The Citroen C3 Aircross has a claimed mileage of 5 kmpl, while the Tata Nexon has a claimed mileage of 23.64 kmpl.
    • The Citroen C3 Aircross has a fuel tank capacity of 45 litres while the Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 litres.
    • The Citroen C3 Aircross has a boot space of 444 litres while the Tata Nexon has a boot space of 382 litres.

    Based on these points, you can see that the Tata Nexon has better mileage, but the Citroen C3 Aircross has more space and power.


    In this clash of compact SUVs, the **Citroen C3 Aircross** brings French flair and a unique 7-seater configuration, making it a versatile choice. However, it falls short in terms of features and powertrain options, missing out on an automatic transmission.

    On the other hand, the **Tata Nexon** impresses with its tech-forward cabin, extensive features, and improved powertrain options. It offers a comfortable ride and confidence-inspiring handling. Yet, it could benefit from enhanced build quality and certain feature refinements.

    Ultimately, your choice depends on your priorities. If you value style and versatility, the C3 Aircross may appeal to you. However, if you seek a feature-rich, comfortable, and tech-savvy SUV, the Nexon is a strong contender in this segment. The decision rests in your hands, and both vehicles have something unique to offer.


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