Small SUV market expands with new arrivals from Citroen and Kia.

Updated / Tuesday, 31 Oct 2017 14:48

The C3 Aircross goes on sale with a starting price of €20,695 thus giving the Kia Stonic - with better standard equipment a competitive edge.

The long list of small SUV's coming onto the market in time for 2018 registrations grows even longer with new arrivals from Citroen and Kia.

Citroen's C3 Aircross goes on sale next week, with prices starting at €20,695. Ever since the Cactus made a surprise impact on the market Citroen has been trying to build on its success with designs that are meant to suggest fun and youthful driving characteristics. This car does manage to suggest both but it also has some fairly practical attributes too. The boot space, for example, is 520 litres - generous for a car this size - and the rear seat layout is a sliding bench that can be split 60/40 to accommodate bigger items.

The C3 Aircross has a choice of 1.2 and 1.6 diesel engines.

Standard on the car are manual air conditioning, electric front and rear windows and a lane departure warning system.  Other extras, such as satellite navigation, are available as you move up the range. As I've pointed out on more than one occasion, one needs to pay careful attention not just to the baseline price for cars these days but also to what extras will cost before making a decision.

Engines start with a 1.2 petrol unit with 85 horse power and then move on to a 1.6 diesel with 100 horse power. There are a few other options with different power outputs in petrol and diesel. 

Kia's oddly-named car (many of them are these days) is another small SUV that starts at €18,599 for the 1.2 petrol version, which puts it up to cars like the C3 Aircross. The Stonic also gets some decent equipment as standard, inlcuding a 7" screen, cruise control, a speed limiter, a spare wheel (more important and less obvious to many buyers these days), a rear USB connection, manual air conditioning and 15" alloy wheels.

Kia's entry-level Stonic gets cruise control as standard.

The Stonic is a better looking car than its name suggests and Kia seems to be getting the message about the need to lift its interiors a bit to make them more appealing and less dominated by plastic.

The 1.2 petrol is the cheapest but the more modern 1.0 litre petrol comes in at €1 Euro less than €25,000. There are also two 1.4 petrol versions and two 1.6 diesel versions. The diesel starts at €23,099.