After a long 13 month wait almost to the day, the time has finally come. Our new Citroën C3 Aircross Shine Pack is ready for collection at the Stellantis branch in Neu-Isenburg. We are excited about the car and the handover and set off for Hesse with the fresh license plates.
I'm – of course – a bit skeptical. Small SUVs aren't my thing, and engines with only three cylinders aren't either. In addition, there was the delivery chaos of the last few months and the matter of non-deliverable equipment details and also the problem with customer communication. According to dispatchers, the Backup camera not be available as part of the City Package 2.
As always, things are very different, the Citroën surprises, but boring would also be bland. But we don't know that yet when we set off in the Fiat 500 C, the rental car from Stellantis.
On the way to the delivery of the Citroën C3 Aircross Shine Pack
Shortly before Neu-Isenburg the weather switches to heavy rain, dark clouds darken the sky. A bad omen? Mr. Rollwage welcomes us in the branch. Our fourth supervisor in just a few years, the staff carousel is obviously turning fast. The reception is friendly – and while it's pouring rain outside, the Citroën sun is rising inside. A little.
The C3 Aircross Shine Pack is already ready for collection - just complete the formalities, attach the number plates and off you go.
Before that, a few words about the car itself. The C3 Aircross has the highest equipment level, the 130 hp 3-cylinder is married to a 6-speed automatic and the car also has a few extras on board. A large panoramic sunroof would be important to mention, the cold package with heated seats and windscreen, and theoretically the assistant for the blind spot (Blind Spot). Theoretically? The explanation follows.
Otherwise everything is standard on board, several assistance systems, DAB radio, navigation, LED light and much more. Citroën is known for good equipment levels. The list price was just under €13 30.000 months ago, which seems to be the new normal for compact cars. Now the Aircross would be almost €3.000 more expensive.
The C3 Aircross Shine Pack surprises
While our customer advisor is still taking care of the formalities, we chat about the new car. Inevitably, we come to the reduced level of equipment - and the reversing camera ... which is known to be missing. But it is there, says Mr. Rollwage. Honest? A look at the C3 in the delivery area confirms what has been said.
The reversing camera is on board. That's positive, because it's important to my wife, who will drive the new car on a daily basis, while I'll stick with my old Swedish cars.
Cut. Let's fast forward the story a bit.
Out of Neu-Isenburg, a few days later in the office. I look at the order confirmation from February 2022. The assistant for the blind spot catches my eye. It was ordered, confirmed, but not delivered. This solves the riddle that arose from faulty communication. The reversing camera, which is said to be unavailable, is there, but the blind spot is missing. No drama, the other way around would be worse, we can live with that. We will clarify the lower price.
Back to rainy Neu-Isenburg.
Perfect delivery in Neu-Isenburg
The sun is shining at Stellantis. Our supervisor is personable, competent, and the chemistry between him and the customer is right. That's worth a lot. The formalities are quickly completed, the car is inspected and the license plates are installed.
In contrast to the Delivery of the Berlingo 4 years ago, which didn't turn out quite so perfectly, everything is fine. My wife likes her new car and I'm, well, starting to like it.
New car deliveries are always such a thing. There are sellers who torment their customers with brand philosophy. Others think that you have to explain every detail in detail to guarantee the customer is satisfied. Because, as you have to know, the rating system is always lurking in the background.
The manufacturer's survey comes weeks after the purchase. Now it's the customer's turn, and high ratings are essential for employees.
Fortunately, there are salespeople with a fine antenna for the customer. We talk about cars, primarily about Citroën, of course, chat about the market and touch on the Saab topic. Yes, it would be nice if our new contact would stay longer in Neu-Isenburg. Because that's how Citroën is fun.
No, we don't want extensive instruction, we say when asked. We're familiar with the subject and we want to take the C3 Aircross out onto the road and into the rain. Secure? yes we are sure
Since the delivery area is a bit cramped, Mr. Rollwage takes over this part and maneuvers the Aircross outside. The small city SUV is ready for the first drive. Now that the sun is breaking through and the clouds are clearing, shall we press the start button?
Not quite yet.
Before that, we look at the interior and its finish and look for something specific to Citroën. Will we find anything? Only then do we start the three-cylinder. I haven't healed my skepticism yet. How good is the Citroën?
- Sequel follows -