At first glance of the new Citroen C3 one thing that will stand out is that the French car manufacturer has produced a supermini that will definitely catch your attention with its unique design and the ability to be as individual as you want it to be.
Since its initial launch in 2002, Citroen have sold 3.5 million units on the C3 worldwide with 6,000 C3’s sold here in Ireland. The launch of the new Citroen C3 comes at a time when Citroen Ireland has their eyes firmly set on a number of goals; increase customer loyalty, increase new customers to the Citroen brand and rejuvenate the brand.
What Citroen do very well is offer their customers the opportunity to make their new purchase as unique as they are. The supermini segment of the car market is filled with options from the Ford Fiesta and the Volkswagen Polo to the Opel Corsa and the Skoda Fabia. All of these cars have their own strengths and weaknesses. Where the new Citroen C3 will catch your attention though is its quirky look and levels of comfort. What Citroen claim when it comes to the C3 is that there are 4 strengths; Design by way of 2 tier lighting, 3D lights, a floating touchscreen along with the optional Airbumps, Customisation by way of the 3 optional roof colours, 9 separate body colours, 36 different choices and combinations along with 3 interior ambiences, Comfort in the form of suspension, soundproofing, sofa effect seats, increase of 22mm in legroom and a 6.25 litre glovebox and finally technology including hill start assist, lane departure, reversing camera and blind spot recognition.
So, what is it that differs from this new C3 from the previous model. From the outside, you will see that Citroen have extended some of the styling from their popular C4 Cactus with the Airbumps located along all four doors. These are available as standard on the top spec “Flair” trim of our test car and mean that any minor bangs you may experience are absorbed by the plastic panels which can be easily replaced if need be. Another piece of innovative technology which is standard on the “Flair” spec is Citroen’s ConnectedCam which in essence is a built-in dash cam located between the rear view mirror and the front windscreen. Download the associated app for ConnectCam and once connected you can take pictures and videos along your travels which can be downloaded once the vehicle is stationary and uploaded to social media or used for insurance claims!
There are three different petrol engines with varying power outputs of 68hp, 82hp and 110hp and two diesel engines with 75hp and 100hp. All of these engines are paired with a manual transmission while there is also an option of automatic transmission paired with a 110hp petrol engine.
So, what is the C3 like when you sit inside. Comfort levels up front are quite good with plenty of head and leg room as well as good visibility. In the rear, the legroom does become slightly restricted for taller passengers but on shorter journeys this shouldn’t pose as too much of a problem. The interior of the new C3 has been paired back and offers an almost minimalist approach to interior layout. This compliments the spacious feel. Standard for our test car the floating touchscreen controls most of the vehicles functions such as infotainment, Bluetooth connectivity and climate control. My only worry and this doesn’t only apply to this system is that should something go wrong with your touchscreen you cannot control anything within the car but that’s something for the workshop to worry about!
Boot space stands at a reasonable 300 litres up to the parcel shelf whilst this can be extended up to 922 litres with the rear seats folded down.
So, what about the on the road? My test car was powered by the 1.2 litre 82hp PureTech petrol engine paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. The PureTech engine range has been tried and tested and has proven itself as being perfectly capable. This 3-cylinder power plant won’t be setting any land speed records but it isn’t designed to. Instead it achieves its goal by not being overly intrusive like some 3-cylinder engines are.
Over most surfaces the C3 is perfectly capable of absorbing most things that are thrown at it. It is after all just a supermini with some faux SUV looks to draw your attention. Where the new Citroen C3 feels most at home is around cities and towns and given its light steering this is exactly where it shines. On the open road you won’t have too many complaints. Whilst it might take a few seconds longer for the 82hp engine to get you up to cruising speed, once there it will happily maintain its speed without complaint. The lack of a 6th gear will be noticed however once you are driving over longer distances though. Take to more twisty roads and while the levels of comfort are maintained you will notice that there is a lack of feedback from the steering.
All in all, what the new Citroen C3 offers is a quirky and eye catching supermini that allows any potential buyer to put their own unique look to it. The engine and trim options should suit everybody’s needs as well. Personally, if I was a potential customer I would be looking from the “Feel” trim level up and with either the 82hp or 110hp petrol engines.
Engine Size – 1.2 PureTech
Fuel Type – Petrol
Power – 82 bhp
Torque – 118 Nm
Acceleration (0 – 100km/h) – 13 seconds
Top Speed – 167 km/hour
Consumption (Combined) – 4.7 litres/ 100 kilometres
CO2 emissions – 109g / km
Road Tax – €190
Starting Price – € 15,490
Model Tested – € 18,990 including options