Citroen’s new C3 proves to be an impressive package with a smart price writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? Citroen has charmed us over the years with quirky, innovative designs and in the hotly contested, but relatively dull small hatchback segment, the C3 guarantees to stand out from the crowd.
Who is it aimed at? The funky design shouts ‘look at me!’ inside and out so this is the car for someone who wants to stand out from the crowd.
Styling? With C4 Cactus styling cues, Citroën’s funky third-generation C3 is their answer to modern city living. In a hotly contested but relatively dull small hatchback segment the C3 guarantees to stands out from the crowd with more than 36 different personalisation options including nine bodywork colours and three colours for the roof. The side airbumps, just like the Citroen Cactus, are optional but certainly adds to the distinctive styling and at only 4 metres long the C3 is ideal for those tight car spaces.
Under the Bonnet? Engines choices include a three-cylinder 1.2 petrol with 68, 82 or 110 bhp or a 1.6-litre turbo diesel. If you do a lot of driving opt for the diesel but for most people the petrol is the better option. The most powerful diesel produces 100 bhp but our test car was the 75bhp with 230Nms torque from 1,750rpm. The top speed is 171 kph with a 0-100 time of 11.3 which feels quicker than this in real-world driving. The three-cylinder petrol engine is well worth considering; on the road it is really gutsy with more than enough oomph to be entertaining. You also get a light five-speed gearbox and regardless of how hard you drive economy is very good.
What about inside? Behind the wheel it’s comfortable and the layout is simple yet modern with a digital display in front of the driver and a large seven-inch full colour touch screen display takes care of most of the controls. As you would expect in this price range there is a vast swathe of plastic in the cabin but there are enough nice quirky touches to distract the eye including a fully integrated HD camera located behind the rear view mirror, which saves the previous 30 seconds of your journey prior to any incident. You can also press a button on the rear-view mirror to record snaps and all images and video can instantly be shared on social media channels or saved in the event of an accident
On the Road? Citroen has built a reputation on cars that are comfortable to drive and the C3 certainly doesn’t disappoint with a smooth and refined ride. On the downside, it’s not the most dynamic in this class, plus there is not much in the way of feedback from the steering either.
And Safety? You get plenty of safety and security kit thrown in, including a Lane Departure Warning System, Blind-Spot Monitoring System and Driver Attention Alert a system that warns the driver when it is time to take a break – i.e. after two hours’ uninterrupted driving at speeds above 72kph, then every hour thereafter
What are my options? There is a choice of three generously equipped trim levels; Touch, Feel and Flair. On the Touch entry level version that starts at €15,490 for the 1.2 litre 68bhp PureTech and €17,890 for the 1.6 HDi 75bhp diesel. Prices for our top of the range Flair test car with a urban red ambience trim as extra is €20,790. Standard equipment includes a USB socket for media streaming & Bluetooth hands free, safety features including Lane Departure warning and coffee break alert, as well as cruise control and power steering. Trade up to the Feel trim from €16,990, to add 16-inch alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights; more intelligent and useful technology including Mirror Screen with Apple Car Play and a 7-inch touch screen; and the added comfort of automatic air conditioning.
Will it break the bank? According to the official fuel figures, the petrol range returns from 4.7 l/100km with CO2 of 108g/km and an impressive 3.6 litres l/100km for the diesel with a CO2 of just 93 g/km.
Verdict? The new C3 is fun and quirky and Citroen has injected some real French flair and character into the small car market. While this isn’t a car that excites with a dynamic ride, it will tempt you with great comfort, an affordable price tag and very distinctive styling. And the best part is even if the novelty of those quirky looks does wear off, you’re left with a decent small car.
Why you’ll buy one? Style; Options; Comfort
Why you won’t? Driving Dynamics
Watch our video review below (Video Filming by Kyran O’Brien)
Citroen C3 BlueHDi 75 S&S
Engine: 1.6 Diesel
Max speed: 171kph
0-100 kph: 11.3 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 93g/km (€180)
Model price range: €15,490 – €22,190 (€20,990 as tested)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP: Not Tested
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 3.6l/100km (78.5mpg)
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 300 Litres (992)
Car Seats: two isofix fittings in the rear seats
27th February, 2017