French Fiesta-fighter gets a quirky makeover
- Quirky, attractive styling
- Personalisation options
- Very comfortable interior
- Impressive ride
- Lots of safety kit
- Looks won’t suit everyone
- Jerky auto gearbox
- No autonomous braking available
- Not the sharpest drive
The previous Citroen C3 was always a little bit forgotten. While it had the same classy interior as the Citroen DS 3 (now simply known as DS 3) with which it shared a platform, it never quite had the same impact on the supermini sector as its sleek and stylish stablemate, struggling to keep up with the big hitters in the class like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo.
That’s not the case with the new C3, though. With shrunken C4 Cactus-style looks and plenty of new technology on board, Citroen has made the new C3 much more distant from the DS 3, and we think it’s all the better for it.
Quirky looks and personalisation
Outside it’s a chunky-looking little thing, with squinty LED daytime-running lights like the rest of the Citroen range, low-set headlights, instantly recognisable Airbumps down the side of the car and plenty of personalisation options in the form of different body, roof and mirror colours.
It certainly grabs your attention, and that’s an important thing for buyers of these cars – they’re largely used around town and customers like the idea of standing out from the hordes of Fiestas, Corsas and Polos you see on the roads.
Inside, the new C3 takes more inspiration from the Cactus, with a simplified dash design featuring a touchscreen infotainment system, luggage strap-style door handles and plenty of choices for the seat and dash trim. The best part is it feels very light and airy thanks to big windows, light materials and the option of a panoramic sunroof, too.
Efficient engine line-up
All engines in the C3 are found in other Citroen and Peugeot cars, so they’re tried and tested and all pretty cheap to run. The most efficient – unsurprisingly – are the BlueHDi diesels. The 75hp version emits 85g/km of CO2, while the more powerful 100hp version still falls well under the magic 100g/km barrier.
Petrols are impressive too – the worst offender emits 109g/km of CO2, so it’s not going to cost much to tax.
Advanced connectivity and safety tech
For such a small car, the new C3 packs a mighty punch when it comes to technology. While there’s nothing new or ground-breaking about featuring a touchscreen infotainment system these days, the C3 comes with MirrorScreen on Feel and Flair trims which includes Apple CarPlay for iPhone users, (with Android Auto coming at a later date).
The big new feature is an integrated dashcam – Citroen calls it ConnectedCAM – which allows drivers to either capture moments they want to save for social media, or potentially in the event of an accident to capture evidence. It certainly saves having messy wires dangling around your dashboard (a common issue with retro-fit dashcams) and could be beneficial if the worst should happen.
Citroen has piled on the safety technology, too. Lane-departure warning and speed limit recognition are standard across the range, while blindspot monitoring is also available. Handy features like hill start assist and a reversing camera are also found on the options list, but there’s no autonomous emergency braking (AEB) available – not even as an option.