Ste Maxime to St Tropez
The original C3 was launched in 2002 & in 2016 Citroen launched their current C3 which in late 2020, was upgraded & improved, with better connectivity, more safety features & a revamped exterior.
Citroen has always offered a myriad of customisation combinations on the C3 & the latest version is no different. It features 7 body colours, 4 roof colours, 3 interior ambiences & new alloy wheel designs. Following on from other new Citroen models, the C3 now features Citroen Advanced Comfort Seats & up to 11 driver assistance systems, including parking assistance, driving aids & accident prevention, dependant on which model you select.
The latest C3 is offered in four specifications; C-Series, which comes with reversing sensors, Cruise control with speed limiter, Lane Departure Warning, Citroën Connect DAB Radio with 7″ touchscreen, 6 speakers, Bluetooth handsfree & media streaming, a USB socket, Onyx black roof & 16″ Matrix alloy wheels. Next up is Sense, which in addition to C-Series includes, automatic air-con, 16″ steel wheels with “3D” wheel covers, black folding mirrors & a black colour pack (black foglight surround & white Airbump capsule). Shine is next & this model adds a Visibility Pack (automatic rain-sensing front windscreen wipers, automatic lights), 16″ Hellix diamond-cut alloy wheels & roof coloured door mirrors. Range topping Shine Plus takes things further, with the addition of Citroën Connect Box Emergency & Assistance system, 17″ Vector diamond-cut alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel & Citroën Connect Nav. All models get connected Apps for access to Apple CarPlay & Android Auto as well
Prices are competitive. The entry level C-Series manual costs just £13,980 on the road, with the mid-range Sense costing from £15,105, Shine from £16,155 & range topper Shine Plus, from £17,755.
Apart from the choice of four roof colours, new Emerald Blue, joining Opal White, Onyx Black & Sport Red, the C3 is offered with seven colours. New Elixir Red & Spring Blue, plus Perla Nera Black, Cumulus Grey, Platinum Grey, Soft Sand & Polar White. Matching colours also feature on the wing mirrors & rear quarter panel sticker. New C3 can also be specified with roof colour that matches the body colour.
The Colour Packs consist of coloured inserts that feature around the fog lights & Air-bump surrounds & there’s a brand new Colour Pack – Anodised Emerald. Colour Packs are also available in Black, White & Red. You can complete the look of New Citroën C3 with one of the 3 graphic decals available; Red, Emerald or Techwood.
Engine choice includes the PureTech 83 petrol manual, with a combined fuel economy of 52 mpg & CO2 emissions of 124g/km. C-Series & Sense are only offered with this engine. Next up is the PureTech 110 manual or auto, again with emissions of 125g/km manual, 134g/km auto & a combined fuel economy of 48-52 mpg. Rounding off the choices, is the Blue HDI 100 Manual, which has the best fuel economy of 66 mpg & lowest C02 emissions of 112g/km.
Citroen loaned us the Shine Plus S&S 100 manual in Elixir Red coupled to a White Opal roof. It certainly looks the part, both inside as well as out. Citroen have obviously taken a few of the magic beans used when designing the inside of the late DS Crossback range & have sprinkled them liberally across the inside of the latest C3. The interior door handles are designed like luggage handles, the doors themselves feature indented rectangles & the central section of the dashboard features rectangular air-vents, both mirroring the shape of the exterior Airbumps.
The quality of the fixtures & fittings is also very good & there’s a mix of hard & soft-touch plastics which are easy on the eye & again reminded me of the DS interiors I have been in. My test car was finished inside in Techwood Ambiance , which includes Advanced Comfort Seats with cloth & leather effect trim, driver’s armrest, a Technical Wood dashboard finish with grey surround.
Dominating the dashboard is the 7″ touchscreen below which sit the hazards, front & rear de misters & central locking switches. In common with other recent PSA launches, notably the Peugeot 308, pretty much everything else is controlled by using the 7” touchscreen itself.
The steering wheel controls allow you to access Bluetooth & cruise control as well as enable you to choose your media or radio station of choice. There’s also a button located to the lower right of the dashboard enabling one to turn on or off the lane departure warning as required. The touchscreen itself is pretty simple to use. The functions are straightforward & you can touch between DAB & the SatNav with relative ease. Because the heating & ventilation is also controlled via this touchscreen you will find that you need to exit SatNav to adjust the cars temperature which can become rather tiresome.
Connectivity is excellent, as I seamlessly connected my iPhone to Apple Car Play., On the go, the cabin is surprisingly quiet even at motorway speeds in the wet & if you do need to make any hands-free calls, these aren’t too stressful, with no shouting required.
The cabin offers a number of practical storage solutions. You get deep door pockets, seat back pockets, a decent sized glove box & two storage areas in the central binnacle. Front passengers get good head & legroom & in the rear two adults will squeeze in if required although leg room is tight. The boot offers a useful 300 litres of storage, but does feature a high lip to gain entry.
Small car equals low emissions & good fuel economy, or so the saying goes. In my week in the C3, driving on a combination of city, country, A-roads plus the motorway, I averaged 42 mpg driving over 300 miles, which still left 40 miles or so in the tank.
Out & about, the C3 rides like French cars of old & feels set up to be more comfortable to drive than to be thrilling. Handling & agility is average, acceleration distinctly so, with 62mph reached from a standing start 10.5 seconds & a top speed of 123mph. Still, the front seats are soft & comfortable, rather than hard like much of its competition & help soak up the pot-holes along with Citroen’s flexible suspension. The overall feeling of driving the C3 is more pipe & slippers than the Fit-Bit & trainers on offer from other cars in it’s class as Citroen’s Advanced Comfort Seats are really relaxing.
In conclusion, the updated C3 is a comfortable, refined workhorse that gets the job done. It also looks great, comes with up-to-date technology & safety & compared to others in this sector, offers a lot of practicality.