Citroen has a long and varied history in Australia. Over the last few years the brand has seemed to drift away to almost nothing. This was a combination of both local issues and financial pressures from the parent company.
Enter a new Australian distributor, Inchcape, and the renewed enthusiasm from the parent company that has invested heavily into new product line and you have the foundations for a strong return in the market.
This all leads me to the Citroen C3 Launch.
Citroen C3 External
Citroen has managed to build a personality into the exterior design of the C3. It looks like fun.
The bonnet with the new double chevron grill sits high and proud. This carries through a high waistline to the well styled rear three quarter section.
The typical double layer headlight design continues the tall and proud look.
Some standout external features include:
- Airbump technology that protects lower doors from bumps and scratches in urban environments
- A choice of 33 exterior colour combinations with customers able to choose from nine body and three roof colours.
- Coloured highlights applied to door mirrors, fog lamp surrounds, and Airbump and rear quarter panels, all matched to the roof colour.
- Optional (no cost) 17-inch diamond cut ‘CROSSWAY BLACK’ alloy wheels that look good!
There is something about the C3 that immediately makes you feel comfortable inside. The seats, manually adjustable, were overall supportive and comfortable although they had no additional lumbar support adjustment.
The steering wheel has a two toned bezel, slightly squared off at the bottom. All the audio controls are situated on the spokes as well.
In front of the driver is a large clear dash, with large outside dials, a two tiered central section, the top section for fuel and temperature etc. and the lower section for a MFD. This is good, clear design that aids functionality.
The centre console stack is dominated by the 7 inch touch screen that houses all the controls. This leads to a somewhat bare lower console area.
All round visibility is pretty good. The bugbear of modern cars, the ‘A’ pillar that sometimes conceals complete cars, isn’t too bad on the C3.
The first car we sat in had the optional Colorado two tone interior. This incorporated soft touch highlights along the dash, around the steering wheel and other selected places. Other than that the interior materials are a little harsh where you lean your elbows on like door trims etc.
Both front seat occupants have more than enough head, leg, shoulder feet room. The Citroen C3 is surprisingly roomy. Note that with the front seats all the way back there isn’t much knee room for rear passengers.
The rear seats fold in a 50/50 configuration, but not flat unfortunately. Boot space is again adequate for a couple for a weekend away or an extended holiday. The rear hatch opens wide but will catch taller drivers if they are unaware.
Boot capacity is between 300L and with the seats folded and removable parcel shelf 900L.
Citroen C3 Standard Features
Offered in one highly specified variant, the all-new C3 will feature additionally to what has been mentioned, as standard:
- 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with Mirror screen (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink)
- Rear parking sensors
- Automatic headlights and windscreen wipers
- Climate control
- Bluetooth + USB
- Bi-tone Onyx Black roof (not available with Perla Nera Black)
- Electrically adjustable door mirrors,
- Auto-dimming electrochromatic rear view mirror,
- Boot light and
- Front courtesy and reading lights
The Citroen C3 will also feature a number of no-cost options including:
- 17-inch diamond cut ‘CROSSWAY BLACK’ alloy wheels
- Body-coloured roof
- Bi-tone Opal White roof (not available with Polar White)
- Bi-tone Sport Red roof (not available with Ruby Red)
Further customisation is available via six options including;
- Almond green solid paint: $290
- Metallic paint: $590
- Urban Red interior atmosphere: $150
- Hype Colorado interior atmosphere: $400
- Citroën ConnectedCAM $600
- Panoramic glass roof: $600
Drive and Engine
One of the significant improvements for the all-new C3 is the adoption of the turbocharged 1.2-litre PureTech e-THP three-cylinder engine.
This engine produces 81kW/205Nm. This is matched to the new electronically-controlled, six-speed automatic gearbox designed and developed in conjunction with Aisin.
The 2018 Citroen C3 has a combined fuel efficiency of 4.9 litres/100km and emissions as low as 110g/km.
The immediate thought arrived at by just reading the power and torque figures is that it will be sluggish.
This is far from the truth. The little three cylinder matched to the clever AISIN six speed box, provides more than enough for normal driving conditions.
Citroen C3 Safety
The Citroen C3 has achieved a 4 star ANCAP safety rating. Citroen is aware of the issue and working to fix it ASAP. The C3 is still a very safe vehicle with some segment exclusive features as well.
Let’s look at what the C3 does have.
- ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Emergency Braking Assistance,
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC),
- Hill Start Assist Function Driver,
- Front passenger, front lateral and curtain airbags,
- Driver’s, passenger’s and rear seats unfastened seat belt warning,
- Front seat belt pretensioners,
- Reversing camera and rear parking sensors
- Five 3-point inertia reel seat belts,
- Remote central locking with deadlocks,
- 2 ISOFIX mountings on rear outer seats,
- Lane Departure Warning System,
- Tyre pressure monitoring system,
- Speed Recognition and Speed Warning Coffee Break Alert,
- ConnectedCAM CITROËN
- Front occupant space
- Design and style
Not So Good Bits:
- Interior in places a little plastic and harsh
- No driver lumbar support
- Currently a 4 star ANCAP rating
Citroen is back in business. Drivers that want their transport to be a reflection of themselves and their personality, or in fact want the car to have its own personality, please form the queue to the left.
The Citroen C3 does what it is designed to do with style.
Facts and Figures: Citroen C3 Shine
- Engine: 1.2 litre turbo-petrol producing 81kW/205Nm
- Transmission: Six-speed Aisin auto
- Safety: 4 Star ANCAP
- Warranty: Five years
- Origin: France
- Price: $26,990 RDAP