The changes made for the new Citroen C3 is a real step forward for this supermini. The new version is fresher, more stylish and seems to be bigger than ever. Of course, the manufacturer dipped into the style and design boxes of the C4 Cactus and they have added the funky-looking Air Bumps to the sides of this vehicle. This car faces very stiff competition from the likes of the Ford Fiesta, the Skoda Fabia, the Opel Corsa and the Volkswagen Polo.
It appears that Citroen aren't overly concerned about performance when it comes to the latest generation C3. They seem to be looking more towards comfort and style. In fairness to them, that's what a lot of shoppers are looking for. The car is available with a mix of four engines. The PureTech petrol engines offer between 68 and 82 hp, while the diesel, BlueHDi engines offer either 75 or 100 hp. The 1.2 litre 68hp PureTech engine will bring the Citroen C3 from 0-100km/h in 14 seconds and has a top speed of 172 km/h. The same sized engine with 82hp, offers 0-100km/h in 13 seconds. The 100 hp diesel model's 1.6 Blue HDi model will cover the same distance in 10.6 seconds.
The new Citroen C3's suspension set up is suited to Irish roads. It's smooth on flat surfaces and on rougher roads, it can soak up bumps without causing any major discomfort, unless of course you hit some large potholes. While the car does soak up rough roads, the suspension is on the soft side, so it can be occasionally bumpy. On corners, you will find body roll and the steering lacks feel. The other thing that stands out is the lack of sixth gear – when you are getting up to motorway speeds, you can feel a strain on the engine and the car feels/sounds like it wants to go up another gear.
This car is presented very well, and the interior is certainly a nice place to be in when you're in the higher trims. However, the car can be subject to a lot of engine noise when you are trying to get up to motorway speeds. As already mentioned, this might be eased slightly if there was a sixth gear. The car also lets some road and wind noise into the cabin.
The exterior looks stylish, and Citroen deserve thumbs up for bringing some of the best visuals from the C4 Cactus over to the C3 - especially the Air Bumps. We're not too sure what it is about them that appeals so much, but we do think they add a stylish quirkiness to the car. Unfortunately, those same Air Bumps are only available as standard with the highest trim. Inside, as ever, Citroen are good at bringing the illusion of space to what is a relatively small car. The cars are nicely specced, especially if you opt for the "Feel" or "Flair" models, however, it is disappointing that you must choose air conditioning as an optional extra (€600) on the entry-level "Touch" trim. The interior is a very comfortable place to sit, but if you are putting pressure on the engine to get to motorway speeds, you will notice road noise coming through to the interior. You will also hear the pressure being placed on the small engines.
We were unable to find a Euro NCAP score for this new generation of C3, but we will update this page as soon as we have the information. What we do know is that Blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and a reversing camera is available with the car. There’s also a coffee break alert feature – which is an alert that is sent after 2 hours of continuous driving at over 60km/h.
Citroen are excellent at creating the illusion of space – especially in their smaller cars. The C3 feels spacious, but it’s not up there with the Fabia yet. The space is brilliant to the front and there is plenty of legroom, shoulder room and headroom. The rear is a little more cramped, but the car should be okay for four adults. Kids will be happy enough with their space. The boot is not massive, but considering that this is a supermini, its 300-litres is okay.