Video: Citroen C3 featured in the new-look Bath Chronicle motoring supplement
Smarter looks and the option of a pair of frugal Pure Tech three cylinder petrol engines have revitalised Citroen’s C3 and kept it current in a closely fought supermini segment. Jonathan Crouch reports.
Citroen’s take on the supermini genre is practical, roomy and smarter in facelifted guise. Most importantly, it gets a pair of efficient Pure Tech three cylinder petrol engines to enhance its eco credibility – and a frugal e-HDi diesel if you’d rather fuel from the black pump. As before, there’s the clever Zenith windscreen with glasswork that sweeps up beyond the heads of front seat passengers. It’s all enough to keep this C3 current in the face of more recently introduced rivals.
It used to be the case that you were much better off choosing a diesel engine in a Citroen C3. The introduction of the 1.0 and 1.2-litre 68 and 82PS Pure Tech petrol units though, now make the choice more difficult. Free-revving and fun to use, these develop 15% more power than their predecessors and will suit lower mileage customers better – but diesel still remains a strong option. The entry-level HDi 70 gets the option of frugal ‘e-HDi’ technology that’s standard on the top e-HDi 115 model. In between sits an HDi 90 model.
And on the road? Well, it’s in urban areas where the C3 gives the best account itself from a driving perspective. At low speeds, the suspension masks the assorted humps, cracks and potholes with finesse and the engines remain unobtrusive. Citroen’s efforts to reduce noise levels in the car with more insulating material in the engine bay and improved joints around the doors pay off.
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The light steering and 10.2m turning circle will help owners out of many a tight spot, as will a good field of vision around the car, especially if you opt for the clever Zenith roof.
As before with the C3, there’s an aesthetic combination of soft curves and dynamic taut lines.
A restyled front end creates a fresh ‘face’ with updated chevrons and bumper-mounted LED daytime running lights. There are smarter tail light clusters too, combined with neat reflectors set underneath the rear bumper.
Inside, the cabin’s a little smarter too with its chrome detailing and thermo-coated soft-touch dashboard. This can be underlined with avant garde dashboard strips in matt black, a warm brown or Moondust grey, which coordinate with the updated upholstery.
The instrument cluster is also backlit in white for a contemporary look and easier-to-read driving information. The centre console controls are neat and easy to operate, the steering wheel is well shaped and there are quite a few small storage areas dotted around. Plus although the door-pockets are a little truncated, the glovebox is surprisingly large. If all you want to do is to get from A to B as comfortably and as cheaply as possible, Citroen’s C3 remains appealing, especially in this improved smarter form. It’s a supermini that offers sensible, no-nonsense family transport, but with a little design flair too.
It’s no longer one of the larger cars in its sector but practically-minded buyers will appreciate an economical engine range boosted by the introduction of Pure Tech three cylinder petrol and e-HDi diesel technology. Plus, once you’ve finished with your Citroen dealer, you’re likely to end up with highly competitive pricing. True, there are more recently introduced choices you could make in this sector but this C3 should still be somewhere on your supermini shortlist.
Price: From £10,890
Max Speed: 101
The latest news, reviews and reports will be featured in the new-look motoring supplement every week in the Bath Chronicle