There’s no denying that the new third-generation Citroen C3 supermini model looks great, but it isn’t just about design and even smarter technology ahead of its predecessor, it has been designed with comfort in mind. It’s a clever design all round. The new hatchback features SUV design cues such as the high nose and plastic arches, but actually comes in pretty close to a number of superminis on the market, such as the Mini five-door variant, just a little wider.
Bearing all that in mind, the front-wheel drive Citroen C3 hatchback is surprisingly composed on some of the more challenging country roads of the UK, soaking up the mildest of pot holes with ease. There’s light roll when cornering, but nothing out of the ordinary for a car of this size. The comfort levels of the car have far surpassed that of its predecessor, making relatively light work of long journeys.
Mated to a five-speed synchromesh manual gearbox, its three-cylinder turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine features direct injection capability, and it is just that; capable. It gets louder as the revs increase, but is nothing too taxing. The lump is smooth and has the oomph to get you there in good time. The 108bhp at 5500rpm motor features torque figures of 15lb ft. and a 0 – 62mph of 9.3seconds. Running costs shouldn’t break the bank, either. Its claimed 61.4mpg doesn’t seem too off the mark and its 103g/km CO2 figure means a tax bill of £140 per year. The steering is light, but not too light, but wind noise can be on the loud side. Not unbearable, but a little music may be required.
To the inside, the dashboard is simplistic, if not a bit basic, but it has all the functionality you need. Design cues to the outside make their way inside, but it’s still nothing to write home about. Personalisation possibilities are there, though, so you can change it up as you’d like, with colourful dash trim inserts available from £150. Storage is apt featuring front seat back pockets, cup holders, and large door card storage space. The grey Mica cloth seats are comfortable and supportive. You can adjust your driving style by moving the seat front and back, as well as up and down, same with the steering wheel. A DAB radio is included, which is controlled via a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Mirror screen technology for smartphone connectivity, along with Apple CarPlay is also included.
Load space is also respectable, with a minimum of 300-litres – larger than the aforementioned competition – with the seats up, rising to 922-litres with the seats folded.
Safety features such as hill start, passenger and rear bench ISOFIX mountings, as well as a space saver spare wheel and driver, front passenger, front lateral and curtain airbags are also included.
The French car manufacturer is claiming a world first with its connected camera technology, which features lane departure warning and speed limit sign recognition, while allowing owners to take images or video of its travels. Due to its connectivity, social media buffs are then able to upload said media from there.
For extra security and insurance in the event of an accident, the system also stores 30seconds of footage before and one-minute following.
The new C3 supermini should compete well in a market that’s kinged by Ford’s Fiesta model and Mini. Citroen upping its game in the all-round stakes was much needed. The design is something the brand has got right since the introduced of the airbump technology ridden Cactus back in 2014.
The base price of our test variant comes in at £16,685, but with all the extras added to it such as metallic paint, digital satnav, keyless entry and start, 17-inch diamond-cut ‘Cross’ alloy wheels, panoramic roof and blind spot monitoring, the prices ramps up to £18,630.
Model tested: Citroen C3 hatchback PureTech 110 S&S Flair
© Danni Bagnall