Citroen’s charming C3 supermini gets even more spunky this month, thanks to a package of changes that add mechanical zest, visual appeal and enhanced driving pleasure.
Mechanical zest comes about via the introduction of a 1,2-litre three-cylinder Puretech petrol engine, which combines exceptional efficiency with peppy performance. It replaces the previous 1.4-litre engine and at 60 kW makes six kW or 15 percent more than the larger unit – yet generates the same amount of torque, at lower rpm. Fuel consumption levels can be as low as 4.7 litres per 100 km, achieved with a CO2 output of a mere 109 grams/km. Emissions are 25 percent lower than the 1.4.
The alternative to the triple is the existing 1.6-litre VTi, rated at a useful 88 kW and a user-friendly 160 Nm, which when coupled to the C3’s wind-cheating 0.30 CD and light yet strong construction results in lively performance.
For those who prefer the high-mileage benefits of a diesel, the C3 is still available with the HDi 90 AIRDREAM engine. This 68 kW/230 Nm 1.6-litre powerplant with micro-hybrid e-HDi technology boasts the most efficient Stop&Start system on the market. Expect CO2 emissions as low as 98 g/km, and fuel consumption in the order of 3.7 litres per 100 km in mixed driving.
As an added bonus, the Puretech 1,2 and 1.6 e-HDi, fall well under the threshold for CO2 tax, while the 1.6 VTi attracts minimal penalty thanks to a rating of just 136 g/km.
The visual appeal of the new C3 is there for all to see: styling is more assertive thanks to bumper-mounted LED daytime running lights on SeductionandExclusive models, more prominent trademark chevrons which run the width of the nose to reach the inner edges of the headlights, while a deeper front air intake with honeycomb mesh brings it in line with other Citroen models. The impression is of a car which has become more sophisticated and grown-up.
From the rear the changes are less obvious, but the chrome eyebrow above the tail light clusters, now with distinctive ‘pockets’ for each lighting function, set it apart from its predecessor. A new colour – Ink Blue – expands the choice to six hues.
Driving pleasure is closely related to comfort and the new C3 has a cabin which is even more appealing on a tactile and sensory level – areas where Citroen is proud to continue with its desire to cater for the needs of the heart and not just the head.
The famous Zenith roof continues on the exclusive model as an example of “Créative Technologie”, flooding the cabin of flagship models with natural light, while a simple pull action covers the upper reach of the panoramic windscreen for a cosier ambience.
Touches of chrome add a distinctive style while a new dashboard cross strip is finished in Tungsten or Moondust depending on the model. Both colours complement the new upholstery, which with three distinct textures combine sportiness, warmth, and support. More liberal use of bright metal finishes highlight specific controls, and staying with the sensory, Citroen continues to offer an integrated air freshener, so that the nose as well as the eyes and nerve-endings get to enjoy the experience.
Says Citroen’s General Manager for Marketing Grant Bowring of the mid-year upgrade: “We believe there is no reason why a B-segment supermini shouldn’t have the ability to excite, and to create an emotional connection with the driver. With these changes it certainly does that, and on an objective level the addition of the 1,2-litre triple engine is especially significant as it represents a major step forward in powertrain technology. With a special launch price on this Attraction model of R149 900 the Citroen C3 remains an exciting and affordable alternative in its segment.”
With the ever increasing growth of human and vehicular population, compact dimensions and exceptional manoeuvrability are critically important in this segment and it remains a C3 strength. With an overall length of 3,94 metres and a width of 1,72 metres it takes up the minimal amount of road and garage space and yet has a generous 300-litre boot. With a turning circle of 10,2 metres it is perfectly at home in the urban environment where the ability to execute a two- rather than three-point turn is all-important.
Citroen continues with a three-tier trim structure, namely Attraction, Seduction and Exclusive, the latter model also available with an automatic transmission rather than five-speed manual which is the default. Exclusive models can also be ordered with a reverse camera and park distance sensors, and a satellite navigation system for a full house of convenience features. It comes fitted with an enhanced infotainment package, which links Bluetooth, Aux jack and USB port – a package jointly known as the Connecting Box.
But it isn’t all about fun and games: the Exclusive boasts six airbags, the Seduction four, and the Attraction a pair. All three spec levels include ABS+EBD, OBA, ISOFIX, impact tensioning seatbelts and side impact protection.
Standard price includes a three-year, 100 000 km warranty (with an optional extension to 5 years or 100 000km) and a service plan which runs to four years or 60 000 km. The new Citroen C3…a Supermini you can love with your head, heart and pocket.
Citroen C3 Pricing: (Inclusive of Vat)
- VTi 82 Attraction: R166 900.00
- VTi 82 Seduction: R177 900.00
- e-HDi 90 Seduction: R213 900.00
- VTi 120 Seduction: R196 900.00
- VTi 120 Seduction Auto: R211 900.00
- VTi 120 Exclusive: R222 900.00