Saturday 3 December 2016

Citroen dares to stand out from crowd in the new C3

Citroen has charmed us over the years with quirky design and innovation. The C3 fits the mould nicely, writes Geraldine Herbert

Published 06/11/2016 | 02:30

Tres bon: The new Citroen C3 is charming and very comfortable Photo: William Crozes / Continental Produtions
Tres bon: The new Citroen C3 is charming and very comfortable Photo: William Crozes / Continental Produtions

With C4 Cactus styling cues and frugal running costs, Citroen's funky third-generation C3 is its answer to modern city living. In a hotly contested but relatively dull small hatchback segment, the C3 stands out from the crowd with more than 36 different personalisation options including nine bodywork and three roof colours.

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Behind the wheel it is supremely comfortable and the firm support of the cosseting seats felt satisfyingly substantial. The layout is simple yet modern with a digital display in front of the driver and a large seven-inch full colour touch-screen display.

As you would expect in this price range there is a vast swathe of plastic in the cabin, but there are enough novel touches to distract the eye, including a fully integrated HD camera located behind the rear view mirror, which saves the previous 30 seconds of your journey prior to any incident. You can also press a button on the rear-view mirror to record snaps and all images and video can instantly be shared on social media channels or saved in the event of an accident.

Space in the front is good but limited in the rear which would be far from enticing on longer trips. Boot capacity is a decent 300 litres.

Engines are a three-cylinder 1.2 petrol with 68, 75 or 82 bhp or a 1.6-litre turbodiesel with 75 or 100 bhp. A 110 bhp petrol engine with automatic transmission will join the range from February, 2017 and this was the car we had an opportunity to try out.

Citroen has built a reputation on cars that are comfortable to drive and the C3 certainly doesn't disappoint with its smooth ride. On the road it is quiet and refined and while it's not the most dynamic in this class, the C3 isn't meant to be a racer, just funky fashionable transport.

Citroen claims official fuel figures for the petrol range from 4.7 litres per 100kms or 60mpg with a CO2 rating of 108g/km for the manual and an impressive 3.5 litres per 100 or 80 mpg for the diesel with a CO2 rating of just 92 g/km.

Prices for the new C3 start from €15,490 and there is a choice of three generously equipped trim levels, Touch, Feel and Flair.

Standard equipment includes a USB socket for media streaming and Bluetooth hands-free, safety features including lane departure warning and coffee break alert, as well as cruise control and power steering.

Trade up to the Feel trim from €16,990, to add 16-inch alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights; more intelligent and useful technology including Mirror Screen with Apple Car Play and a seven-inch touch screen; and the added comfort of automatic air conditioning.

The top of the range Flair is priced from €18,990 and adds Black Airbumps as standard along with 17-inch alloy wheels, ConnectedCAM Citroen, automatic lights, windscreen wipers, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

With funky styling the new C3 is what Citroen does best. It is a fun and quirky alternative to the traditional small hatchback that is comfortable, cool and tres chic.

Sunday Independent

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