CITROEN’S C3 small hatchback will return to Australian showrooms later this year priced from $22,990, bringing a little of the C4 Cactus’ unorthodox styling but bundled in a smaller – and more affordable - package.
It ends a two-year hiatus and boosts the French carmaker’s local offering to five models, sitting alongside the C4 larger hatchback, C4 Cactus crossover and a pair of C4 Picasso people movers.
Just one level of specification will be on offer dubbed ‘Shine’, powered by a 1.2-litre 81kW Puretech three-cylinder petrol engine, which is bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission. Performance is on the less potent side with the zero to 100km/h dash done in 10.9 seconds, but with an advantage to economy. According to Citroen, the C3 uses just 4.9 litres of fuel per 100km.
The new C3 bridges the gap between five-door hatchback and cosmetic crossover with a boosted ride height, plastic wheel arch and bumper extensions and the company’s iconic Airbump door protection strips.
Despite the C3’s all-terrain looks, it has been designed as a more suburban proposition with front wheel drive and a range of customisation options. Nine body colour options can be paired with a choice of three contrasting roof colours with matching exterior details, while 17-inch ‘cross’ alloy wheels are standard.
Four interior themes are on offer for more individualisation options, with a standard or “Metropolitan Grey” version for more neutral colours, an Urban Red theme bringing more contrasting colours with red stitching, while the Hype Colorado option adds higher-quality materials including leather.
Measuring 3996mm in length, 2007mm wide, 1474mm tall and sharing a platform with the C4 Cactus, the new C3 is larger in almost all dimensions than the previous-generation version. The roof is 40mm lower.
Before it was discontinued in 2015 the second-gen C3 was on offer for $19,990, but the new version is having a fresh try at the Australian market with its conspicuous styling, more generous equipment and a new distributor – Inchcape Australia.
Standard specification includes a seven-inch central touchscreen with ‘mirror screen technology’ for duplicating a smartphone display, real-time traffic and accident information, navigation, reversing camera, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and LED daytime running lamps.
Customers can pick form a number of options including a panoramic sunroof for an extra $600 or a unique ConnectedCam.
for the same cash, which is positioned behind the rear-view mirror and can record the journey in HD for capturing both enjoyable and not-so-pleasant motoring incidents.