Starting at $19,990 (plus on-road costs), the all-new Citroen C3 beats the outgoing model by as-good-as $4000, clearly targeting a budget-minded but fashion-conscious demographic with an eye for chic style.
Borrowing from the larger C4 Picasso, the 2010 Citroen C3 features a panoramic front windscreen that reaches up along thinner A-pillars to the diminutive hatch’s B-pillar.
Designed to let natural light into the cabin and improve visibility, the ‘Zenith’ windscreen features a progressive tint that ensures occupants are amply protected against harmful UV rays.
“With the new C3, Citroën is opening up a new automobile universe. A universe where reason and responsibility leave room for a new driving pleasure and new sensations,” Vincent Besson, Products and Markets, Citroën, said.
The new C3 has been given a sportier vibe than its predecessor, featuring sharp character lines merged with a smooth curving profile.
Weighing in at 1030kg in entry spec and measuring a mere 3940mm in length, 1710mm wide and offering a 1020mm turning circle, Citroen says the new C3 is the perfect car for the city dweller.
In designing the C3 small car, Citroen's designers looked to the next segment up. High quality materials feature inside and out, including a thermo-coated dash highlighted with a cross strip in satin grey or gloss brushed aluminium, with chrome detailing.
Citroen has worked to optimise overall interior space, offering greater knee room and medium-height seats for improved access.
Despite its small stature, the 2010 C3 offers 300 litres of boot space, along with the usual console, glove compartment and centre armrest storage solutions.
The new C3 will be offered in Citroen's three core trim levels: VT, VTR+ and Exclusive.
Among its standard features, the entry-level VT includes an MP3-compatible radio/CD player with steering mounted controls, air-conditioning, electrically-adjustable door mirrors, front electric windows and a multi-function on-board trip computer.
The mid-range VTR+ trim includes front automatic up/down electric windows, curtain airbags, front fog lights, leather steering wheel, cooled glove box and cruise control with speed limiter.
The range-topping Exclusive model adds digital air-conditioning, front centre armrest, height and tilt adjustable front passenger seat, front and rear auto up/down electric windows, interior mood lighting, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, dark tint rear windows, electrically folding and heated door mirrors and 16-inch wheels.
Safety features across the range include ABS braking with electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist, along with ESP as standard.
Driver and passenger airbags, along with side front airbags, are standard for all models. From the VTR+ trim level, all models are specified as standard with six airbags (driver, front passenger, front lateral and curtain).
Power for the new C3 is provided by one diesel and two petrol engines.
On the diesel front, the C3 gets Citroen's 1.6 litre HDi four-cylinder engine, producing 66kW and 215Nm of torque.
The diesel offers exceptionally low fuel consumption figures of 4.3 l/100km on the combined cycle and just 3.7 l/100km on the urban cycle.
The C3's entry petrol engine is a 1.4 litre four-cylinder, developing a modest 54kW and 118Nm of torque, again paired with a manual transmission only.
The larger Citroen/BMW-developed 1.6 litre petrol engine, available with a four-speed automatic transmission only, develops a range-topping 88kW but - of course - lower torque than the diesel, at 160Nm.
Fuel consumption for both engines is 6.3 and 7.0 l/100km respectively on the combined cycle. The urban cycle returns figures of 5.0 and 5.4 l/100km.
The diesel will get to 100km/h in 11 seconds, while the 1.6 litre petrol will cover the distance in "10.9" seconds (a curious difference, driven likely by marketing concerns). The 1.4 litre petrol C3 crosses the line last, in 14.2 seconds.
Suspension is managed up front by MacPherson-type struts, while the rear features a new rear axle with flexible traverse beam. The new C3 also has variable electric power steering.
While the C3 has sold more than two million units globally, Australian sales have languished. With the stylish new 2010 C3, Citroen will no doubt be expecting big changes on the sales front here.
The new C3 is available now.
- 2011 Citroen C3 VT 1.4 petrol MT - $19,990
- 2011 Citroen C3 VTR+ - 1.6 petrol AT - $23,490
- 2011 Citroen C3 VTR+ - turbodiesel MT - $23,990
- 2011 Citroen C3 Exclusive - petrol AT - $24,990
- 2011 Citroen C3 Exclusive - turbodiesel AT - $25,990
- 2011 Citroen C3 Exclusive - turbodiesel MT - $26,490
Note: prices are manufacturer's list price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.