Citroen C3 1.2 PureTech Plus 5dr

  • Manual
  • Petrol
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 124 g/km CO2
  • 124 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 12.5 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 83 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

Thanks to a budget-designed 'Smart Car' platform, Citroen has been able to position this fourth generation C3 supermini firmly at the affordable end of the small hatch segment. You'll need to like the squarical looks and soft ride but if you do, it's difficult to ignore this French contender.

Background

The battle's on to fill the void in the supermini market left by the end of production of this segment's erstwhile best seller, Ford's Fiesta. The Stellantis Group conglomerate has three runners in this particular race; two are recently revised - the Fiesta's traditional arch-rival and segment sales leader Vauxhall's Corsa and the modern style icon that is Peugeot's 208. The Stellantis dark horse though, could be the car we look at here, Citroen's fourth generation C3. It's considerably cheaper than its cousins - and unlike them, it gets an all-new 'Smart Car' Stellantis platform that the group is ear-marking for models it wants to price low enough to compete with the budget brands. Sure enough, the cost competition here is less Corsa and 208 and more Suzuki Swift and Dacia Sandero. Unlike those latter two models though, you can also have this C3 in full-electric form and as a proper Hybrid as well as in conventional combustion guise. Sounds an interesting proposition.

Driving Experience

This C3 may cost considerably less than its Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208 Stellantis cousins but it offers much the same choice of combustion engines. One is carried over from the previous generation model, a 100hp 1.2-litre PureTech three cylinder unit mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The other you might not be quite so familiar with - the Hybrid version. This uses basically the same three cylinder engine but mates it to a 48V motor and a clever e-DCS6 dual clutch auto transmission with an integrated 28bhp electric motor. That motor claims to be able to power the car for up to half the time during urban travel. A greater Stellantis engineering difference comes with the electric E-C3 version, which gets a much smaller 44kWh battery than its E-208 and Corsa Electric cousins (though it's still supposed to be able to take you up to 199 miles). There's a feebler 111bhp electric motor too. One of the things that used to mark the previous generation C3 out from its supermini contemporaries was its soft ride. That's carried forward here - and embellished with 'comfort suspension' that features the 'Advanced Comfort' hydraulic bump stops we've seen in slightly larger Citroen hatches. As with the old MK3 C3, don't expect too much in terms of driver involvement.

Design and Build

Those familiar with the C3 model line will immediately notice that this time round, curvy cuteness has been swapped for a boxier, crossover-inspired more mature vibe. Which may be what the market wants but potentially makes this model a much less distinctive and individual proposition. To try and preserve some of that, there are styling cues from the wacky Oli concept car, an unusual bluff nose section with the brand's latest badge and 'colour clip' inserts on either side of the car which allow owners to add swappable, colour-contrasting accents. This C3 is only 80mm longer and 6mm wider than the old MK3 model, but sits 70mm taller. Inside, it's nothing like any Citroen interior you've ever seen before. There's no instrument binnacle for a start. Only what the brand calls a 'head-up display', which actually isn't that at all; instead, it's a narrow letterbox-like strip which houses a small selection of digital instruments, primarily speed and range. This works with the almost equally unusual oblong-shaped over-buttoned steering wheel. Avoid base trim and you get a central infotainment screen, a 10.25-inch monitor that at last Citroen has learned not to over-burden with climate controls, which are separated out lower down. Fabric inserts and novel detailing supply the required Gallic vibe, as do the squashy 'Active Comfort' seats you get above base trim. At the back, where the budget vibe is emphasised by wind-up windows on most models, you shouldn't expect rear seat legroom to be any better than the previous generation model, but the boxy silhouette should mean improvements in headroom. This ought to benefit boot space too. Trunk capacity is rated at 310-litres.

Market and Model

Expect a starting price for this C3 of around £18,000 for the PureTech 100 version; think closer to £20,000 for the e-DCS6 Hybrid. For the full-electric E-C3, you'll need around £22,000. If the cabin of this supermini isn't quite large enough, bear in mind that Citroen also offers all the same engineering in a small SUV model, the C3 Aircross, which can seat up to seven. There are two trim levels with a C3 supermini - 'Plus' and 'Max'. 'Plus' spec is probably all you need. It comes with LED headlights, rear parking assistance and active safety braking, plus what Citroen calls a 'head-up display' which actually isn't but does bring data into your line of sight. You don't get a central infotainment touchscreen at base level but a smartphone mount is included so that your handset can act in that way. If you really want to stretch to the range-topping 'Max' models, you'll get 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear protection plates, roof bars, 'comfort'-spec seats, wireless 'phone charging, a rear view camera, auto headlights and wipers and a 10.25-inch central infotainment display with 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring and navigation. Across the line-up, there are some trendy options and the main one you'll want to look at would be the swappable colour-contrasting accents you can add to the car via two 'colour clip' inserts. Three paint choices will initially be available - orange, neon green and white, with a wider palette of shades available as the range expands.

Cost of Ownership

If you're prepared to forgo the various electrified powertrains and opt for the base model's 100hp PureTech petrol unit, you can expect 50.4mpg on the combined cycle and up to 128g/km of CO2. The BiK tax band of 30% is worth factoring in though. To get that down slightly, you may want to look at the Hybrid e-DCS6 version, which can improve those figures to around 62mpg and just over 100g/km of CO2. That'll lower your BiK exposure to around 25%. This C3's Hybrid petrol engine has been optimised for efficiency and operates in the Miller combustion cycle. This thermodynamic cycle is enabled by the variable geometry turbocharger, which enhances performance at low rpm, and variable valve timing. A belt-driven starter combines with the e-motor to start the petrol engine from cold. The belt-starter also restarts the engine quickly and seamlessly while driving. If you really want efficiency in a C3 though, you'll need the E-C3 full-electric variant, whose 44kWh battery is supposed to be able to take you up to 199 miles between charges. Citroen claims that the E-C3 is capable of rapid charging at rates of up to 100kW, which allows for a 20-80% charge in 26 minutes. At home, you'll be able to AC charge from 20-80% from 7.4kW garage wall box in just over 4 hours. If your property has a three-phase supply, you'll also be able to charge at 11kW, in which case the 20-80% charging time will fall to just under 3 hours. We don't yet know whether Citroen will be importing the smaller-battery E-C3 with its 124 mile range. All versions of this model will be covered by the brand's usual unremarkable three year/60,000 mile warranty, plus with the E-C3, the battery will have its own eight year cover package.

Summary

You might not be immediately drawn to the squarical looks of this fourth generation C3. And its unusual dashboard is something of an acquired taste. But all may well be forgiven when you check out the budget value pricing. With this little Citroen, Stellantis seems to have at last worked out how to make a supermini for sensible money - and that's a very welcome development. Like its predecessor, the ride is set up to be softer than the supermini norm - and for us, that's welcome too, given the potholed urban environment in which a typical C3 will operate. Plus it's very decently equipped for the money and quite customisable. Yes there are more polished contenders in this segment, but they cost a lot more. Are they worth more? After a look at this very Gallic offering, you might wonder.

  • USB connection
  • Airbump on side door panel
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Body colour door handles
  • Chrome decoration on front face, under chevrons and around daytime running lights
  • Matt black finish B pillar
  • Rear side wing doors
  • 12V socket
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Height/reach adjust steering wheel
  • Parcel shelf
  • Soft touch gear lever with leather effect gaiter and overstitching
  • Standard ambience
  • Steering wheel with satin chrome elements and audio/telephone controls
  • Upholstered armrest in front and rear doors
  • Safety pack 1 - C3
  • Visibility pack with automatic lights - C3
  • Driver and front passenger seatbelts with pyrotechnic pretensioners and force limiters
  • Driver's airbag
  • Electric child locks
  • Front passenger airbag
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Front side airbags + front/rear curtain airbags
  • Mono-tone horn
  • Outer rear seats with pretensioners and force limiters
  • Three rear 3-point seatbelts
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Anti theft alarm
  • Automatic door and boot locking with automatic unlocking in case of impact
  • Central locking with locked indicator and interior one touch lock button
  • Immobiliser
  • Remote control central locking with two plip keys
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 124
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 132
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 123
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1199
  • Compression Ratio: 11:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 75
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 90.5
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
  • Gears: 5 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 5.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 5.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEH: 5.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEL: 4.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 6.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 4.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 47.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 53.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEH: 43.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEL: 48.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEH: 54.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEL: 60.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEH: 42.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEL: 46.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEH: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEL: 57.4
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.2
  • Badge Power: 83
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: Pure Tech 83
  • Coin Series: Plus
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 16E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Service Interval Mileage: 16000
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 12.5
  • Engine Power - BHP: 83
  • Engine Power - KW: 61
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5750
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 87
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 12
  • Engine Torque - NM: 118
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2750
  • Top Speed: 103
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: MATRIX
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Height: 1474
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 3996
  • Wheelbase: 2539
  • Width: 1829
  • Width (including mirrors): 2007
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 45
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1540
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 992
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 300
  • Max. Loading Weight: 560
  • Max. Roof Load: 70
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 450
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 450
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 980
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.9