Citroen C3 de­sign shines

Albany Extra - - News - Derek Og­den

The Citroen C3 may be light-on in vari­ants, but the new French com­pact, which comes to mar­ket in a sin­gle ver­sion, the Shine, has strik­ing looks, cost sav­ings and the chance to match the buyer’s own per­son­al­ity.

With a skinny sticker price of $23,490 plus on-road costs, the hatch is straight from the “Do you want fries with that?” de­sign school and while as a main dish it may seem mea­gre, it comes with an op­tional “sides” menu of lips­mack­ing pro­por­tions.

For starters there are 33 ex­te­rior colour com­bi­na­tions, three in­te­rior “moods” and Con­nect­edCAM, at $600 ex­tra, the first fac­tory-fit­ted “dash cam”, that can up­load con­tent to so­cial me­dia.

To be fair, stan­dard seg­ment­first safety fea­tures on the all-new C3 in­clude traf­fic sign speed recog­ni­tion and rec­om­men­da­tion, plus lane-de­par­ture warn­ing, while Citroen’s Air­bump tech­nol­ogy pan­els pro­tect lower doors from bumps and scratches.

The Citroen Air­bump, air-filled pan­els with scratch-proof sur­face, along both sides of the ve­hi­cle, are a per­fect stylis­tic fit for the C3 Shine and pro­vide wel­come pro­tec­tion against scrapes and nudges from out­side the ve­hi­cle.

The de­sign has taken on a new look with­out ig­nor­ing fea­tures that made its pre­de­ces­sor so pop­u­lar.

Front on the C3 fits with its ro­bust in­tent, the sig­na­ture twin chevron tak­ing pride of place flanked by a two-tier front light setup re­in­forc­ing bon­net height, while the dou­ble chrome bar un­der­lin­ing the chevron badge runs through to the LED day­time run­ning lamps, en­hanc­ing the width.

A float­ing roofline is en­hanced by black wind­screen pillars, body sur­faces ex­tend­ing down­wards over large-di­am­e­ter wheels. At the rear, mus­cu­lar wings give the car a crea­ture-of-prey ap­pear­ance ac­cen­tu­ated by short over­hangs.

The car as a whole lends it­self to cus­tomi­sa­tion, in­clud­ing no-cost op­tions such as 17-inch di­a­mond­cut black al­loy wheels, body-coloured roof and white or red twotone roof. Half a dozen cost op­tions in­clude al­mond green solid paint, metal­lic paint, Ur­ban Red or Hype Colorado in­te­rior at­mos­phere, Citroen Con­nect­edCAM and panoramic glass roof.

The cabin is meant to feel like a home away from home for the driver. No clut­ter, con­sis­tency and full, soft shapes are the key.

The dash­board de­sign fea­tures trim that adds a feel of width to the cabin. Buy­ers have a choice of fin­ishes — paint, tex­tile or TEP lin­ing, or­dered with or with­out over­stitch­ing — and a choice of chrome or colour sur­rounds.

It also matches the seat ma­te­rial that has a de­lib­er­ately non-au­to­mo­tive look and feel, for a co­her­ent in­te­rior in a choice of three moods — stan­dard, Ur­ban Red or Hype Colorado. The new C3 Shine presents the world pre­miere of Citroen Con­nect­edCAM, a fully in­te­grated HD cam­era sys­tem that films on-road ex­pe­ri­ences for im­me­di­ate shar­ing on the so­cial net­work, or for sub­se­quent view­ing.

In a crash the cam­era au­to­mat­i­cally goes into ac­tion.

A seven-inch touch­screen gives ac­cess to a range of safety, phone and me­dia func­tions in­clud­ing Ap­ple CarPlay and mir­ror screen, which du­pli­cates the driver’s smart­phone screen on the cen­tral dis­play.

Ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance sys­tems in­clude 3-D nav­i­ga­tion with speech recog­ni­tion and re­vers­ing cam­era.

The C3’s 81kW ver­sion of the

tur­bocharged 1.2-litre PureTech e-THP en­gine is the same three-cylin­der unit found in a va­ri­ety of ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing the re­cently up­dated Citroen Cac­tus, and has been put through rig­or­ous test­ing in­volv­ing more than 25,000 hours on the test bench and four mil­lion­plus kilo­me­tres on the road.

Mated with an elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled, six-speed au­to­matic gear­box de­signed and de­vel­oped in con­junc­tion with Aisin, gear changes are 40 per cent faster than those of pre­vi­ous gear­boxes, while higher gear ra­tios main­tain startup per­for­mance and de­crease en­gine speed at higher ve­hi­cle speeds.

The C3’s stan­dard lane-de­par­ture warn­ing helps guard against driver inat­ten­tion at speeds above 65km/h.

Driver at­ten­tion alert tells driv­ers when it is time to take a break.

Across the range, hill-start assist makes set­ting off easy when parked on an in­cline, hold­ing the car for two sec­onds af­ter the brake pedal is re­leased on slopes with a gra­di­ent of more than three de­grees.

Static cor­ner­ing lights pro­vide an ad­di­tional beam of light to il­lu­mi­nate the in­sides of bends at cor­ners and junc­tions. Depend­ing on the steer­ing wheel an­gle, the fog lights are ac­ti­vated in con­junc­tion with the low-beam head­lights, cov­er­ing an an­gle of up to 75de­grees on ei­ther side of the ve­hi­cle. This works at speeds up to 40km/h.

For a small car the cabin is quite spa­cious with 1379mm of shoul­der width (up 20mm on the pre­vi­ous model). Rear-seat legroom is also gen­er­ous, the po­si­tion­ing of the front seats and the shape of their back­rests bring­ing the rear-seat pas­sen­gers nearer the front for a friendlier at­mos­phere.

The 81kW of power, on tap well up the rev range at 5500rpm, re­quires the en­gine not to be spared and han­dles stop-start city driv­ing with an av­er­age load.

This might not be the case with five hulks aboard.

Citroen claims com­bined ur­ban/ high­way fuel con­sump­tion of 4.9 litres per 100km and car­bon diox­ide emis­sions as low as 110g a kilo­me­tre. The test car used a not-so-op­ti­mistic 7.8 litres per 100km in the city and 5.0 litres per 100km on the mo­tor­way.

The C3 rides out mi­nor road sur­face blem­ishes with smooth con­fi­dence but the sus­pen­sion does let oc­cu­pants know of any ma­jor pot holes. Steer­ing is light but di­rect and body roll not an an­noy­ance. Disc brakes do the job well. The Citroen C3 Shine is a strik­ing-look­ing well-spec­i­fied small car at a keen price, lay­ing down a cre­ative chal­lenge for buy­ers to stamp their own seal on the ve­hi­cle with a shop­ping list of op­tions.

Go for it.

The Citroen C3 de­sign has taken on a new look with­out ig­nor­ing fea­tures that madeits pre­de­ces­sor so pop­u­lar.

The cabin is meant to feel like a home away from home for the driver.

Pic­tures: Nar­ra­tive Post

Strik­ing looks are only the be­gin­ning for the new Citroen C3 hatch.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.