Citroen flags a re­fined C3

Citroen be­lieves ev­ery­thing looks bright out of its big wind­screen, writes Stu­art Martin.

The Advertiser - Motoring - - CARS -

ASHARPER pen­cil has been taken to the Citroen price list for the new C3, which will go on sale wear­ing a sub-$20,000 price tag. The French car maker has re­leased some pric­ing and spec­i­fi­ca­tion in­for­ma­tion ahead of the new light car’s show­room de­but later this month.

Citroen makes the some­what odd boast that the top-spec model has ‘‘the largest wind­screen ever seen on a small car’’, the panoramic Zenith wind­screen, 35 per cent larger than a nor­mal wind­screen.

Prices will start from $19,990 for the C3 VT man­ual-only, the VTR+ will re­tail from $23,490 for the petrol/auto or $23,990 for the tur­bod­iesel/man­ual.

The C3 Ex­clu­sive flag­ship in petrol/ auto will be priced from $25,990 or the tur­bod­iesel/man­ual model will re­tail from $26,490.

The in­com­ing C3 will go head to head with the Peu­geot 207 and Re­nault’s Clio as well as the Polo from Volk­swa­gen and Ford’s in­bound Thaibuilt Fi­esta.

Citroen says the C3 will be more re­fined than its pre­de­ces­sor, with three times as much sound-ab­sorbent ma­te­rial as the out­go­ing ve­hi­cle.

The new car mea­sures 3940mm long, 1730mm wide and 1520mm tall and will of­fer 300 litres of boot space de­spite be­ing shorter than much of its com­pe­ti­tion.

The lit­tle hatch­back sat fourth – be­hind the C4, C5 and Ber­lingo – in terms of sales at the end of last year and in­stead of where per­haps it should be. In 2008, it sat sec­ond be­hind the C4, a po­si­tion to which Citroen be­lieves it can re­turn with the new model.

Citroen Aus­tralia gen­eral man­ager Miles Wil­liams says the C3 has been an in­te­gral part of the com­pany’s Aus­tralian line-up and the out­go­ing model’s sup­ply dried up in May.

‘‘We have a con­sid­er­able pent-up de­mand for the new model . . . we have, there­fore, re­leased de­tails of the prices and spec­i­fi­ca­tions ahead of the ar­rival of the new model so that cus­tomers can start se­lect­ing and or­der­ing their new C3,’’ he says.

The new car has been built with the brief of lower weight, bet­ter a e r o d y n a mi c s and lower emis­sions.

The range will be of­fered with two petrol pow­er­plants and one tur­bod­iesel. The 1.6-litre 16-valve unit, pro­duc­ing 66kW and 215Nm while claim­ing a com­bined fuel use fig­ure of 4.3 litres/100km, will be teamed with a five-speed man­ual for the Ex­clu­sive model.

The two petrol en­gines on of­fer will be a 54kW/118Nm 1.4-litre 16-valve petrol en­gine in the VT, teamed only with a five-speed man­ual.

The new C3 range will have a sixs­peaker sound sys­tem – with the op­tion of an up­graded eight-speaker set-up; Blue­tooth phone/au­dio link and a USB port are avail­able on the op­tions list for all mod­els bar the Ex­clu­sive.

The new C3 safety fea­tures list will in­clude sta­bil­ity con­trol, anti-lock brakes and up to six airbags.

The en­try-level VT model has 15in steel wheels, an MP3-com­pat­i­ble sound sys­tem with wheel-mounted c o n t r o l s , a i r c o n d i t i o n i n g , p o wer - ad­justable mir­rors, front power win­dows and a trip com­puter.

The VTR+ adds cur­tain airbags, front fog lights, a leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel, cooled glove box and cruise con­trol with speed lim­iter.

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