A little bump can’t dent C3’s appeal
CITROËN BREEZES into 2017 with the latest C3 supermini, this time resplendent with the bright face and dimpled Airbump side protection from the larger Cactus. These airfilled bubbles are set into the door skin and should mitigate minor impacts. They also add visual interest.
C3 pioneers a forward-facing camera which can take single shots or video film for social sharing or proof of reckless driving. In an emergency it will automatically start filming.
As it happened, during the car’s UK media debut in Worcestershire a hapless pick-up reversed into a C3 – all caught on film and causing minor trim damage seen on the car here. And yes, if the camera actually incriminates the C3 driver its record can be deleted. As if you would?
It is in the seven-car shortlist for European car of the year, announced in March.
The C3 is the third version of the jaunty five-door, five-seater hatchback. It has been a good seller, with 3.6 million knocked out since 2002, of which 200,000 have come to Britain.
It’s a major revision rather than all-new and brings suspension which, praise them, has been re-tuned for comfort rather than racing. The roof is lower, the seats wider, the rear area roomier.
There are three petrol engines, all 1.2 three-cylinder, with power outputs of 68, 82 and 110 horse power – the latter turbocharged. A pair of 1.6 litre turbo diesels with 75 and 100 horse power complete the offering. These are metric, or ps, ratings. Divide by 1.014 to get bhp and some fractions. Gearboxes are manual five speed, with an electrically managed automatic 110hp model available soon.
The models are Touch,
Feel and Flair. Prices open at £10,995 for the 68hp Touch – also available with the 82hp engine at £11,695 and the 75hp diesel at a heady £13,295. The prices include 15 in steel wheels (no spare), and a fair suite of safety systems and DAB audio with Bluetooth phone connection. Air conditioning will cost you £600 and you can’t have the Airbumps.
The core model is the Feel, with all the engine options and the one you should aim for. Costs: from £13,045 for the 68hp petrol to £16,045 for the 100hp diesel. Flair models get the Airbumps as standard and the on board camera. Flair’s engine choices are the 82, 110 and 100, from £14,795 to £15,995 to £17,095.
We tried the Flair with the 110hp petrol and 100hp diesel on pleasant up and down routes in the Malvern hills – at tourist speeds. The petrol car recorded 40mpg, the diesel 51mpg.
Ride comfort was as good as promised. The 82hp Feel was sweeter and if you don’t need the punchy flexibility of the bigger engines would be a good compromise.
JAUNTY: Citroen’s C3 supermini gets the Airbumps feature as seen on the Cactus.