If the new Citroen C3 is anything to go by, the French carmaker is heading back to its weird and wacky best.
Obviously, the five-door supermini’s styling borrows much from the C4 Cactus. The lights at the front are similar, with slim running lights above the headlight, there’s lots of black cladding around the lower body and the signature airbump panels down the sides. It’s bold and cutesy, if a bit busy.
The interior is full of simple, rounded shapes with splashes of colour. There are conventional dials ahead of the driver, instead of the Cactus’s digital display. And the central infotainment screen is bigger and mounted lower. The vents are face-level too, so they actually work.
The top-spec infotainment system has 3D satnav, rearview camera and Citroen’s new SOS service. Then there’s the so-called ConnectedCam, a wide-angle camera in the windscreen with GPS and web connections. Citroen says it can be used to upload images to social media and record a 20sec video while stationary. It works as a conventional dashcam, too, recording automatically in the event of a crash.
The chassis is spun off from PSA’s Platform A, which also underpins the Peugeot 208, DS 3 and Cactus. The emphasis is on comfort, with the suspension set up to be soft and forgiving on ruined urban roads. To that end, the seats are wide and squidgy, too.
Three-cylinder PureTech petrol and 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel engines provide propulsion. The PureTech is available with 67bhp, 81bhp or 108bhp, while the BlueHDi serves up 74bhp or 99bhp. Depending on engine, there’s a choice between six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.
As the C3 tips the scales at around the 1000kg mark, performance should be acceptable and economy excellent whichever engine it has.
I like it a lot. Prices will be announced nearer the October launch.
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By Only Motors