This is the new Citroen C3, which the French carmaker touts as the new B-segment benchmark. It replaces the cute and round original that was quite a radical design when it was unveiled back in 2002. Citroen has sold two million examples since then, and the range saw new members over the years, such as the oddball C3 Pluriel and more recently, the funky C3 Picasso MPV.
Launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the C3 has one of the smaller footprints in the supermini class, despite growing marginally in length and width (it’s 5cm shorter than Corsa and 9cm shorter than 207 and Clio). The wheelbase is unchanged but Citroen claims good cabin space and class-leading 300 litres of boot volume.
It’s obvious that the new C3 is a reinvention of the old car rather than a rethink, as it retains the curved roofline and glasshouse its predecessor was known for. What’s new is the ‘Zenith windscreen’ which stretches so far back, it cuts off near the car’s B-pillar. If you’ve ever been in the C4 Picasso MPV, you’ll understand the appeal of this large glass area – the view out its truly panaromic, perfect for sightseeing and it gives the cabin an airy feel. Should you get tired of the light, there’s a sunblind and tinting for the topmost part of the windscreen. The cabin is funky yet classy, not always the case with imaginative French designs.
Four petrol engines are on the list – 61bhp 1.1, 75bhp 1.4, 95bhp 1.4 and a 120bhp 1.6 – the latter two belong to the BMW-PSA Prince family. The French make some of the best diesel engines, and the C3’s three HDi engines with Citroen’s Diesel Particulate Filter System ranging from 70bhp to 110bhp will be the main sellers in Europe. Every range must have a headlining green model these days, and the Airdream+ edition (90bhp 1.6HDi) emits just 99g/km of CO2 – the first Citroën to dip below 100g/km. To further promote economical driving, most versions feature a Gear Efficiency Indicator, which alerts the driver of the optimum moment to change gear.
More photos after the jump.
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