Citroën C3 the best of the bunch?

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Prepare to be dazzled by the Citroën C3, a stylish masterpiece that brings the signature exuberance synonymous with Citroën models to the fast-growing B-segment, all at an irresistible price tag.

Bid farewell to the sophisticated yet niche outgoing Citroën C3 hatchback, as its successor is an all-new, budget-friendly compact crossover. Stellantis has designed this gem to captivate a broader audience, introducing them to the allure of the Citroën brand.

Behold the Citroën C3! While paying homage to its compatriot brand Renault’s success with its “priced-to-go” offerings, the new C3 retains the captivating styling that has made Citroën famous. With strategic packaging adjustments, Citroën has entered the fast-growing B-segment, currently accounting for 40% of South Africa’s monthly sales—a lucrative segment indeed. Notably, within this B-segment, 33% of sales fall within the R200,000 to R250,000 price range.

What’s been updated?

Why is the new Citroën C3 turning heads? Assembled in India using a modified CMP platform with 90% locally sourced components, the C3 is part of the exciting “C-cubed” program. The lineup also includes a C3 Aircross and a C3X Sedan, both assembled on the same architecture. With its sub-4-meter design, the C3 takes advantage of India’s excise levy exception while offering a generous 180 mm ground clearance—a perfect blend of practicality and style. Let’s not forget that it holds the esteemed title of the reigning World Urban Car of the Year.

How’s it drive? 

For now, the C3 comes exclusively with a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. An automatic option is under consideration for future models. In India, there’s also a 1.2L, 82 kW/190 Nm turbocharged version with a 6-speed manual transmission.

This Setup feels great in the light weight CMP platform and definitely delivers smooth and efficient power, the peddles are spaced well apart leaving space for guys with bigger feet, the seating position is very comfortable and gives you confidence on the road. I do feel the gearbox feels budget with its long throws and almost notchy but after a week in the car you do get used to it and the Citroën get on with the daily commute with ease.

This isn’t the car to take on a mountain pass and blast around the bends, it handles fairly well on a normally daily commute and the suspension soaks up all rough, pot hole riddled roads. At no point did we find it harsh or even to soft. But the French have always done a great job with dialling in the setup and handling.

Infotainment, Connectivity, Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Don’t let its price fool you; the C3 comes packed with essential features. A crisp 10-inch touchscreen, first in class wireless connectivity to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and multifunction steering wheel cater to a youthful audience, while height-adjustable driver’s seat, standard ABS with EBD, a dual airbag system, and parking sensors ensure safety and comfort for all. Air-conditioning and electric windows are a given.

Customization options?

Absolutely! The C3 offers a range of colors, including the choice between color-coded or a black or orange contrast roof color. The latter option also includes a stylish anodized orange fascia panel for the cabin which really helps get this Citroën the French flair you expect to see!

Pricing and Service Options.

The new C3 starts at an enticing R229,900, backed by a 5-year/100,000 km warranty and 2-year/30,000 km service plan. Citroën South Africa lets you easily upgrade with two affordable packages. The Elegance Pack (R2,200) adds chrome trim elements to the exterior, while the Energy Pack (R2,700) includes a roof-mounted spoiler, rear skid plate, and contrast color side mirrors and fog lamp surrounds.

Rivals in the ring? The C3 faces competition from the likes of Renault Kiger, Nissan Magnite, and the Suzuki Ignis in its price range.

Review Overview
  • Driving experience
  • Exterior styling
  • Interior look and feel
  • Technology and connectivity
  • Family friendliness
  • Value for money


In conclusion, the Citroën C3 is a true marvel—a bold testament to the brand’s fearless approach to design. On the road, its 61 kW/115 Nm engine impresses, especially in the Cape Town altitude. While the manual transmission may have a long travel between gears, a relaxed driving style ensures satisfying real-world performance. With an impressive fuel consumption figure of just 5.6 L/100 km, the new C3 is the epitome of driving joy in the B-segment. Brace yourself for a thrilling ride with the stylish and affordable Citroën C3!

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