Groupe PSA has Peugeot for practicality and the DS line for cool premium models, but its Citroen wing has always been about innovative fun and creativity. The second-generation of their C3 supermini admittedly didn’t exhibit much spark, erring to far towards ‘sensible’ for its core audience. However, the vehicle is back for a third generation, and it’s one that has a whole lot more charisma, at least as far as looks go.
Citroen have shown plenty of life in recent years, with their C4 Cactus Crossover model proving both daring and successful. The C3 translates that flair to the compact segment. There are two-tone paint options to ensure you never fade into the background, and, like the Cactus, the C3 utilizes those funky ‘Airbump’ side panels.
It is a little smaller than most of its rivals, but that’s only likely to heighten its city-friendly appeal and notable efficiency. The C3 also draws some clear inspiration from the popular Picasso by adopting the distinctive tier front light signature. From the badge at the front to the cool LED daytime running lights at the rear run double chrome strips, and black windscreen pillars and floating roof make for an eye-catching silhouette. If you take a few steps back, you’ll notice that the C3 even sports a crossover-style appearance courtesy of 3D rear lights, short overhangs, and a high bonnet line.
Once you slip inside, you’re likely to feel immediately at home. Citroen reportedly modelled the vehicle’s cabin on home interior design, and there are fittingly a whole array of cabin finishes to help make the car your own – personalisation options are as varied inside as they are outside, and they’re just as personality-packed. Even better, the vehicle feels a lot larger than its exterior would suggest thanks to a horizontal dashboard and available panoramic sunroof.
The one thing that hasn’t seen much of an update is what’s under the hood. The same engine range as the second-generation enlivens the new model; that means a 68bhp 1.0L, 110bhp 1.2L, or a 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel. Truth be told, there wasn’t much wrong the performance of the last generation. Perhaps a new set of engines would have been nice, but few would have considered such a move essential. Overall, the C3 brings exactly what it needs to; fun and vivacious styling to make it stand out as an innovative compact hatchback.