Thursday, 18 April 2019

C3’s appeal is Aircross the board

C3’s appeal is Aircross the board

IN its first six months on the market, the all-new Citroën C3 sold 100,000 units, making it Citroën’s top-selling model. That was in 2017.

Fast forward to the summer of this year and the Citroën C3 Aircross SUV — a sport utility version of the C3 compact hatchback — performed in a similar fashion sales-wise: 10 months after its international launch, the mini SUV sold more than 100,000 units worldwide.

This week I have been revisiting the Citroën C3 to see what all the fuss is about. And I have to report that my initial impression of the new C3 remains intact, with the proviso that you get the engine best suited for your requirements.

Last time out in the C3 I had the Citroën C3 Flair BlueHDi 100. This time it was the C3 Flair PT 110. The difference between these two cars was that a diesel engine powered the former and the latter was petrol-powered.

The upshot is that I have been more impressed by this current outing in the petrol-powered C3 simply because the car was a pleasure to drive owing to its willingness to perform.

Anyone who reads this column regularly will know that the one thing I do go on about is getting the right spec for your new car when you take the plunge and buy. Diesel is not getting a good press at present and the certainty is that petrol has already become an important factor again when choosing a new car.

Of course, any petrol engine will be linked massively in future across the board with electric power, providing a whole new world of modern-day cars and other vehicles.

So the C3 Flair PT 110, powered by petrol, takes off with vim and vigour because Citroën has added a turbocharger to the 1.2-litre petrol engine.

I found the diesel C3 a bit wanting on willingness to perform but this is not the case with the turbo-petrol powered version I have been driving which provides 109bhp.

So for motorway driving and major roads you now get that oomph that is so necessary in a small car to get you up to speed fairly quickly and efficiently.

There are a lot of versions of this car available, so my advice if you are considering one — like those who bought either C3 versions — is to think carefully about what your requirements are.

You can configure all this online when ordering the car, but my advice still holds good — drive as many versions of the car as you can before deciding. After all, driving a car is the most important factor when choosing your new set of wheels. What I also liked about this version of the C3 — apart from its lively performance — was the fact that it was a five-door.

Sometimes I think I could write a thesis on exactly what I would require from a car were I going to buy one from new, and five doors would be a must.

This is because from one way of looking at it, you would expect to get all the things you want on a car right down to the last nut and bolt. Today, of course, it may be that you have to compromise somewhere down the line, but helped by online configuration and test drives you can get the car you desire.

There are five engines available for the C3 and a colour palette that could blow your mind — with some 36 colour combinations to choose from.

The C3 is available with features including personalisation options, Citroën Advanced Comfort, ConnectedCAM Citroën and a panoramic roof. Every version of the C3 gets a DAB radio and Bluetooth.

The seven-inch touchscreen enables you to link up with a smartphone. This offers connectivity to your mobile phone and the use of its apps, including satnav, through the car’s screen.

Overall, I think it is not hard to see why the Citroën C3 in both hatch and SUV forms has become such a winner so quickly in terms of sales.


Citroën C3

• Priced from £11,900

Five engines available for C3 hatchback

36 colour combinations

C3 available with personalisation options, Citroën Advanced Comfort, ConnectedCAM Citroën

Every C3 version gets DAB radio and Bluetooth

Air Bump side inserts — standard on top trim


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