Sam says it was a bit of a surprise


Following a three-year break in South Africa, Citroën released their new C3 late last year with great attention paid to the design to create what they call a colourful personality. Their intention was to ‘rock the market.’ Yet, despite its somewhat high price, it does not quite meet these expectations.


More power would not have gone amiss in the car. Normally, I do not worry about a lack of power as it is par for course in certain vehicles. Simply changing your driving to meet a lack of power is all that is needed, yet I felt in this instance that it just made driving unnecessarily difficult.


The Citroën C3 has a 1.2 PureTech naturally aspirated engine. The transmission is a 5-speed manual transmission and there is also an automatic option.


The noise insulation in the car could have been improved. As a 3-cylinder vehicle, it is bound to make more noise but I feel that consequently better noise insulation is required.


The design of the vehicle was certainly different from other vehicles on the market. The hatch sets a style of its own, standing out from the crowd with its perky, colourful, appealing personality. Perhaps the minds of South African drivers have not changed as fast yet, because many people who saw the car were uncertain about it, particularly about the different paint colours. I do, however, see the design appealing to new, younger drivers.


The exterior and the interior of the vehicle were unexpectedly disconnected. From the outside I thought the car was much larger than what it was once one actually gets in the car. From the inside it seems like a small, entry-level vehicle while from the outside it seems closer to a crossover as a result of the high-standing front end, generous curves and large wheels.


The interior makes use of durable and good quality materials. One of the best parts of the interior was the red seat stitching which matched the exterior and gave the car a bit of a sporty feel. Citroën has also made the comfort of the interior a priority in the new C3.


Technology and safety

The C3 offers some interesting technology and safety features. It has lane departure alert and driver attention alert as well as a coffee break alert.


The C3 also has Airbump panels (air-filled bumps with a scratch-proof surface as seen on Cactus), available on the Shine model, are a Citroën signature feature, giving personality and style, as well as protecting the vehicle. The aliphatic thermoplastic polyurethane material used in the Airbump panels gives excellent resistance to everyday aggression, from sunlight, water, ageing and scratches.


Safety and technology features include:

  • Mirror screen technology duplicates the driver’s smartphone screen directly on the vehicle’s central screen. The driver can access to his multimedia content and monitor directly his smartphone from the digital screen. Available with Apple CarPlayTM, Android Auto and MirrorLink
  • Driver Attention Alert warns the driver when it’s time to take a break, i.e. after two hours’ uninterrupted driving at speeds above 70 km/h, then every hour thereafter. The message includes vehicle identification, driver phone number and precise geographical location details.


Overall, I did expect a bit more from the vehicle. Initially, as a mid-range vehicle and because of the price, I thought it would be a car for the young working adult but now it appears it would have more appeal for a student.


Good to know

The specs

Engine: 1.2 PureTech naturally aspirated engine

Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission

Power:  60kW

Torque:  118 Nm

Claimed fuel efficiency: 6.0L/100km

Price: from R239 900

Warranties and service plans: 5/year/100 000 km warranty & service plan across the range


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