Citroen C3 1.2 Turbo Petrol Feel Review

Updated On: 15 June 2022, By Bunny Punia

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Citroen C3 1.2 Turbo Petrol Feel Review

Introduction

Citroens Indian innings started with the C5 Aircross last year. Positioned in the premium segment and with stiff competition from rivals, the C5 didnt really kick off to a great start. However, it surely gave the company a taste of what to expect from this market. Plus a lot of feedback from customers and better understanding in terms of ASS (after sales support). The mass segment oriented smaller Citroen C3 has been under the media radar for months and we finally got to a chance to get behind the wheel for an entire day in Goa. Do note, we had the top end 'Feel' variant for the review.

No, this is not an SUV

citroen c3 review

This is what Citroen likes to state. And rightly so. The Citroen C3 is being marketed as a B hatchback but with an SUV attitude. This means, the company will pit this against the likes of the Swift and the Grand i10 but I still believe we Indians will see the C3 as a rival to the Ignis, KUV100 and the Punch - these vehicles are now being termed as micro SUVs.

citroen c3

The C3 does look unconventional but in a good way. It resembles the bigger C5 from up front and this does work well to attract eye balls. This new Citroen is a good looking vehicle and inspite of it not getting alloy wheels for the top spec version, the profile looks good enough. The tyres are large, the C3 sits high up from the ground and the rear is rather cute with the C form tail lights. What gives it a unique identity is the striking dual tone colour option with an orange finish for the roof, side mirrors, fog lamp housing and side body cladding. For some, this might be loud but for others, the C3 might fit in like a glove into their personality. 

citroen c3

In terms of dimensions, the C3 is longer than both the Punch and the Ignis. At 1733mm wide, it sits in between these two rivals and with a height of 1586mm, it is lower than both of them. 

Your second space 

citroen c3 interior

The unconventional theme continues on the inside as well. This is something we first saw in the Ignis and I personally love such design experiments. Our test car with a contrast finish for the fascia (orange, again!) and you do get a good feel factor once you step inside.

citroen c3

The flat bottom steering has the right size and design elements like the air-con vents look fab. Yes some features have been a miss including a climate control or a front arm-rest or even power adjustment for the outside mirrors. I was also surprised with the lack of a grab handle (on the roof) for the co-passenger. 

citroen c3

That said, the Citroen C3 makes up with a practical and spacious interior. Ergonomics are great and so is the visibility factors. There are lot of storage spaces including generous door pads. Front seats were comfortable during our day long driving experience but the non-adjustable headrests wont go down well with owners. I do want to mention that getting into the car is easy, thanks to a seating arrangement that is higher than all other hatchbacks around.

citroen c3

At the back, space is good enough. With the front seat positioned for a 6 feet tall driver, an equally tall passenger can sit at the back without any issues. However, the C3 feels like a proper 4 seater than a 5. By moving the power window switches behind the hand brake, designers have tried to liberate some amount of extra elbow space. As you are seated a few inches higher than the front seats, visibility also remains good. But like the front seats, the rear also dont get adjustable head rests. This can be a safety concern for tall passengers who will not be getting any support for their necks. 

citroen c3

At 315 litres, the boot space of the Citroen C3 is good enough. We tried fitting in couple of over night strollers, a big camera bag, few boxes of snacks, a tripod and the yet there was space left for more. 

The heart of the matter

The C3 will come with a choice of two petrol engines. The first one is a naturally aspirated (non turbo) unit that puts out 82 bhp of power and 115 Nm of torque. These figures are way higher than the non turbo petrol unit we see on the (bigger) Nissan Magnite and the Renault Kiger. Big brownie points for Citroen there. It is a 3 cylinder unit but good news is that noise, vibration, harshness levels are lower than expected. Gearing is good and there is ample low end poke that helps keeping up with traffic. Even slowing down to under 10 km/h for a speed breaker and continuing ahead in the 2nd gear is not much of an issue. Pedal to metal, the C3 non-turbo does just fine. 

citroen c3

The engine is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox with average shifts. There will be no automatic at launch. 

For the better part of the day, I drove the turbocharged petrol unit that puts out 35% extra power (110 bhp) and 65% higher torque (190 Nm). These are excellent figures and smoke the competition right, left and centre. If you are looking at affordable thrills, pick the C3 turbo. The extra dose of oomph is evident no matter what rev range you are in. Torque flow is continuous and there inst much turbo lag to talk about. The 6 speed manual also ensures low revs in the top most gear, thereby making this a very efficient long distance car. 

citroen c3

During a 150km run around Goan roads with less traffic, the C3 returned us over 16 kmpl on a tankful to tankful basis. The video for the same is listed below. Do have a look! 

But its not just about the outright performance but also about how easy it is to maintain high speeds and remain ahead of traffic. My only grouse was the hard clutch (car number T3) and average gear shift action. Apart from that, the C3 loved being revved and kept rewarding me with grinning moments. 

Does it handle well? 

For starters, ride comfort is great. This is something the brand is known for and thankfully we got our share of all kind of road conditions to test this factor out. The faster you go, the better this grown up hatchback feels like. Broken tarmac, sharp potholes, smaller speed breakers et al are dismissed off with ease. It's safe to say the C3 is the most comfortable car in its segment. That said, at higher speeds, a lot of road and wind noise does filter into the cabin and the company should look into this.

citroen c3

Comfort aside, the C3 will also keep enthusiasts happy enough. Body roll is limited and the steering has more than average feedback when you start attacking corners. Goa has its own share of curves and hills and the C3 responded well to my inputs. Its nimble enough for urban runs and at triple digit speeds, manages to hold the intended line pretty well. That said, for the top spec 110 bhp version, I could have appreciated driver aids in the form of traction control / electronic stability control system. These simple end up infusing more confidence while going faster. 

Verdict

citroen c3

The C3 looks good, no two ways about it. Interiors are spacious and practical, the turbo unit is a gem of an engine and overall comfort levels are high. Yes features are missing but that might help Citroen position this extremely well in terms of pricing.
Bookings open on the 1st of July and prices will be out by the 20th. There are only two variants on offer and Citroen says almost 20 dealers will be up and running next month. Yes, these numbers are small but the brand has a long legacy. Want something different in the Rs 5-7 lakh bracket? This might be it& 

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Citroen C3 car

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4.1
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₹ 5.88 Lakh - ₹ 8.15 Lakh*Price Breakup
*Ex-showroom Price inNew Delhi

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4.1
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Citroen C3 Questions and Answers

Have More Questions about Citroen C3?

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  • No, The Citroen C3 do not features rear camera.

    91Wheels Expert91Wheels Expert
    · 21 Nov
    • Helpful(0)
    • Reply
    • 1 replies
  • We don't think Citroen will open a showroom in Leh or Ladakh for that matter. The company will have just 20 dealers to start with (July) and slowly expand to other smaller cities or far away states at a later stage.

    91Wheels Expert91Wheels Expert
    · 5 Months ago
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    • 2 replies
  • Hi, Currently we do not have the stock update for Citroen C3. However you can contact your nearest dealer for the same as they would be in a better position to assist you on the Delivery Timeline. following are the dealer located Citroen C3

    91Wheels Expert91Wheels Expert
    · 14 Nov
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