May 24, 2013
Profound changes to keep the growing trend
The Citroën C3 second generation went through some deep structural, style and mechanical changes in order to improve its ride comfort and equipment compared to its previous version.
We tested the new Citroën C3 My Way Exclusive Pack (top version) powered with a 1.6-L engine, which is already available in Argentina.
The new C3 was presented in Argentina last November and has been commercialized under pre-sale mode for the past two months. The official release in our market has been scheduled for March.
Manufactured in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the new C3 is based on a new platform that makes it a total different model compared with its predecessor, whose production the French automaker has already ended.
Positioned at the top of the compact cars segment, the new C3 comes to the picture to compete with rivals such as Ford Fiesta Kinetic Design, Chevrolet Sonic, Fiat Punto, and Honda Fit.
Citroën's goals for this year are big as it aims to sell 40,000 units, a considerable figure considering the industry’s current situation. Plus, and according to the brand, the C3 is indicated to be the main actor in order to achieve such a goal.
The new C3 uses a platform similar to the C3 Picasso, as it was adapted to the domestic needs.
Compared with the previous C3, it keeps same wheelbase (2.46 metres), but now it is 9.4 centimetres longer and 4.1 cm wider.
With a very nice style, we must highlight its Zenith panoramic windshield which increased by 80 percent the upper vision. Because of this windscreen, which is known in Europe as “Visiodrive”, it makes a big difference with its rivals. The C3 captures one’s attention with its fine design. Unlike its French version, this one has adopted a metal grille and permanent LED lights, being the latter an exclusive feature for its segment.
The driving position is quite comfortable and much better than on the previous model thanks to the driver’s seat, that now can be set lower, and the adjustable steering wheel. The increase of the body dimensions is reflected in the interior, which is especially comfortable with plenty of legroom in the rear row.
The trunk is virtually unchanged from its predecessor as it still offers a load capacity of 300 litres, an average value for the segment. The cockpit shows a modern and functional design and good quality materials. The instrumentation combines analog and digital elements. The browser is highly practical and offers good performance.
Soundproofing has improved, especially when driving on route. Driving is good and smooth even on uneven paths and roads.
The sliding roof, which slides back about 40 centimetres, can transform this standard car in a window to the world, or a good option to avoid overheating at noon hours by closing it.
Named EC5, the 1.6- litre, 16-valve and four-cylinder gasoline engine delivers 115 HP. It’s ideal for city driving and cruising speed on-route trips.
During the test-drive it reached a top speed of 174 kph, and accelerated from 0 to 100 kph in 11.6 seconds. The five-speed manual transmission features a very specific selector. To travel 100 kilometres consumption is 6 litres (at an avg. speed of 100kph); 8.5 litres (at 130 kph), and 9.4 litres in the city.
The “Exclusive” version is the most equipped one, plus the “My Way” pack adds some items such as satellite navigation and airbags.
The features are more than correct as it incorporates some elements that seek to make the difference within the segment, especially in terms of comfort and technology.
The panoramic windshield called Zenith (standard or optional depending on version) is one of them. We should also mention the built-in browser. As for safety, all versions have ABS and dual airbags plus side airbags as it was the case of the version I tested.
Other distinctive features of the “Exclusive” version are: automatic climate control, cruise control, dimming rearview mirror, rain and light sensors, among others.
Likewise, this model is built following specific environmental care standards, since among other things it uses materials such as polypropylene and wood waste, thus providing it a recyclability rate of around 90 percent.
The steering is light and quick, with a good overall feeling. Compared to its predecessor, it provides a better dynamic behaviour. It stands by itself on-route, where it takes curves greatly.
The new C3 range starts with a retail price of 96,000 pesos, while the C3 Exclusive My Way pack is the most expensive version with a suggested promotional price of 122,500 pesos (original list price is 125,800 pesos). It has a two-year warranty.