2024 Citroën e-C3 electric car previewed

New Citroën e-C3 brings rugged looks, a 199-mile official range and an affordable price tag to the small electric car class...

On sale Summer 2024 | Price from £22,500 (est)

Think electric cars are too big and too expensive? Well, the new Citroën e-C3 could be the car to change your mind on that, because it will be one of the cheapest and smallest electric cars you can buy when it goes on sale next year.

Indeed, this means the new e-C3 will be going up against the MG 4 – a car that raised the bar for affordable electric cars. In fact, we found the MG 4 to be such good value for money that we named it our 2023 Small Electric Car of the Year.

2024 Citroën e-C3 rear driving

So, where does the e-C3 stand when it comes to power, range and charging? Well, the e-C3 is powered by a 111bhp electric motor and a 44kWh (total) battery, the latter of which delivers an official range of 199 miles. For context, that’s less than the BYD Dolphin Active (211 miles) and MG 4 SE (218 miles), but more than the fully electric version of the Mazda MX-30 (124 miles).

If you don’t need as much range or you do mostly short trips, an entry-level 24kWh model with an official range of 124 miles could join the line-up. However, Citroën is yet to confirm whether this version will come to the UK. 

When it comes to charging, the e-C3 can accept rates of up to 100kW. So, this means a 10-80% top-up should take around 30 minutes with a suitably powerful charging point. That’s quicker than the Dolphin can manage and similar to the MG 4.

2024 Citroen e-C3 side charging

For those who aren’t ready to go electric, a petrol-powered C3 will be launched later on. Engine options for that car will include a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.2-litre mild hybrid.

Now, it’s not exactly a secret that SUVs are very popular at the moment, and that’s largely on account of their rugged looks and high-driving positions. So, to help cater for this, Citroën has given the e-C3 a look that’s more reminiscent of a small SUV than a small hatchback.

What’s more, the e-C3 is the first model to display Citroën’s new design language and logo (both of which were previewed by the Oli Concept in 2022). As such, the e-C3 features a tall, boxy design, slim LED headlights, chunky wheel arch cladding and roof rails.

2024 Citroën e-C3 front driving

Just like the exterior, the interior of the e-C3 features a bold look. For instance, the dashboard consists of a stepped design, which means that the digital driver’s display is located on top of the dashboard (much like the Peugeot e-208), while the 10.25in infotainment screen (which is optional on the entry-level version) sits more centrally. The benefit of this is that there’s a good amount of storage space with a shelf-like area being located above the glovebox.

We've had the chance to sit inside the e-C3, and while the materials are mostly hard and scratchy, you do get coloured detailing and fabric inserts on the dashboard. There's also plenty of adjustment for the driver's seat and steering wheel. 

To help minimise distraction while driving, the new e-C3 gets a head-up display that projects key information onto the windscreen, while a compact two-spoke steering wheel aims to give a better view of the digital driver’s display. 

2024 Citroën e-C3 interior

At 4.01m long, 1.76m wide and 1.57m high, the e-C3 is slightly larger than the outgoing C3 – especially in terms of height. This is good news, because space and practicality are below par in the outgoing car. However, while head room and elbow room is good in both the front and back seats, leg room is tight in the back if you’re sat behind a driver over six-feet tall. What's more, the battery is located under the floor of the rear seating area, so passengers may find their knees to be uncomfortably high.

The C3’s larger size pays dividends when it comes to boot space. At 310 litres, the boot is bigger than you’ll find in the outgoing car (300 litres) and the Ora Funky Cat (228 litres), but smaller than the Dolphin (345 litres) and MG4 (363 litres). This means there should be more than enough space for a large weekly supermarket shop, although it’s worth noting that the boot opening is small and the load lip high. There’s also no underfloor storage or a front boot for storing charging cables.

To help simplify the e-C3’s specifications, only three trim levels will be offered: You, Plus and Max. All versions will come with rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard. 

2024 Citroën e-C3 interior dashboard

Prices for the e-C3 are expected to start from around £22,500 for the 44kWh version, which means it may well become the cheapest electric car in the UK (at least until the Dacia Spring comes along). For reference, that’s less than the BYD Dolphin (£26,195), MG4 (£26,995) and Peugeot e-208 (£31,200). 

The petrol-powered C3 will be priced much lower than the e-C3 at around £15,000. That’s slightly more than the Dacia Sandero (£13,795) and Kia Picanto (£13,665), but less than the Hyundai i10 (£15,420).

Read more: Citroën ë-C3 review

Read more: The best electric cars

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