New Citroรซn C3 revealed

First details of the new Citroรซn C3, a stylish Ford Fiesta rival that will go on sale in the UK this October

Words By Steve Huntingford

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2016 Citroen C3

The new Citroรซn C3 is said to draw inspiration from furniture and travel, but in reality it seems to have far more in common with the Citroรซn C4 Cactus.

Like that car, the C3 has slim daytime running lights above its main headlights โ€“ an arrangement that gives it an aggressive appearance. It also has the distinctive door-mounted โ€˜Airbumpsโ€™ pioneered by the Cactus, which are designed to protect the bodywork from runaway shopping trolleys and the like.

What is it?

The new C3 is a rival for city-friendly hatchbacks such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. This means itโ€™s smaller than the C4 Cactus, although it uses a modified version of that carโ€™s mechanical platform.

Citroรซn is promising that the new C3 will be one of the quietest cars of its kind, thanks to class-leading sound proofing. The French manufacturer also claims to have paid great attention to the design of the seats, making them soft and welcoming to sit in, yet firm and reassuring on the move.

Boot space is class-competitive, meaning thereโ€™s room for the weekly food shop or a folded baby buggy. But unlike the Fiesta and Corsa, the C3 is available with five doors only: thereโ€™s no three-door model.

What engines can I choose from?

The new C3 will be available with three different versions of Citroรซnโ€™s three-cylinder PureTech petrol engine, which produce 67, 81 and 109bhp respectively. There will also be 74 and 99bhp 1.6-litre diesel models.

Meanwhile, gearbox options are five- and six-speed manuals or a six-speed automatic.

Fuel economy figures havenโ€™t been announced yet, but the Peugeot 208 (below) uses those same engines: in that car, the petrols can average more than 60mpg, and the diesels more than 80mpg.

What equipment does the Citroรซn C3 come with?

Citroรซn is following the example of its sister brand DS by offering lots of customisation options in an effort to win over younger buyers.

The new C3 will be available in nine body colours and three roof colours for a total of 36 combinations. There will be four interior themes, including โ€˜Urban Redโ€™, which includes red stitching and red dashboard trim.

The attempt to attract the youth vote continues with a system called Citroรซn ConnectedCam, a windscreen-mounted wide angle camera with GPS and a web connection. This can be used to make 20sec videos when the car is stationary, and allows images to be sent directly to social media.

More useful items on the options list include a reversing camera, blind spot monitoring, a driver fatigue warning and a 3D sat-nav system with real time traffic information.

How much does the new Citroรซn C3 cost?

Prices are still to be confirmed, but it's expected to cost somewhere between the outgoing C3, which is available from ยฃ11,280, and the DS 3, which costs from ยฃ13,995.

However, Citroรซn dealers are famous for offering healthy discounts, so it should be worth haggling with the dealer.

How good are the Citroรซn C3โ€™s rivals?

The Skoda Fabia was the 2015 What Car? Car of the Year, and it remains the pick of the small hatchback crop due to its spacious interior, attractive pricing and composed handling.

Britainโ€™s best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta, also has plenty of appeal, thanks to its sharp handling and precise steering - especially given that this driving fun doesnโ€™t come at the expense of a comfortable ride.

Alternatively, given the new C3โ€™s rugged looks, you might want to consider a small SUV, such as the Mazda CX-3, Renault Captur or Suzuki Vitara.

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