Given the song and dance Citroën prepared to accompany the launch of the new C3, it’s something of a surprise to find that it has allowed it to look so much like its predecessor. That was not a car – despite its selling two million units and whose styling was praised at launch – that will generally be remembered with any great fondness. The 2017 C3 aims to rectify this, firstly by mirroring the Citroën face worn by the C1, C4 Cactus and the C4 Picasso, while giving a stylish, funky look accentuated by the Airbumps on the side.
“Usually we do make a step change,” C3 chief designer Mark Lloyd told us when the car launched at 2009’s Frankfurt motor show, “but when we started the C3 project we realised we didn’t have to change much.”
So the new C3 has a short, steeply rising bonnet, bulbous roofline, a large frontal glass area and side windows that fall lower than the bonnet line. This is a noble way of ensuring a lot of light enters the cabin, but is also not easy to do without removing any latent design dynamism or prestige.