What is it?
If Citroën's C4 Cactus represents the French brand's reinvention for a laterally thinking, post-premium world, then the new C3 writes the next sentence. Both models major on bluff-nosed, 'urban capsule' looks which, with their bash-proof Airbumps, are recognisably different from the opposition, and both woo a tech-savvy clientèle with the use of touchscreen controls, a coolly minimalist dashboard design and proper co-ordination with everyone's hand-held devices.
As well as aiming to do things differently from other manufacturers by returning to its past specialities of original thinking and ensuring its cars are properly recognisable as Citroëns, the company cites the likes of IKEA and John Lewis as examples of the brand values it is chasing. The C3 is intended to offer something not found in rival small cars, and amid all the marketing brainstorming is one very solid attribute: the promise of a car more comfortable than any rival.
The new C3 has a longer wheelbase (by 75mm) than the last one, despite being based on broadly the same PF1 platform, but its overhangs are shorter. Bigger wheels and black plastic wheel arches help give it a slightly SUV look even though the new C3 is slightly wider and lower than its predecessors. It weighs almost exactly the same as before. Optional two-tone paint emphasises the 'floating' roof separated from the main body colour by black windscreen pillars, but the vast panoramic windscreen option of the previous C3 isn't available on this one.
All three petrol engines offered have three cylinders. The 81bhp and turbocharged 108bhp units, both of 1.2 litres, are available from launch, with the 1.0-litre, 67bhp motor arriving later along with the option of a six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission. The two 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbodiesels give 74bhp or 99bhp.