What is it?
This might reasonably be described as the half-new Citroën C3. The new half will be immediately obvious: the Ford Fiesta rival has been given the most adventurous styling overhaul in its now-three-generations-old history, bringing it up to speed with the firm’s new family look as pioneered by the C4 Cactus and later taken on by the Citroen C1 city car. And, like it or not, you can’t claim the car isn’t now cutting a bit of an alternative dash – as a Citroën should yet as the C3 has thus far singularly failed to do.
The not-so-new half is what’s underneath the car, which is a partly overhauled but mostly inherited version of the ‘PF1’ supermini platform that the PSA Group has been using as the basis of its small cars for more than a decade. Technically, then, the C3 isn’t so new – although there’s an all-new ‘Common Module Platform’ replacement for PF1 currently in the works that will be finished in time for the car’s mid-life facelift.
The C3’s engine range is made up of 1.2-litre petrols of between 67bhp and 108bhp and 1.6-litre diesels of either 74bhp or 99bhp, all driving the front wheels via a choice of five-speed manual, five-speed semi-automatic or six-speed torque converter automatic gearboxes. The car has grown by a couple of inches in length, but now measuring almost exactly four metres at the kerb, it’s still a very typical size for a supermini – and comes in five-door form only.
Our introduction to the car came in a mid-range 81bhp petrol variant on European roads and in left-hand-drive form; now is our chance to test the car in the UK, in right-hand drive, and in range-topping 108bhp turbocharged petrol form.