Test: This is how good the new Citroën C3 is in everyday life


Citroën C3 – luxury small car with built-in dashcam

Test: This is how good the new Citroën C3 is in everyday life-this

Sleek small car with padded doors: the Citroën C3 hardly bears any resemblance to its predecessor

Source: Jakob Hoff

Citroën has turned the C3 into a really nice small car. It is equipped with extras that were previously reserved for luxury cars. And he can even take photos and make films.

“Today is your lucky day. We have an upgrade for you. We’ll give you a … "-" … Porsche! ", I finished the sentence of the car rental company at Dublin Airport and had to laugh at my own joke. I was in a great mood, after all, that was the start of my honeymoon.

The car rental company smiled too and said, “Better still. You will get a Citroën C3 Diesel from us today! ”Was that Irish humor? When he pushed a key with the double wedge symbol over the counter and pointed to a wine-red C3 in front of the door, I knew: he was serious. He was still beaming. I do not anymore.

My reaction would probably have been different if the car rental company had opted for a cobalt blue small car shown with a white roof and black plastic air cushions on the doors (as protection against small parking bumps). This is what the C3 looks like now.

The completely changed exterior still doesn’t make the third generation of the French small car a Porsche, of course, but at least an eye-catcher that stands out from the uniform monotony that prevails in its class. Visually, the C3 can easily do it with a Mini and a Fiat 500.

Test: This is how good the new Citroën C3 is in everyday life-this

Hardly any buttons in the cockpit, but armchair-like seats, which, however, offer little lateral support

Source: Jakob Hoff

And not just from the outside. No car in this vehicle class appears so straightforward, simple and elegant in the cockpit at the same time. I felt like I was in one of those architect apartments in design magazines. There are hardly any buttons or switches in the center console, instead a touchscreen that controls everything: air conditioning, music system, navigation.

This makes the interior look tidy. In everyday life, however, you quickly notice that some buttons were definitely justified: It is inconvenient if you first have to click away from the navigation screen to quickly switch the fan to recirculation because a smelly truck is driving in front of you.

Other little things in the C3 compensate for this, for example the door handles, which are reminiscent of the handles on fine leather suitcases. Admittedly, nobody needs that, but it looks good. Or the armchair-like seats. They hardly offer any lateral support, but they are extremely comfortable.

My burgundy honeymoon C3 didn’t have any of that to offer. He was by no means a beauty, but functional and reliable. There wasn’t much that could have broken on the car either. It looks different with its Lifestyle successor.

In the basic Live version, the C3 costs 11,990 euros

In the highest of the three equipment lines (Shine, from 16,890 euros), it comes with a number of extras that were only available in the luxury class until a few years ago gave: To unlock you no longer press the remote control, it is enough to have the key with you; the car recognizes that.

So you just have to touch the handle and the car opens. To close, you gently stroke the handle. You don’t need the key to start either, you simply press a button in the lower part of the center console.

Test: This is how good the new Citroën C3 is in everyday life-this

Nice detail: the handles in the doors are reminiscent of the handles on fine suitcases

Source: Jakob Hoff

In the almost four-meter-long Citroën, it’s not just about convenience, but also about safety. If you get out of the lane on the autobahn, the cockpit beeps, if there is another vehicle in the blind spot, it flashes in the exterior mirror, and if you drive too long without taking a break, one of the cars prompts one of the cars to take a coffee break. This is called the democratization of technology.

As unconventional as the appearance, equipment and ambience of the new C3 are, the drive is so ordinary. The three-cylinder gasoline engine in our test car develops 110 hp, has a powerful hum and accelerates the Citroën fast.

Even on the autobahn, it does well for a small car. However, you miss a sixth gear. Not necessarily because of the consumption (which never rises above 7.1 liters even on faster motorway passages), but rather because of the volume.

The connected cam takes wide-angle shots

The French do not offer a six-speed manual transmission for an extra charge, but for 300 euros you get something that has never been found in this form in any other car: a tiny camera behind the rear-view mirror, the so-called connected cam. Initially, cameras in vehicles are nothing unusual.

Often the drivers do not even know that they have any on board. They are part of the assistance systems and are used for distance control, as a parking aid or for pedestrian detection. Quite different in the Citroën C3: Here the camera is a kind of built-in dashcam and takes photos or videos of the traffic in front of the car. If you have downloaded a special app, you can load the film sequences onto your smartphone and post them on Facebook.

Test: This is how good the new Citroën C3 is in everyday life-life

The Citroën C4 Cactus already has them, now the C3 is following suit: the air cushions called airbumps are supposed to protect the doors from light parking bumps. But you can too omitting

Source: Jakob Hoff

That sounds like a gimmick, but the recordings can be useful, for example as evidence in controversial accidents. And so that a video is actually available in the event of a crash, the technology of the C3 secures situations that it classifies as critical without being asked. It recognizes such moments with the help of an impact sensor; The seconds before the signal and the 60 seconds after it are then automatically saved.

By the way, I took a GoPro with me on my honeymoon to film our ride on the Wild Atlantic Way. The road along the west coast of Ireland may be spectacular, but the footage didn’t turn out to be.

I didn’t show it to anyone afterwards. Neither did the mini-films I made with the C3 camera while driving the Autobahn from Berlin to Passau.

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6 thoughts on “Test: This is how good the new Citroën C3 is in everyday life”

  1. It is always astonishing how the electronic gimmicks are reported on in the car tests for longer and longer.

    Blind spot warning, break timer, start button…
    It is conveyed that these purchased € 1 50 components are innovative and worth several hundred € extra.

  2. Did I miss something important? I still believe that videos are not accepted by German courts and that it is forbidden to make recordings of uninvolved road users!
    Let me teach you!

  3. I am surprised that the other brands have not yet recognized the evidence-securing function of dashcams. When installed in series, it can be well hidden and can also be supplemented by a rear camera that measures the distance and records the respective speed. As a solo driver without witnesses you are very helpless against Helldrivers who always have their buddy next to them. Attentive observers know exactly which situations I mean. The feature would be worth $ 500 to me if it’s done well!

  4. They can also be retrofitted, discreetly hidden behind the interior mirror. Fully installed would of course be nicer. And they not only help against false statements and accusations of all kinds by drivers, but also, for example, against faulty speed cameras.

  5. Above all, the new C3 has a very pleasantly comfortable suspension.

    A real boon compared to other vehicles in the same class, some of which are unnecessary
    are hard and uncomfortable.

  6. I haven‘t driven the new C3 yet, but I’ve driven other models from Citroen and Peugeot. My conclusion afterwards: Comfortable seats and soft suspension are pleasant as long as you don’t drive long distances. After a while, the swaying movements of the car and the lack of lateral support for the seats are annoying, causing tension.
    On the other hand, I don’t have that with tighter seats and chassis – tight, not hard, I mean by that.
    The unnecessarily complicated, nested operating menus of these brands can also be made much better … Subject of distraction while driving.


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