Citroen is showing off its updated C3, and you'll notice that it's a very careful, subtle update - perhaps unsurprising given that the C3 is Citroen's best-selling model. In fact, the French car maker has sold 750,000 of the current C3 around the world since it was launched in 2016.
Up front, the styling has been lightly tweaked, with new lights and a redesigned grille with more chrome. The idea, apparently, is to emphasise the height of the bonnet (possibly to give the C3 a quasi-SUV-ish appearance). There are now LED headlights as standard on all models, while down the sides the 'Airbump' protection panels have been changed - the bumps are now larger and squarer in shape.
At the back, little enough seems to have changed, bar some minor tweaks to the brake lights, but there is a new (and rather lovely when you look at it close-up) Citroen chevron badge, finished in gloss black.
Citroen says that the updated C3 comes with more customisation options, including a total of 97 possible colour, roof and Airbump choices, along with alloy wheels of up to 17-inch diameter. Of the seven body colours, two are new - Elixir Red and Spring Blue - in addition to Perla Nera Black, Cumulus Grey, Platinum Grey, Soft Sand and Polar White. You can also choose some stick-on graphics for the roof, including such themes as Red, Techwood and Emerald.
Inside, Citroen says that it's nodding at Scandinavian furniture design with the first wood veneer panels ever seen inside a small Citroen (well, since the 1930s anyway...). The idea is too create a 'cosy bubble' for the cabin occupants. Explaining the use of wood, Hélène Veilleux, Head of Colours and Materials said: "The 'Colours and Materials' team enhanced the dashboard with a wooden trim in the Scandinavian spirit, made the choice of a light upper backrest with its head rest in the same shade, which highlights the flotation line, opted for high-quality and unusual fabrics - (one technical for a dynamic colour scheme, the other more elegant - and frugal touches of colour on the inside, reminiscent of the exterior with new colours, including Emerald."
The seats have been upgraded too, to the new Citroen Advanced Comfort standard, which means that they should feel like mini-sofas when you're sitting in them. The size of the cabin (and the boot, at 300 litres) is unchanged, but Citroen says that there are improved storage areas up front.
For a small car, the new C3 is packing some serious driver assistance tech (some of which is, of course, optional) including front parking assist; active safety braking; coffee break alert for long journeys, which backs up the more active driver attention alert; automatic high-beam lights; a reversing camera; hill-start assist; lane departure warning; blind spot monitor; speed sign recognition; and cruise control with a speed limiter.
The C3 also comes with connectivity options that range from real-time traffic alerts, to emergency SOS calling. There's also the Citroen ConnectedCam built-in dashcam that can record the last few seconds of footage before a crash or other incident, or which can be used manually to take snapshots of your journey for sharing on social media.
The engine range is basically the same as before, but upgraded with the newest versions of the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol unit (in 83hp and 110hp forms, with the option of a six-speed automatic gearbox for the 110hp model) and the 1.5 BlueHDi diesel engine (with 100hp and a five-speed manual gearbox).
"With the restyling of C3, Citroen wants to follow on the story of its best seller. New C3 therefore had to go even further. That is what it is done: with its look that is even more assertive thanks to its new front end, with the new customisation possibilities, with its meticulous comfort, particularly related to its new Advanced Comfort seats, with its suspension that puts it in1st place in its category, with its useful technology on-board, New C3 will continue to appeal to fans of the model, and conquer new customers" said Laurence Hansen, Citroen Product and Strategy Director.
You'll be able to order a new C3 from April, and the first Irish deliveries should arrive in time for 202 registrations in July.
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