In-depth reviews

Citroen C3 review - Interior, design and technology

Some neat practical touches and a funky design make the C3’s cabin stand out from the class average

The exterior of the C3 combines lots of Citroen’s recent design traits into a pretty funky-looking package. The facelifted model includes a new front grille and front bumper, along with revised wheel arch extensions, fresh three-quarter panels and redesigned Airbump rubbing strips along the supermini’s sides.

The overall effect is modern and stylish – and, perhaps most importantly, different from the likes of the conservative VW Polo, Skoda Fabia and Hyundai i20

Don’t climb into the C3 expecting it to be the last word in luxury – but Citroen has tried to follow up the external looks by creating a welcoming cabin that offers something different in the class. There’s a new “Techwood” interior trim with faux-wood strips on the dashboard and matching stripes for the seat upholstery.

The Advanced Comfort seats are similar to those found in the C4 Cactus and they’re designed to be quite soft instead of offering supreme lateral support during cornering. The dashboard is very simple and, on all but the most basic trim level, dominated by a seven-inch touchscreen that controls many of the functions, including infotainment, heating and air-con.

Citroen also reckons the C3 is the ‘mainstream’ supermini with the greatest scope for personalisation – and there’s no denying that the extensive range of colours and options is impressive. There's a total of seven paint finishes available, four new exterior colour packs and four contrasting roof colours. 

The C-Series trim includes 16-inch Matrix alloy wheels, front foglamps and a black onyx roof, plus electric windows and folding mirrors, a height adjustable driver’s seat, automatic air con, cruise control and reversing sensors. Sense is a little more sparsely equipped with steel wheel, manual rear windows and black exterior trim trim.

Saint James trim adds a white exterior colour pack and upgraded cabin materials, while the flagship Shine Plus trim adds 17-inch alloys, a reversing camera and navigation.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Citroen was one of the first manufacturers to move to a fully integrated infotainment system that controls not only music and radio, but also key vehicle functions, including heating and air-conditioning. The C3 continues this trend, as all models of the C3 get a seven-inch touchscreen mounted centrally and reasonably high up in the fascia.

The system includes Bluetooth connectivity and media streaming, but you’ll have to rely on Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for sat-nav, unless you upgrade to the Shine Plus version.

The enhanced infotainment system also includes connected services, including TomTom Traffic, information on petrol prices nearby and weather forecasts, and real-time info on traffic incidents.

There’s plenty of functionality, but the touchscreen interface can be a little laggy. It’s the latest generation unit from Peugeot-Citroen, so the graphics are nice and sharp, but the touch-sensitive shortcut keys at either side of the screen aren’t as easy to use as the labelled buttons you'll find in a VW Polo.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech C-Series 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £13,190

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech C-Series 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £13,190

Fastest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech 110 Shine Plus 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £18,245

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