Just a few hours after Citroen let out a teaser for its upcoming compact SUV, the C3, the French carmaker has taken the wraps off the production version. It has been long-awaited and if first impressions are anything to go by, it is all looking quite positive.
The C3 is also the first Citroen to be made in India for India, which means heavy localisation and that translates to competitive pricing. However, that’s not all, the C3 is also developed and styled with the Indian customer in mind. The appeal of an SUV, plenty of features, and unique and prominent road presence are all there.
At the front, it carries over the design theme seen on the bigger C5 Aircross what with the split headlamp and DRL setup. The sleek-looking headlamps look cool and the DRL merges along with the chrome bands that continue on and blend into the famous double chevron logo. The bumpers too get aesthetic touches for the ducts and unique styling bits.
Over to the side, the made for India bit is seen thanks to a 180mm ground clearance that is plenty to go over the worst of roads that we have to offer. However, the silhouette is more of a hatchback rather than an SUV and that might be a deterrent to some owners. Citroen too refrains from using the word SUV too much and instead call it a B segment vehicle. The wheels too are funky looking and have been designed keeping in mind the stylish and funky theme.
At the rear, it is a rather handsome look with the big taillamps and body cladding all around. What is interesting though is the level of customisation that is possible with the C3. There are plenty of elements that can be colour coded according to your liking along with the dual-tone paint scheme as well.
However, it’s not like Citroen has only made the exterior funky and left out the insides of the C3. The interior is unlike anything we have seen on a car in its segment and it sure brings a breath of fresh air with it. The layout for the dashboard is youthful and here too, customisable bits like the elements on the glovebox can be customised. The C3 gets a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen housed in the centre. It is surrounded by a group of vents that look quite stylish. That said, the highlight is that Citroen has also incorporated phone clamps for the driver and passenger keeping in mind our obsession with our devices. The steering is nice and chunky and the C3 also gets a digital instrument cluster. The quality of the materials is something we can only comment on once we get a feel of it in person, but if it is close to the bigger C5 Aircross, it should be fine.
Space is another highlight on the C3 as it claims to have been designed with space as a top priority. The cabin space Citroen say is better with better headroom, elbow room and shoulder room as well. Again, a fact that we will test out on the first drive.
At the rear is the same story with bold claims by Citroen, however, going by the images, it looks very comfortable for two in the back. A third just might be a squeeze.
“The C3 is being introduced in a B-segment, which is highly competitive in India but has the potential to expand and grow further. It was important for us to stand out in this segment and create a differentiated and an aspirational car. This segment is seeing a lot of young buyers who want a sub-4 metre car, which is an extension of their personality. The C3 is positioned in that sweet spot and will appeal to the young generation of customers in India, who are looking for differentiated experiences. The C3 will appeal to car buyers who want the best in their life, in a balanced way, who like to enjoy life, while following new styles and fashions. These customers are fashionable, innovative and want their car to reflect their personality. This is where our customization strategy will play a big role – making a fashion statement to attract people who like to be stylish,” said Saurabh Vatsa – Citroën Brand Head, India. What will power the C3 is still unconfirmed, but we expect it to get a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine with the option of a manual and automatic gearbox. Deliveries are to be started in early 2022 and thanks to the heavy localisation, the pricing is hinted at being aggressive as well. But for now, we can only wait to find that out.