After the entry into the Indian market with its premium SUV the C5 Aircross, the French carmaker, Citroen is ready with its second car, the new C3 for the mass market segment. Recently the company unveiled the production-ready car, which will cater to the B+ premium hatchback segment. If you want to be in the mass market it has to be priced competitively at the same time loaded with features. Therefore, the French company has developed a new Common Modular Platform (CMP), which will be catering to emerging markets like India and South America. The platform has been heavily localised for India with more than 90 percent of components being locally sourced. 

Citroen C3 - Premium hatchback in SUV styling

The C3 is the first of the three new models, based on the same platform, which are coming to India as part of the company’s C-Cubed programme. Besides the platform, the India-bound Citroen C3 looks different from its European version. Except for the name C3, the India bound sub-4-meter car is completely new with an SUV-inspired design and styling. This includes its tall-boy stance, muscular profile, rugged side and underbody cladding, and sporty alloy wheels. The C3 is 3980 mm long and comes with a ground clearance of 180 mm. 

Citroen C3 - Premium hatchback in SUV styling
The Citroen logo is neatly incorporated in the grille and it seamlessly merges with the DRL that features a pair of split-LED headlamps with Citroen’s double-slat grille connecting the two units.

The new C3 comes with signature Citroen styling and looks distinctive in shape with the high position of the bonnet and the design of the front grille. The Citroen logo is neatly incorporated in the grille and it seamlessly merges with the DRL that features a pair of split-LED headlamps with Citroen’s double-slat grille connecting the two units. The sides of the vehicle are muscular, set off by protective bubble panels sculpted into the bodywork. The large wheels (635mm), high ground clearance (180mm) and short overhangs to cope with angles in the road surface and avoid damaging the front bumper, black wheel arches and roof rails that increase the height of the vehicle, are all elements inspired by SUVs. The rear light signature is also fairly prominent and echoes the two horizontal lines visible on the front end which forms a triangle. 

Citroen C3 - Premium hatchback in SUV styling
Citroen products will be positioned at the forefront of the Indian market, thanks to a strategy of high-level localisation based on the two joint venture agreements between the Stellantis Group and the CK Birla Group (car assembly and distribution and power-train manufacturing).
Citroen C3 - Premium hatchback in SUV styling

The interior of the new C3 looks fresh with the two-tone colour treatment that has a vibrant panel on the dashboard that matches the exterior shade of the car. The centre of attraction in the dashboard is the 10-inch capacitive touchscreen that offers the Mirror Screen function, to reproduce the display of the driver’s smartphone apps. The car also gets a three-spoke multi-functional steering wheel, along with other features like a USB charger and a 12V socket among others.

According to Citroen, the new C3 offers exceptional cabin space as well. In terms of the wheelbase, it’s quite long at 2540 mm, which indicates the impressive interior space. It offers passengers in the second-row seats among the largest legroom in the segment (851 mm) and knee room (653 mm). The front seats give occupants the best elbow room (1,418mm) and market-leading headroom (991mm). The rear seats offer the highest level of spaciousness to transport passengers in the greatest comfort. 

Though the company hasn’t revealed the powertrain details yet, the C3 is expected to be powered only by a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine in India, which means there won’t be any diesel engine on offer. In terms of the transmission, it will come with a 5-speed manual and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Once we get our hands on the new C3, we will let you know the performance of the vehicle and how it behaves in the urban and open roads.

Citroen C3 - Premium hatchback in SUV styling

By studying the behaviour of Indian customers when using new technologies, Citroën has taken the integration of mobile phones with the C3 to a new level by creating brand-new dedicated equipment to make life easier for these users: the specific position for the driver to place their mobile phone in the central console, the three special locations (two near the vents at each end of the dashboard and another near the central vents) for attaching clamps to hold a smartphone, the quick-charge USB sockets (one at the front and two at the rear), the 12V socket and the storage cavity between the first row seats accessible to rear passengers and created specifically to avoid damaging the mobile phone cable. Everything has been thought out, right down to the channel to conceal the cable at the bottom of the pen tray. Two clips have been incorporated on either side of the heating controls to guide the cables of two smartphones (the driver’s and the passenger’s) to the USB and 12V sockets. There are also two attachments inside the glove compartment to hold rolled-up cables. 

Citroen C3 - Premium hatchback in SUV styling

With all these options and SUV inspired design language for a premium hatchback, it is understood that Citroen has studied the Indian market and the needs of the customers. It is said that the Indian automotive market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach over four million cars sold annually by 2025. In that, B-segment hatchbacks represent nearly 23% of the market. Buying a car is the second most important purchase after a house. It symbolises social success and a strong aspiration towards greater independence and mobility. 

Citroen products will be positioned at the forefront of the Indian market, thanks to a strategy of high-level localisation based on the two joint venture agreements between the Stellantis Group and the CK Birla Group (car assembly and distribution and power-train manufacturing). The new Citroen C3 will be launched in the first half of 2022 and is expected to be priced between Rs.6 lakh to Rs.10 lakh (ex-showroom).

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