Citroen bumps up new

C3

Citroen C3, 2017, front
Citroen C3, 2017, front, action
Citroen C3, 2017, rear
Citroen C3, 2017, glovebox
Citroen C3, 2017, interior
Citroen C3, 2017, rear seats

CITROEN'S best-selling motor, the C3 supermini, has had a major facelift and will have a raft of new kit when it goes on sale in the UK next January - including the Airbump side panels first seen on the C4 Cactus.

In a new strategy the French car maker now has its upmarket range of DS motors run as a separate business, but the company is determined to up-grade its core Citroen models, and if the new C3 is anything to go by it should succeed.

The new C3 is much more attractive than before with its styling taking a cue from the bigger C4 Cactus and its now famous Airbump panels to protect it from knocks and scrapes on car parks. They will be standard on all but the basic models.

The front of the new C3 features extremely slim daylight running lights, bolder headlights and chunky grille and air intake while the rear gets smaller LED lights.

The wheel arches are in black and surround a wheel choice up to 17-inches in diameter. Citroen says there is also a choice of 36 colour combinations to choose from including contrasting roof colours.

The new C3 is pitched in part of the car market which accounts for one-third of all sales in the EU and Citroen boss Linda Jackson, who introduced the new C3 in Lyon, said: "I believe this will re-define the brand. It is more than a new model."

If looks are anything to go by she could be correct. The new C3 is set to appeal to a younger buyer than before.

It comes to the UK in January as a five door model and its dimensions are slightly up on the previous model.

The biggest change is inside, which has been made with more up-market materials.

Seating comes with choice of materials and are very comfortable. In the back there is plenty of headroom - even for six-footers - and I found that the sculpted backs of the front seats increased knee-room.

Up front there's minimum of knobs and buttons and most of the controls are set on a seven-inch touchscreen mounted high on the centre of the dashboard.

Storage space is good, with a fair sized boot offering 300 litres and plenty of useful cubbyholes for odds and ends.

The new C3 will come with a choice of Citroen's latest-generation PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines.

There will be three PureTech three-cylinder petrol engines, with manual transmission and power outputs of 68, 82 and 110ps. The two manual diesel powertrains are rated at 75 and 100ps and all come with stop-start. There is also an automatic model in the wings.

On the technology front the new C3 will come with an in-built camera which is mounted in the rear-view mirror and used to record any traffic incidents, including a collision.

Called the ConnectedCam it is a forward-facing two megapixel GPS-enabled imaging system and in a collision it makes a record of the incident, storing what occurred 30 seconds before and 60 seconds after any impact.

On a lighter level, the driver, by pressing a button, can also use the camera to record a picture or video which can then be shared on social networks.

The new C3 is a real step up from the current version and although prices have still to be announced the entry-level model is expected to be close to the outgoing car's £11,000 tag.

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