Citroën C3

Citroën C3
Manufacturer Citroën
Production 2002–present
Body and chassis
Class Supermini (B)
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Predecessor Citroën Saxo

The Citroën C3 is a supermini car produced by Citroën since 2002. It replaced the Citroën Saxo in the model line-up and is currently in its second generation, although in June 2016 the third generation model made its appearance and will go on sale in January 2017. It is produced in a 5-door hatchback body style, with the first generation also being produced in a 2-door convertible version, called the C3 Pluriel. A 3-door hatchback, with a similar design as the second generation,[1] marketed as a premium model,[2] is available as the DS3.

A mini MPV version of the C3 was announced in July 2008, called the C3 Picasso, and was unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. In South America, a mini SUV version, called the C3 Aircross, is produced and marketed only locally.

In 2014, the Citroën C3 was awarded most efficient small cars[3] with the premium car DS 3.

First generation (2002–2009)

First generation

Pre-facelift Citroën C3 hatchback
Production 2002–2009
Assembly Aulnay-sous-Bois, France
Porto Real, Brazil (Citroën Brazil)
Barra de Carrasco, Uruguay (Oferol)
Designer Donato Coco
Jean-Pierre Ploué
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door hatchback
2-door convertible
Related Citroën C2
Peugeot 1007
Peugeot 206
Engine 1.1 L TU1 I4 (petrol)
1.4 L TU3 I4 (petrol)
1.4 L ET3 I4 (petrol)
1.6 L TU5 I4 (petrol)
1.4 L DV4 I4 (diesel)
1.6 L DV6 I4 (diesel)
Transmission 5-speed manual
5-speed semi-automatic (SensoDrive)
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,460 mm (96.9 in)
Length 3,850 mm (151.6 in) (hatchback)
3,934 mm (154.9 in) (convertible)
Width 1,670 mm (65.7 in) (hatchback)
1,700 mm (66.9 in) (convertible)
Height 1,490 mm (58.7 in)
Curb weight 953–1,050 kg (2,101–2,315 lb)
Successor Citroën DS3 Cabrio (for C3 Pluriel)
Pre-facelift Citroën C3 hatchback
Facelift Citroën C3 hatchback
Facelift Citroën C3 hatchback

The first generation of the C3 was launched at the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show, as well as the 2001 Bologna Motor Show, and began marketing in January 2002,[4] as a five-door hatchback. It was available with 1.1, 1.4 and 1.6 litre petrol engines, and 1.4 and 1.6 litre common rail diesel engines. All models came as standard with a five-speed manual transmission, except for the Stop & Start model, which came with the SensoDrive gearbox,[5] a five-speed semi-automatic transmission with paddle-shifters and manual and automatic modes. The top level was the only version that had the option of a four-speed fully automatic transmission.[6][7]

In accordance with the PSA Group policy, the C3's chassis was used for the Peugeot 1007 and the Peugeot 207. Many components of the C3 are the same as those of the Peugeot 206.

Some versions of the C3 feature a start-stop system that can automatically cut the engine when not needed to save fuel, such as in traffic, and restart it briskly to move on again.

Citroën C3 Lumiere

Citroën C3 Lumiere
Manufacturer Citroën
Production 1998 (Concept car)
Body and chassis
Class Supermini (B)
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout FF layout
Engine 1.1 L TU1 I4 (petrol)
Transmission 5-speed manual

The Citroën C3 Lumiere was a concept car that previewed the production Citroën C3, it was initially released in 1998 as a 5-door hatchback with 4 seats and rear suicide doors for easy access for passengers to the rear seats. It featured a 5-speed manual transmission and a 1.1 L TU1 I4 petrol engine up front.


In late 2005, the C3 was given a minor redesign, with the front end featuring a more imposing bumper, wider lower air intake, single air intake slit below the restyled radiator grille and a re-positioned number plate. The rear of the car was also given redesigned light clusters with crystal coloured midsections. The passenger compartment was also enhanced with the fitting of a restyled dashboard with high-quality finish, as well as a newer, more modern instrument cluster making the driver information easier to read. The addition of light metallic grey embellishers around the central section of the fascia and air vents contributed to the updated interior, as did the completely re-designed front and rear door panels and trims. The steering was also improved so that it weights up with speed. Citroën also added a new 1.6 L 16-valve HDi diesel engine to the range, rated at 110 bhp (82 kW; 110 PS). The Pluriel also received similar interior alterations but was otherwise unchanged.

C3 Pluriel

Citroën C3 Pluriel
Citroën C3 Pluriel

Citroën marketed the C3 Pluriel (2003-2010) as a convertible with five open top variations, hence the name.[8] Pluriel is a cognate with the English plural.

The Pluriel can be configured as a hatchback with a multi-layer insulated top;[9] a full-length landaulet, operable partially or to the back window or any stage in between, with a buffet-minimizing wind deflector over the windshield;[9] a fixed-profile convertible, with the roof open to the back window, the roof assembly folds into a well in the trunk floor;[9] a full convertible where roof side rails are unlatched and removed.[9] and as a roadster pick-up, where the back seats fold to a pickup-like bed with a drop-down tailgate.[9]

The C3 Pluriel was introduced in July 2003 and was originally offered with a choice of a 1.4 or a 1.6 L petrol engine, and a 1.4 L[10] diesel engine. The 1.6 L petrol came fitted, as standard, with a semi-automatic gearbox. The Pluriel was withdrawn in early 2010.

In October 2013, Top Gear Magazine placed the C3 Pluriel on its list of "The 13 worst cars of the last 20 years", describing the car as "useful as a chocolate teapot."[11]


2007–2009 Citroën C3 XTR 

Second generation (2009–2016)

Second generation
Production 2009–2016
Assembly Poissy, France
Madrid, Spain
Trnava, Slovakia
Porto Real, Brazil
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door hatchback
Platform PSA PF1 platform
Related Citroën C3 Picasso
Citroën C3 Aircross
Citroën DS3
Citroën C4 Cactus
Peugeot 207
Engine 1.1 L I4 (petrol)
1.4 L I4 (petrol)
1.6 L I4 (petrol)
1.4 L I4 (diesel)
1.6 L I4 (diesel)
Transmission 5-speed manual
6-speed manual
5-speed semi-automatic
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,466 mm (97.1 in)
Length 3,941 mm (155.2 in)
Width 1,728 mm (68.0 in)
Height 1,510 mm (59.4 in)
Curb weight 948–1,065 kg (2,090–2,348 lb)

The second generation of the C3 was revealed in the media in June 2009,[12] and made its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2009.[13] It features a new body design with a 108-degree field of vision windscreen, similar to the one of the larger C4 Picasso, which is available on all versions, except the entry model VT. The new C3 builds on the curvy profile of the previous model and has a look in keeping with other Citroën models and the older C3, although it is longer and wider than the old model. The lights at the front, bonnet, dashboard assembly and other components are shared with the DS3. On the new C3, the instrumentation is a mix of analogue dials beneath a styled cowl and a digital display for the fuel and trip computer. There is no temperature gauge (unlike the DS3), but a red and blue warning lamp to show hot or cold engines which come on as required. The drag coefficient is 0.307 Cd.

Citroën C3 VTi 120 Exclusive (Germany)

In engineering terms, the PSA TU powerplants are carried over from the old car and Citroën also announced a new range of small petrol engines which PSA Peugeot Citroën developed in partnership with BMW. These "Prince" engines have double overhead 16-valve camshaft, on demand oil and water pumps and BMW's patent injection and ignition technology. They are designed for low CO2 emissions and for good performance and economy. Economy was improved by the standard fit cruise control and speed limiter available on the VTR+, Airdream+ and Exclusive models. All versions have a standard fit "Gear Efficiency Indicator" which graphically states what gear to be in and when to change up and down to optimise economy. They come in 1.4 95 bhp and 1.6 120 hp versions with low emissions, as well as new diesel engines, all with CO2 emissions of under 120 g/km, plus an "Airdream+" model with 99 g/km using a new 1.6 HDI 90 bhp (67 kW; 91 PS) engine.

The New C3 was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2009. It was launched in November 2009, as a 2010 model. Across Europe, the advertising slogan was known as "The Visiospace", playing on the merit of the large windscreen and the improved vision afforded.


2013 Citroën C3 facelift

Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013, the C3 hatchback was revised to featuring updated exterior and interior, and more efficient engines. The C3 facelift comes with updated chevrons and bumper-mounted LED daytime running lights at the front and new tail light clusters combined with new reflectors set underneath the rear bumper.[14]


Citroën C3 Aircross, produced exclusively for the Latin American market
Citroën C3 Picasso, the South American version

There are four trim levels in the C3 range, which range from the entry level VT (which does not have the panoramic windscreen), the mid range VTR+ and eco efficient "Airdream+" (which has lower CO2 emissions) to the top of the range Exclusive, which has half cloth half alcantara seats, extra chrome outside, alloy wheels, an alarm, folding mirrors and power windows all around. Trim levels are denoted by a small badge on the rear window frame on the VT/VTR+ and Airdream+ and by a small chrome badge on each front door on Exclusive models. Norev have produced a 1:43 scale model of the new Citroën C3 in Botticelli Blue, Metallic Green and black.

Trim level L/i V Energy output Other
VT 1.1i 8v 61 hp (45 kW) only
VTR+ 1.4i 8V 75 hp
VTR+ 1.4VTi 16V 95 hp
VTR+ 1.4HDi 8V 70 hp (52 kW)
VTR+ 1.6HDi 16V 90 hp (67 kW) Airdream+
Airdream+ 1.4i 8V 75 hp
Airdream+ 1.4VTi 16V 95 hp
Airdream+ 1.4HDi 8V 70 hp (52 kW)
Airdream+ 1.6HDi 16V 90 hp (67 kW) Airdream+
Exclusive 1.4VTi 16V 95 hp
Exclusive 1.6VTi 16V 120 hp
Exclusive 1.6VTi 16V 120 hp (89 kW) Auto
Exclusive 1.6HDi 16V 90 hp (67 kW)
Exclusive 1.6HDi 16V 110 hp (82 kW)

Engines and transmissions

Petrol engine[15]
Model Engine Displacement Power Torque 0–100 km/h,s Top speed Transmission CO2 emission (g/km)
1.1i 8V 2009–I41124 cc61 PS (45 kW; 60 hp) @ 5,500 rpm95 N·m (70 lb·ft) @ 3,300 rpm16.5 145 km/h (90 mph)5-speed manual137
1.4i 8V 2009–1360 cc75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) @ 5,200 rpm118 N·m (87 lb·ft) @ 3,300 rpm14.2 155 km/h (96 mph)140
1.4VTi 16V 2009–1397 cc95 PS (70 kW; 94 hp) @ 6,000 rpm135 N·m (100 lb·ft) @ 4,000 rpm10.6 170 km/h (106 mph)134 (Exclusive)
136(Airdream+ / VTR+)
1.6VTi 16V 2009–1598 cc120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) @ 6,000 rpm160 N·m (120 lb·ft) @ 4,200 rpm8.9/10.9185 km/h (115 mph)136
4-speed automatic153
Diesel engine
Model Engine Displacement Power Torque 0–100 km/h,s Top speed Transmission CO2 emission (g/km)
1.4HDi 8V 2009–I4 1398 cc70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) @ 4,000 rpm160 N·m (120 lb·ft) @ 2,000 rpm13.7 152 km/h (94 mph)5-speed manual113
1.6HDi 16V 2009–1560 cc90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) @ 3,750 rpm230 N·m (170 lb·ft) @ 2,000 rpm11.3/11.5 168 km/h (104 mph)98
110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) @ 4,000 rpm270 N·m (200 lb·ft) @ 2,000 rpm9.9 180 km/h (112 mph)6-speed manual115

Third generation (2016-)

Third generation
Production 2016-
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door hatchback
Engine 1.2 L I4 (petrol)
1.6 L I4 (diesel)
Transmission 6-speed Manual
6-speed Automatic
Wheelbase 2540 mm (100 in)
Length 3990 mm (157 in)
Width 1740 mm (69 in)
Height 1470 mm (58 in)
Curb weight 968-1080 kg (2134-2380 lbs)

On the 29th June 2016, the official pictures of the new C3 supermini have been revealed. The C3 takes front styling cues from the facelifted C4 Picasso & Grand C4 Picasso and receives side Airbumps mouldings from the C4 Cactus and will be available with Airbumps or without them. It will be offered with a choice of nine exterior colours and three contrast shades that appear on the roof, foglight trims, side mirrors and Airbump surrounds. Citroen claims the range will offer a total of 36 different colour combinations.

Sales and production

Year Worldwide production Worldwide sales Notes
2009 233,400[16] 226,700[16]
2010 311,200[16] 308,300[16]
2011 353,593[13] 255,312[13] Total production reached 3,113,192 units.[13]
2012 293,000[17] 215,800[17] Total production reached 3,406,200 units.[17]

See also


  1. "Citroen C3 at 2009 Frankfurt motor show". Car Magazine Online. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  2. "Citroen 2010 DS3 – First look: Citroen reveals production DS3". GoAuto. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  3. "Citroën C3 and DS3, most efficient small cars". What car ?. 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2014-10-28.
  4. "Citroen C3 to debut at Frankfurt Motor Show". Car Design News. 29 August 2001. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  5. "Citroën C3 SensoDrive gearbox". Citroënët. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  8. "Citroen C3 Pluriel (2003–) Review". Archived from the original on 5 November 2007.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 "Citroen C3 Pluriel". 28 May 2003. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  10. Catalogue de la Revue Automobile 2006 (ISBN 978-3-905386-06-6 by Buechler Grafino AG Berne CH)
  11. "The 13 Worst Cars of the Last 20 Years". Top Gear magazine. 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2014-10-12.
  12. "Citroen C3 at 2009 Frankfurt motor show". Car Magazine Online. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  13. 1 2 3 4 "PSA Annual Report 2012" (PDF). Car manufacturers. PSA. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  14. Barari, Arman (ed.). "2013 Citroen C3 Facelift". Motorward. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
  15. "Citroen c3 Technical specifications UK site". Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  16. 1 2 3 4 "Engine specs from PSA Peugeot Citroën" (PDF). Creator and designer. PSA Peugeot Citroën. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  17. 1 2 3 "Memento Mars 2013" (in French). PSA Peugeot Citroën. 21 February 2013: 50. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
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