38 thoughts on “Is This Fun?”

  1. All the same problems: fussy detailing, awful graphics and no coherence. This is a car designed by my idea of a stereotypical South American teenager.
    Luckily it’s only a concept drawing from AutoDriver magazine, right?

  2. Not for me, but at least it has an identity, something lacking in the current range. The superficiality of the ‘Airbumps’ is shown by the way that they don’t extend to the trailing edge of the rear door, where they could actually fulfill a function.

    The interior is more interesting – though this will probably end up being watered down?

    1. I don’t think it was presented as a concept, so what you see is what you will get.
      Looks ok to me overall. I still wouldn’t buy one though.

  3. There is something about the overall stance, and the detailing come to that, that doesn’t suggest physical progress. It looks as though it was designed to stand still.

  4. The cack-handed A-pillar and cack-handed C-pillar are as egregious as fake wood on the *outside* of a car. This really is painted on styling. Citroen´s people are stylists in the worst sense of the word. I´ve got no time for this. Is there anyone doing a less convincing job in the auto industry? I can´t think of anyone. The problem lies with the design management and the executives who seem not to understand the depth of thinking needed to form a car.

  5. This is actually the series car, not a concept. It was revealed yesterday.

    While I agree on things like the pillars and the awful graphics, I like a lot of things they have done. First of all, identity, as Sean puts it. The strong point is certainly the interior. There seem to be four themes, but I’ve only seen three of them (the fourth is probably standard black/grey). They look nice, especially the light grey, striped one.
    There could be nicer door panels than just plain black plastic ones, probably enriched with some of the same fabric as on the seats.

    I also like the simplicity of the shapes inside. It’s a pity the exterior is in a completely different style. That ridiculously small third side window reminds me of the Clio. There are also nice colours: cobalt blue (as shown above), “almond green” and orange plus of course the standard greyscale.

    1. Credit where it´s due: the colour and trim people have made a nice effort and that could sway a lot of people. The geometry of the outside is in another league and I don´t mean a higher league. I´d still prefer a well-specced Kia or Hyundai. They have a superb colour palette inside and out and the design is their own without being wierd or clumsy or both. That blacked-out A-pillar is the worst since the last on Citroen did. It´s really leaping out at me because the gap between what it is and what it´s supposed to be is glaring. They ought have actually done a properly finished wraparound effect. Skoda show how do it quite inexpensively if they don´t want to go down the 1989 Buick Le Sabre and 1989 Citroen XM route. Is there a glut of black paint on the market right now?

    2. “I´d still prefer a well-specced Kia or Hyundai. They have a superb colour palette inside and out”

      Which model do you have in mind? All those I’ve seen over here were entirely black inside. Maybe the right shade of black, but black all the same.

  6. Citroen promises class leading comfort. Sounds good – i hope it is true.
    I like the seats and the interior,but the i-cockpit of the Peugeot 208/2008 is still more attractive and better to command. (with the separate buttons for climatisation).

    But i am quite sure Citroen is reducing the attractivity of the C4 Cactus with this C3 – it looks like an optimized version of the Cactus.

    1. That´s a good point. I wonder how they compare on price, features and dimensions. Time for some comparisons but I am a bit short on minutes at the moment. Anyone?

    2. From what I read, the engines will be very similar to the Cactus’ ones: petrol up to 110 hp (all 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder units), diesel up to 100 hp. Other than in the Cactus, they promise us a true automatic transmission (if that is what ‘EAT6’ means – the Cactus has the ‘ETG6’ which is the robotized manual unit).
      The C3 seems to be slightly smaller than the Cactus – I read 3.99 for the length and 2.54 for the wheelbase. The Cactus measures 4.16 / 2.60. How this translates into interior space and boot volume I don’t know. Citroën claims 300 litres for the C3’s volume.

      I don’t know about prices. Is there any reliable information yet? I haven’t come across it.

      By the way, I wonder how class-leading comfort will be. The suspension layout is the standard McPherson / torsion beam stuff. But if they follow the path of the Cactus, which I found surprisingly comfortable – especially compared to PSA’s ‘premium’ offers – their claim might be true. The press release explicitly mentions ‘high-profile tyres, even with the 17″ option’.

    3. Oh, and regarding features…
      The C3 will sport a camera with a ‘120 degree field of vision’ that lets you capture the scenery and post it on social media if you need to. It also seems to work as a dashcam that saves a minute or so of footage if there is a crash. Lane departure warning will also be available. This, along with the automatic transmission and the seemingly more elaborate interior, lets me think that Citroën wants to position the C3 as more luxuous than the Cactus, at least in its better specced versions. The Cactus would then be ‘bigger, but simpler’. I wonder if they’ll succeed…

    4. Prices will probably be released nearer the time of the Paris show in September.

  7. I think this new C3 is great. They’ve managed to design something distinctive and appealing in a very cost conscious and cut throat market segment. It may not be a particularly cohesive or elegant design, but it works. The Cactus looks good on the street too, so I hope this translates from studio to real world as well. The interior looks great too, with appealing colour and trim combinations, and the engineering solutions – softer suspension, bonded structure for more rigidity, emphasis on safety – are promising.

    1. You’ve made it clear you don’t like it, and that’s fine. But – given the sector it’s competing in – I think it’s absolutely appropriate. Citroen have made a conscious decision to give the car a distinctive visual character, which is hard on a sub 4 metre hatchback. It requires compromises that offends people who have a hightened appreciation for good design, as you do. But I think it’s the right choice to make.

  8. Sam: I visited a Kia/Hyundai showroom last autumn. The i20, for example, has a broad palette of exterior colours in non-grey/black and tan insert options inside allied to dark blue grey plastic.

    1. I had a quick look at the Hyundai UK website. The blue grey standard interior looks nice, but here we don’t have what I would call a broad palette of exterior colours – just an orange and a red to lighten things a bit.

  9. I actually don’t mind the exterior at all. All that black cladding makes it look like a low riding CUV, as if that could actually be a thing. And the interior looks very good indeed. But will it still display the typical Citroen trait of zero driving pleasure? We will see.

    1. My point was, I’m not sure it’s available here. It’s only cosmetic, but it’s important to have access to those options.

  10. The three sets of lights at the front, all with different themes, are incredibly clumsy. It’s really in the Mercedes school of ‘sure it’s a bit cack-handed but at least you notice it’. But it makes sense for Citroen – I passed a current C3 this morning and anything would be an improvement. I hope the interior is as good as it looks on the pictures.I really liked the look of the Cactus’s, but when I actually sat in one I was underwhelmed.

    1. Oh Dear. The idea of a good looking interior that falls apart is worse than a boring one that stays in one piece. As for personalisation, of course I’m not in step, but I really wouldn’t get an iota of satisfaction from having chosen from one of several colours for my foglamp surrounds. This goes with the craze for colouring books as another of the ways that we get offered stuff that makes us feel that we are ‘creative’. But we are not – we’re just wasting our time on the configurator that we could better spend doing something more worthwhile, like cutting our toenails or counting paving stones … practically anything.

    2. They’re mostly saying that the plastics are hard and not at all upmarket, but the other meterials are nice.

    3. Yes, it doesn’t sound as bad as I first thought. Actually I don’t mind hard plastics too much if they’re not too obviously cheap. Sometimes it’s the better choice than soft lacquered material that wears off after two years.

      Sean, I agree on the fog lamp surroundings. However, a nice interior in a colour (black is not one of them, remember) I can choose on my own is a big plus for me. After all, it’s the part of a car the owner spends most time looking at.

  11. I understand why people here don’t like this, and it is a triumph (or failure) of design tricks over fundamental cohesion and elegant design. It reminds me more of the Captur than anything else, only in part due to the contrasting roof and ‘C’ pillar. It’s becoming clearer that Citroën is leaning more towards its 2CV icon for reference (I can’t bring myself to describe it as ‘inspiration’). That should logically mean that DS leans to – erm – the DS, although I can’t see it in anything that miserable brand has sired so far.

    That said, like the Captur, I can see it selling, but it’s not a ‘grown up’ car to take on the Polo and Fiesta, or even the Mazda2.

    When you think of all the fantastic, ground-breaking Citroëns of old, that’s a travesty of negligence by PSA – surely there’s room for a modern GS, CX, BX or XM? A proper Mehari is surely achievable given the current zeitgeist for faux SUVs?

    1. Yes, I’m afraid many of us here can’t help but judge it as if it were an old school Citroen. If it were a Korean hatchback that I picked up as a hire car for a few days, I’d probably be very pleased with it, unless any of the interior trim had fallen off. But I’d be unlikely to get home and put in an order for one. It’s got a cheerful, knockabout look to it.

    2. Unfortunately, I think the age of “grown up” cars in this segment is drawing to a close. I suspect the next Fiesta will be more like this C3 – just look at the success of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur. The reason the Fiesta is still the best selling car in the UK would become apparent if you went along to a car supermarket like Motorpoint where they are knocking £6K off the list price of pre-registered Fiesta Titaniums with the Ecoboost engine (without haggling).
      You can’t lay all the blame on manufacturers for this shift in consumer preferences: increasing safety and emmisions standards are increasing development costs making it harder for the less huge manufacturers to compete, while the market is changing too. Austerity means most people have less disposable income yet still want more gadgets and at the risk of sounding sexist, the influence of women on the car market has increased dramatically over the past couple of decades ( I won’t say any more on that at the risk of being hung, drawn and quartered by Katherine Viner ).

  12. It looks very much like a re-skinned Peugeot 108 – the Saxo /106 trick repeating?

    The C3 interior is much better than the C4 Cactus’s, which I realise is hardly great praise. Linda has realised that a tablet computer is no substitute for proper instruments, and for this we should be grateful.

    The C3’s frontal treatment seems to comprise three very different grille / lights combinations in a triple decker configuration. In no sense is this a good look.

  13. On matters C4 Cactus, I’m beguiled by the thing’s resemblance to the BMC ADO16 1100/1300. Nobody else seems to have noticed this, but I’m convinced it’s deliberate. Even the colours seem to be a hommage to the Blaze, Aqua, and Flame Red used on the 1300GT (Seemed so wrong, but now it seems so right…).

    It’s a pity that exterior design apart, the Citroën is so disappointing, without even cheapness as an excuse.

    1. I can see a vague resemblance – especially around the C-pillar, although I’m not convinced it’s deliberate. Having said that, perhaps Citroen’s Mark Lloyd is a fan…

  14. I like it. Test drove one, bought one with 1.2 110ps Pure Tech 3-cylinder petrol engine and new EAT6 auto’transmission. Fantastic combination, do try.

    It’s a truly excellent drive. Comfortable, quiet cruiser. Suspension can get unsettled on sharp ruts but unlike so called ‘sporty’ set ups, it’s nice 98% of the time and annoying 2%, rather than the other way round.

    In fact, with the car’s gentle flow and good grip, you often find yourself traveling faster than you think you are.

    The interior gives a comfortable sensation of spaciousness with its simplicity. The dashboard is not built out at you as in so many competitors. The whole car has a soft, friendly demeanor and is refreshing different.

    I think it’s great we still have Citroen around. It’s great we have the choice.

    1. Hi: Sorry your message languished so long in limbo. Simon, our editor, has won a case of dry white Port from Fortnum’s.
      I am interested to hear your insight. Whether or not your description is accurate I get a sense of what you think it’s like to drive which is an impression that road tests have failed to convey. I saw one in a dealer a few months back and agree the interior is a bit different, specifically the chairs. What else did you consider?

  15. Wolfy – you’ve given me food for thought, at least for my next holiday rental car. (In the sure and certain knowledge that whatever I request, I’ll be provided with an manual Opel Karl or a Renault Grand Scenic.)

    The EAT6 autobox looks like a departure for PSA. As far as I can work out it’s an Aisin-designed torque converter, six ratio epicyclic, made by PSA in France. It has to be a big improvement on the jerk-o-matic automated manuals they offered before in their small to medium cars. I think it was the same Marelli mechanism which was used for the deliciously named Dolce far niente option for the Lancia Ypsilon and Musa.

    I may yet have to revise my prejudice that automatic gearboxes are only truly satisfactory with engines sufficiently big and torquey that they don’t need much gear changing.

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