Citroen C3

 

       One of the oldest motorsport venues in the world is not perhaps the first place you’d think of when it comes to testing an all-new 5-door B-segment supermini from a mainstream manufacturer. Nevertheless, it was close by…

    After the dash-mounted sat-nav in Citroen’s latest, and the 3rd generation of their best-seller, the C3 instructed my co-driver Wayne Gorrett and I to repeat yet another loop of rural Worcestershire (we’re both sure it was the programmer’s fault and not the actual system) we decided it was time to apply a some local knowledge, go off piste a little, and seek out something a little different. Soon enough we arrived at Shelsley Walsh.

    After Wayne asked the big bloke we met in the paddock nicely whether or not we could take the C3 up the 1000 yard hill-climb whilst explaining that we were taking part in the official UK launch of the C3, and being told in return and in no uncertain terms “no photos!” we took to the hill. If only we’d been slightly better prepared.

    Needless to say a modern-day supermini is more than capable of conveying two averaged sized fully breakfasted motor-noters up a hill regardless of how steep and twisty it may be. And especially so when it’s fitted with latest version of Citroen’s 110bhp version of their Puretech 110 HDi International Engine of the Year 2015 and 2016 award winner that’s been coupled Citroen’s easy shifting 5-Speed gearbox. The C3’s light and direct steering – a stand out feature we both concurred –  made navigating Kennel Bend, Crossing and both the Bottom and Top S a doddle, and once over the start-line and taking care in the wet, second gear is all that was required to make our steady if far from record-breaking climb.

    Once round the return loop at the top of the track the C3 again took everything in its stride. ABS, ESC, EBA and EBD ensured there was no chance of locking any of the C3’s 17” handsome diamond-cut alloys, the high bonnet line and excellent visibility – in places Shelsley Walsh is near steep enough to warrant a glace through the panoramic roof - meant placing the C3 was easy, and thankfully the optional bubble-wrap-like Airbumps, (as per those that first saw light on Citroen’s bigger and more family–orientated Cactus and give both cars such an instantly recognizable profile), remained unscathed.

     If only we’d of recorded our little excursion.

   Making its first appearance in the new C3, ConnectedCAM Citroën™ is a connected camera (wide 120° angle, full HD, 2 million pixels) with GPS and a 128GB internal memory. Positioned just behind the rear-view mirror, it records everything the driver sees. By simply clicking a button you can quickly and safely take photos as keepsakes or for instant sharing on social media. A longer press of the same button captures video for up to 20 seconds, which can then be shared once the car is stationary.

   Alternatively, should the worst happen, in the event of a vehicle collision, the video system switches on automatically and can run for up to 1½ minutes (30 seconds before and 60 seconds after the incident). The footage recorded could prove useful as evidence following an accident or to prove to your insurer it wasn’t your fault.

  ConnectedCAM Citroën™, also allows the driver to locate the C3, and store its position to ensure they can find it again in unfamiliar or busy places, and stored content is directly accessible via the ConnectedCAM Citroën™ free app.

    If that is you can get your phone to connect to such things, and you remember to switch the camera on - even after you’ve been told not to by the big bloke in the Shelsley paddock. Had we have done so you’d now be watching this on YouTube instead of just reading about it here.

    It’s that use of simple yet clever technology, as well as a host of personalization options; 3 different roof colours, 3 different interiors and 9 different body colours, not to mention those optional Airbumps, that mean the C3 should now appeal to a much wider – and dare I say it, much younger – core audience than ever before. And of course it’s lost none of its practicality either. There’s a 300 litre boot, the door pockets have a light coloured lining so it’s easy to find your keys, phone or your Citroen branded boiled sweeties. No? Just Wayne and me then… And Citroen say, it’ll do 76.3 mpg. If that is you don’t take it hill-climbing. 

    Whether visiting historic motor-racing venues after breakfast on a wet Monday morning is your thing or not it’s hard not to agree that with their new C3 Citroen are surely on to a winner.

  

Citroen C3 Flair S&S BlueHDi 100

Engine: 1560cc 4Cyl 16V turbo-diesel

Transmission: 5 Speed Manual, front wheel drive.

Power:  110 bhp @ 3750 rpm

Torque: 151 lbft @ 1750 rpm

0-62MPH: 10.6 Sec

Max Speed: 115 mph

CO2: 95g/km

MPG: 76.3 combined

Price: £17,095 (Car driven £17,790)

 

Many thanks to Everyone Citroen’s UK press office

@bird_liam

www.liam-bird.com

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Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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