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Boo, even the Citroen C3 is a crossover now: meet the electric e-C3

Citroen pulls the wraps off its fourth gen C3 and gives us full details of the 199-mile all-electric version

Published: 17 Oct 2023

Citroen has unveiled the new C3, and we have bad news for all you hatchback fans out there. Yep, it’s been crossovered. 

Although if we’re being pedantic, what you’re looking at here isn’t actually the new C3. You see, Citroen has decided that a new all-electric version should head up this fourth generation of its most popular car, so say hello to the inventively titled e-C3.

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The e-C3 is the first car to be based on the new, ‘cost-efficient’ Stellantis Smart Car platform, which means there’s a 44kWh lithium ferro phosphate battery pack that provides up to 199 miles of range. With 100kW DC rapid charging, a 20 to 80 per cent top-up takes just 26 minutes, while a 111bhp electric motor allows for a 0-62mph time of ‘around 11 seconds’ and a top speed of just 84mph. 

Not the most eye-catching headline stats then, but Citroen reckons e-C3 prices will start at under £23,000. Not bad. We’re told that a cheaper, 124-mile version with a smaller battery will arrive by 2025 too. When a Vauxhall Corsa Electric starts at £32,095 with a range of 222 miles, the Citroen suddenly seems like a very decent option.

We're still sad it’s been given the crossover treatment though. We’re told that the squared-off shape was inspired by the Oli concept, and this is the first time we’ve seen Citroen’s new ‘brand signature’ face on a production car.

Overall, this thing is 19mm longer, 6mm wider and almost 30mm further off the ground than the previous gen C3. Apparently this and the black plastic cladding is to ‘reflect customer tastes’. 

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There’ll be three rather shouty trim levels at launch: ‘YOU!’, ‘PLUS’, and ‘MAX’ with the former riding on 16-inch steel wheels and the latter two on 17-inch alloys. A contrast roof will be an optional extra, but all versions will come with Citroen’s fancy Advanced Comfort Suspension as standard.

Citroen e-C3 Top Gear

Translated into something that slightly resembles English, that means there are two hydraulic bump stops at each corner – one for compression and the other for rebound. For lighter bumps the springs and shocks do everything themselves, but for what Citroen refers to as ‘major impacts’ the hydraulic stops iron out any jolts at the end of the range. Clever. 

There’s more of a nod to comfort on the inside too, with Citroen Advanced Comfort seats and something called the C-ZEN LOUNGE (their caps, not ours) which as far as we can tell just refers to the straight and fabric-wrapped dashboard. Certainly doesn’t look like any of our living rooms, that’s for sure. 

Anyway, there’s a new smaller steering wheel in there too, as well as a dial display that’s reflected onto a gloss black section just underneath the windscreen. Oh, and all but the extremely shouty YOU! trims get a large 10.25-inch touchscreen.

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