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Citroen C3 price under $20k

The incoming C3 will go up against the Peugeot 207 and Renault's Clio, as well as the Polo from Volkswagen and Ford's inbound Thai-built Fiesta.

The French car maker has released some pricing and specification information ahead of the new light car's showroom debut later this month, with Citroen making the somewhat odd boast that the top-spec model has "the largest windscreen ever seen on a small car," the panoramic Zenith windscreen, 35 per cent larger than a normal windscreen.

Prices will start from $19,990 for the C3 VT manual-only, the VTR+ will retail from $23,490 for the petrol/auto or $23,990 for the turbodiesel/manual.  The C3 Exclusive flagship in petrol/auto will be priced from $25,990 or the turbodiesel/manual model will retail from $26,490.

The incoming C3 will go up against the Peugeot 207 and Renault's Clio, as well as the Polo from Volkswagen and Ford's inbound Thai-built Fiesta.  Citroen says the C3 will be more refined than its predecessor, with three times as much sound-absorbent material than the outgoing vehicle.

The new car measures 3940mm long, 1730mm wide and 1520mm tall and will offer 300 litres of bootspace despite being shorter than much of its competition.

The little hatchback sat fourth - behind the C4, C5 and Berlingo - in terms of sales at the end of last year and instead of where perhaps it should be - in 2008 it sat second behind the C4, a position to which Citroen believes it can return with the new model.

Citroen Australia general manager Miles Williams says the C3 has been an integral part of the company's Australian line-up and the outgoing model's supply dried up in May.

"We have a considerable pent-up demand for the new model ... we have, therefore, released details of the prices and specifications ahead of the arrival of the new model so that customers can start selecting and ordering their new C3," he says.

The new car has been built with the brief of lower weight, better aerodynamics and lower emissions.  The range will be offered with two petrol power-plants and one turbodiesel - the 1.6-litre 16-valve unit producing 66kW and 215Nm while claiming a combined fuel use figure of 4.3 litres per 100km will be teamed with a five-speed manual for the Exclusive model.

The two petrol engines on offer will be a 54kW/118Nm 1.4-litre 16-valve petrol engine in the VT, teamed only with a five speed manual.  The VTR will be offered with the turbodiesel or the PSA/BMW joint-venture powerplant, the 1.6-litre turbocharged 16-valve engine producing 88kW and 160Nm - offer refined and economical performance.

The new C3 range will have a six-speaker sound system - with the option of an upgraded eight-speaker set-up; Bluetooth phone/audio link and a USB port are available on the options list for all models bar the Exclusive.

The new C3 safety features list will include stability control, anti-lock brakes and up to six airbags.  The entry-level VT model has 15in steel wheels, an MP3-compatible sound system with wheel-mounted controls,  air conditioning, power-adjustable mirrors, front power windows and a trip computer.

The VTR+ adds curtain airbags, front fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cooled glove box and cruise control with speed limiter; the Exclusive adds climate control, power windows front and rear, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, folding and heated door mirrors and 16in alloy wheels.