The Citroen C3 is offered in a single Shine grade, and lines up against a slew of similarly city-sized hatches from China, Europe, Japan and South Korea. Think Kia Rio, Mazda2, MG3, Suzuki Swift, Toyota Yaris, and VW Polo.
But when it comes to its price - $32,267, before on-road costs - you’re looking at primo competitors only, like the Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo ($30,990), Toyota Yaris ZR Hybrid ($32,200), and VW Polo Style ($31,250).
And to tempt you away from those more mainstream options, Citroen loads up the C3 with a solid list of standard equipment.
Aside from the safety tech covered later in the review, this small hatch features keyless entry and start, cruise control, a 10-inch colour multimedia touchscreen (with voice recognition across multiple functions), climate control air, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, six-speaker audio (with digital radio as well as Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity), built-in sat nav, LED headlights and daytime running lights, rain-sensing wipers, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Not too shabby, but bear in mind, as is often the case in this class, the trim is cloth, the front seats adjust manually and the instruments are conventional analogue.
At this point, it’s important to mention ‘perceived quality’, a term used in various industries to describe the look, touch and feel of a product. And it’s here that the C3 suffers.
Open the tailgate, look to the pillar on the right-hand side of the rear windscreen (from the inside) and you’re confronted with more than half a dozen spot weld craters that have creased the sheet metal to varying degrees. Not to mention a crude fold of the outside panel onto this interior piece. Perfectly functional, but not a good look.
The elastic cords suspending the cargo divider at the top of the boot space feel as insubstantial as the thin metal hooks they’re attached to, and the finisher matt sitting on top of the engine looks like it won’t stand the test of time.
There are other examples, but suffice it to say, the overall feel is not in the same league as this car’s main competitors.